Mark Zuckerberg claimed the reason Facebook keeps showing up in Capitol riot lawsuits is because it’s really helpful to police

zuckerberg congress WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 17: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies remotely during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled, "Breaking the News: Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election" on Capitol Hill on November 17, 2020 in Washington, DC. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is also scheduled to testify remotely. (Photo by Hannah McKay-Pool/Getty Images)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress remotely during a Senate hearing on November 17, 2020.

  • Facebook was cited in more legal docs about the Capitol riots than any other social-media platform.
  • Mark Zuckerberg told Congress it’s because Facebook has been cooperating with law enforcement.
  • On Thursday, he also downplayed Facebook’s role allowing misinformation and violence to spread.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a theory about why his company keeps showing up in legal documents surrounding the attempted insurrection on January 6: it’s just doing a really good job helping out with law enforcement’s investigations.

Last month, a report found Facebook was the most-widely referenced social-media platform in court documents used to charge 223 people with crimes in connection with Capitol attacks.

On Thursday, Congress hauled the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google-parent Alphabet in for a hearing to examine the role social media companies played in amplifying misinformation and allowing extremists to organize, and Zuckerberg was grilled about the report.

Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat from New York, asked Zuckerberg whether he still denied Facebook was a “significant megaphone for the lies that fueled the insurrection” amid “growing evidence” suggesting it was, including the charging documents.

“I think part of the reason why our services are very cited in the charging docs is because we worked closely with law enforcement to help identify the people who were there,” Zuckerberg said, adding that such “collaboration” shouldn’t “be seen as a negative reflection on our services.”

Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives have repeatedly downplayed the company’s role in the insurrection. COO Sheryl Sandberg said in mid-January the “Stop the Steal” rally, which immediately preceded the Capitol attacks, “were largely organized on platforms that don’t have our abilities to stop hate, and don’t have our standards, and don’t have our transparency.”

But numerous media and research reports have emerged since then showing that, despite its talk about cracking down, Facebook still allowed misinformation to spread widely and violence-promoting groups to gather.

A report from the research group Avaaz, released this week, found 267 violence-glorifying groups, with a combined audience of 32 million people, had “almost tripled their monthly interactions – from 97 million interactions in October 2019 to 277.9 million interactions in July 2020.”

Avaaz said 188 of those groups remained active despite “clear violations of Facebook’s policies,” and that even after contacting Facebook, the company still let 97 groups continue to use its platform.

Facebook executives have long known its groups-focused features have been a hotbed of extremism. The Wall Street Journal reported in January Facebook’s data scientists told the company 70% of its 100 most active “civic groups” were rife with hate speech, misinformation, bullying, and harassment.

“Our existing integrity systems,” they told executives, according to The Journal, “aren’t addressing these issues.”

Zuckerberg and others at Facebook, such as policy head Joel Kaplan, even killed or weakened projects aimed at stemming the flow of such content, The Journal previously reported.

Yet Zuckerberg this week continued to deny Facebook has a serious issue with how it moderates content.

“There was content on our services from some of [the insurrectionists],” he said. “I think that that was problematic, but by and large, I also think that by putting in place policies banning QAnon, banning militias, banning other conspiracy networks, we generally made our services inhospitable to a lot of these folks.”

So far, the evidence doesn’t appear to support Zuckerberg’s claims.

The Tech Transparency Project said it has been warning Facebook about the surge in far-right groups since last April, but continued to find “numerous instances of domestic extremists discussing weapons and tactics, coordinating their activities, and spreading calls to overthrow the government on Facebook, up to and including the mob attack on the Capitol.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

QAnon Shaman’s ’60 Minutes’ interview backfired. Judge cites interview when ruling he must remain jailed until trial.

qanon shaman jacob chansley jake angeli capitol riot
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: A protester screams “Freedom” inside the Senate chamber after the U.S. Capitol was breached by a mob during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building during demonstrations in the nation’s capital.

  • The QAnon Shaman has lost his most recent attempt at getting out of jail ahead of his trial.
  • New court documents released Monday argue Jacob Chansley remains a flight risk and danger.
  • A judge said Chansley’s “60 Minutes” interview proved he does not appreciate the severity of his charges.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

More than two months after the deadly Capitol insurrection, one judge thinks self-styled QAnon Shaman Jacob Chansley, still hasn’t learned his lesson.

The infamous horned Capitol participant of the siege lost his latest pretrial release motion Monday, according to new court documents that reject Chansley’s claims he was a peaceful participant in the fatal siege.

Earlier this month, Chansley gave his first jailhouse interview since his arrest to CBS News’ “60 Minutes+,” telling correspondent Laurie Segall he didn’t consider his participation in the insurrection an attack on the United States.

But Chansley’s televised appearance appears to have backfired. Judge Royce Lamberth cited the interview in his Monday decision.

“The statements [Chansley] has made to the public from jail show that [he] does not fully appreciate the severity of the allegations against him,” Lamberth wrote. “To the contrary, he believes that he – not the American people or members of Congress was the victim on January 6th.”

In the interview, Chansley said he regretted entering the Capitol building illegally, but said he thought the move was “acceptable” because police officers had “waved” protesters in a claim prosecutors have been unable to confirm, according to court records.

Once inside the building, Chansley told Segall his actions were “peaceful” and “calm.” The 33-year-old said he “sang a song” inside the chamber and even “stopped somebody from stealing muffins out of the break room.”

But legal documents argue Chansley’s depiction of events is a mischaracterization of the role he played that day.

“[Chansley’s] perception of his actions on January 6th as peaceful, benign, and well-intentioned, shows a detachment from reality,” Lamberth said in the decision.

Chansley is currently jailed in Washington, DC, facing six charges and up to twenty years in prison over his participation in the riot. In addition to illegally trespassing as one of the alleged first rioters to breach the Capitol, court records say Chansley also clashed with Capitol police officers, went into the Senate chamber, and left a note on then-Vice President Mike Pence’s dais saying “it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”

He later told FBI agents that Pence was a “child-trafficking traitor,” referring to a QAnon conspiracy theory, while Chansley’s lawyer, Al Watkins, argued in a pretrial release motion that his client’s note for Pence used words that came directly from former President Donald Trump and were not meant as a threat to Pence.

qanon shaman jacob chansley jake angeli capitol riot insurrection siege
Supporters of US President Donald Trump, including Jake Angeli (C), a QAnon supporter known for his painted face and horned hat, enter the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. – Demonstrators breached security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification.

In the aftermath of the Capitol siege, Chansley has become an outspoken critic of Trump, blaming the former president for his participation in the riot, and even offering to testify against Trump at his impeachment trial. Though last week, Chansley told CBS News he didn’t regret his loyalty to Trump.

As a growing number of arrested Capitol rioters turn on the former president, Lamberth’s Monday decision suggests shifting blame to Trump may not be a foolproof defense.

“If [Chansley] truly believes that the only reason he participated in an assault on the US Capitol was to comply with President Trump’s orders, this shows [his] inability (or refusal) to exercise his independent judgment and conform his behavior to the law,” Lamberth said.

Though Chansley has no prior criminal history, his “blatant disregard” for the law on January 6 makes him a danger to the public and the weight of evidence against him, including photos and video footage of him inside the Capitol, “increases the risk he will flee,” Lamberth argued.

Court documents also cite Chansley’s drug use and “willingness to lie about that drug use” as further examples of his “willingness to openly break the law.”

According to legal documents, Chansley told pretrial services he used marijuana three times a week and used no other drugs. Yet, Chansley reportedly said he used psychoactive substances and mushrooms as part of his “shamanistic practice” on his podcast.

Lamberth also rejected Chansley’s pretrial release motion claim that COVID-19 restrictions have made “meaningful, unmonitored” consultation with his lawyer “impossible.”

The judge said the issue is not that Watkins is unable to meet with his client, but that when he does, he “squanders” the time focusing on media and interview preparation.

“Such media appearances are undoubtedly conducive to defense counsel’s fame,” Lamberth wrote. “But they are not at all conducive to an argument that the only way defense counsel could privately communicate with his client is if defendant were temporarily released.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Lauren Boebert, who once expressed support for QAnon, accused Democrats of being ‘obsessed with conspiracy theories’

lauren boebert
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) attends the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert told Fox News that the Democrats are “obsessed with conspiracy theories.”
  • Boebert was complaining about the heightened security measures in the Capitol this week.
  • The congresswoman once said she hopes the QAnon conspiracy theory was real but denied being a follower.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Freshman GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who has previously expressed support for QAnon, accused Democratic of being “obsessed with conspiracy theories.” 

Boebert was speaking to Fox News on Saturday about the ongoing security measures that have been implemented around the Capitol following the insurrection on January 6, which led to five people’s deaths.

This week, measures were ramped up even more amid fears of potential violence from QAnon followers on March 4 – the day they believed would be Former President Trump’s second inauguration. 

“No one on the outside can get into the Capitol, it is only staffers and members of Congress who are allowed at the people’s house,” Boebert said, according to Newsweek. “At our nation’s Capital. This is complete bonkers that we are keeping people out of the US Capitol. There’s clearly not a threat. There was nothing that happened on March 4.”

“The Democrats are obsessed with conspiracy theories and they won’t let them go,” she continued. “We have a border fence around the People’s house, with miles of razor wire. And Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi wants to keep it up.”

Watch the moment below:


Her comments come amid reports that around 4,900 National Guard troops are set to stay in the DC until March 12 because of threats of far-right violence, energized by the QAnon conspiracy theorists.

While a handful of QAnon followers traveled across the country this week in the hope of watching Trump return to power, not much ended up transpiring and DC was largely quiet.

But with swaths of America’s far-right refusing to accept Biden as legitimate president and a hardcore of extremists determined to provoke a violent insurrection, it’s a threat security officials believe is unlikely to recede any time soon. 

Boebert herself has previously expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory but denied that she is a follower of it, the Guardian reported.

“Everything that I’ve heard of Q, I hope that this is real because it only means that America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values,” she said last year, according to the Guardian.

QAnon began in 2017 as an online myth that claimed that the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would soon be arrested, based on an unfounded allegation that she was involved in child sex trafficking. 

The GOP congresswoman has previously also made headlines for being a vocal and provocative defender of gun rights, including the release of an ad where she said she would carry her handgun on the Capitol grounds. She also owns her own restaurant called Shooter’s Grill, where customers can openly carry guns.

Last month, Boebert was criticized by her Democratic colleagues for displaying a gun “shrine” as her Zoom background.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Prominent Georgia family sued their local grocery clerk after she made claims on Facebook about their role in the Capitol riots, report says

capitol police riot
Pro-Trump protestors clash with police during the tally of electoral votes that that would certify Joe Biden as the winner of the U.S. presidential election outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

  • A family is suing a grocery clerk after she posted allegations about their roles in the Capitol riots.
  • Katheryn and Thelma Cagle had helped organize buses from Georgia to DC, according to the Washington Post.
  • Grocery clerk Rayven Goolsby confronted them on Facebook after seeing videos of them at the rally.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

A prominent family in Georgia has sued their local grocery clerk for defamation after she made allegations on social media about their involvement in the Capitol insurrection, according to the Washington Post.

Katheryn Cagle and her mother Thelma Cagle had been part of the “core team” that organized busloads of attendees heading from Georgia to DC for the “March to Save America” protest on January 6, which resulted in a breach of the Capitol building and five people’s deaths.

The Cagle’s are public figures in their local community. Katheryn was the former chairwoman of the Pickens County Georgia Republican Party and her father, William Cagle, served one term on the Pickens County Planning Commission that ended in December.

This is how Rayven Goolsby, who works in a local grocery store, recognized Katheryn and Thelma when they posted their DC rally videos on Facebook.

“I thought Kate Cagle [was] on the planning committee, I hope she doesn’t plan to make a career out of planning riots,” Goolsby allegedly wrote on Facebook, the Post reported. In a separate post, she addressed Thelma directly, writing: “Didn’t you attend the insurrection? I am pretty sure you did.”

In another post, Goolsby also allegedly called William a homophobic “loser,” in reference to previous comments he had made on his Facebook account where he called transgender people “FREAKS” and accused them of being able to “make up their mind where to take a leak,” the Post reported.

The Cagle’s are now suing Goolsby for defamation and libel in superior court in Pickens County, Georgia. Their suit claims that the online posts harm their reputation and unfairly associate them with “patently criminal conduct.”

“Our Clients are aggrieved and that is the reason for the suit. It is our Firm and the Cagle’s desire that we can hopefully resolve this in a mutually beneficial and amicable fashion,” David McDonald told The Post.

Goolsby’s attorney, Andrew Fleischman, argued the family was trying to use the lawsuit as a means to intimidate. He added that Goolsby has public interest on her side.

“We shouldn’t be afraid that criticizing an important person in our community could cost us thousands of dollars,” Fleischman said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump State Department appointee Federico Klein arrested in connection with Capitol riots

Capitol Riot
A photo shared by the FBI, which it says shows Jenny Cudd in the Capitol during the January 6 riot.

  • Federico Klein, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, was arrested in connection with the Capitol riots, Politico reported.
  • Klein is believed to be the first Trump appointee to be charged in connection to the January 6 insurrection.
  • Klein worked on the 2016 Trump campaign and was later appointed to the State Department.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The FBI arrested Federico Klein, a former State Department aide appointed by former President Donald Trump, in connection with the January 6 Capitol riots, Politico reported.

Klein is believed to be the first Trump appointee to be facing charges related to the Capitol insurrection. 

A spokesperson for the FBI told Politico that Klein was taken into custody in Virginia.

This is a developing story…

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Proud Boys leader acquired a lookalike’s passport to possibly flee the country following Capitol attack, court documents say

In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 file photo Ethan Nordean, with backward baseball hat and bullhorn, leads members of the far-right group Proud Boys in marching before the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

One Capitol rioter may have been planning a duplicitous international getaway following the January 6 siege.

Ethan Nordean, a leader in the far-right, white supremacist organization the Proud Boys, obtained a valid US Passport issued to someone who looked like him and kept it near his bed with his wife’s passport, new court documents said. 

In a pre-trial detention filing made on Monday for Nordean, prosecutors detailed the months-long tactical preparations members of the Proud Boys made in advance of the assault on the Capitol Building at the beginning of this year.

Nordean helped plan and fundraise for the group’s role in the Capitol insurrection starting as far back as November 4, the court filing said.

After the Proud Boys’ leader, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested in DC days before the siege, the organization nominated Nordean to take “ultimate leadership” of the group’s activities on the day of the attack and granted him “war powers,” prosecutors said. 

The night before the attack, prosecutors say the Seattle-based leader instructed his fellow Proud Boys to wear dark clothes and avoid the colors typically associated with members of the extremist group.

On the day of the riots, Nordean, dressed in all black and wearing a tactical vest, instructed his fellow members to use encrypted communications and the military-style equipment they had acquired. He then issued specific orders: “Split up into groups, attempt to break into the Capitol building from as many different points as possible, and prevent the Joint Session of Congress from Certifying the Electoral College results,” prosecutors said.

The 30-year-old was arrested weeks later, on February 3, for his role in planning and participating in the deadly attacks. 

But Monday’s court filings reveal new details about Nordean’s pre-siege planning and his post-siege arrest.

Prosecutors allege that law enforcement agents discovered a valid US passport issued to a Nordean lookalike during the execution of a search warrant. Federal agents reportedly found the passport on a dresser on Nordean’s side of the bed in the master bedroom, along with Nordean’s wife’s passport. 

Officials did not find any passport for Nordean during their search.

Prosecutors described the “obvious explanation” for the dubious passport – that Nordean “entertained at least the possibility of traveling on the passport after he led a group of Proud Boys members in the Capitol riot, and after several of the Proud Boys members that followed his lead were arrested by the FBI…”

Instead, Nordean offered his own explanation for the document.

The Proud Boys leader told agents that the passport belonged to his wife’s ex-boyfriend, and that she had kept the document as a “keepsake” after the relationship ended. His wife then allegedly took the keepsake passport with her when she moved into a new home with her husband, Nordean, and she “just happened” to keep the passport with her own passport, “on top of a clothes dresser on [Nordean’s] side of the bed in the master bedroom.” 

Prosecutors argued in the court filing that the anecdote proves Nordean is a serious flight risk and “danger to the community,” and as such, should be detained before his trial.

“As noted previously, should [Nordean] obtain his release and acquire another such passport, it would be exceedingly difficult to catch him and ensure his presence for trial,” the filing said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

FBI pinpoints a single suspect in the death of US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick

brian sicknick capitol police
A U.S. Capitol Police officer stands at the door of the Capitol Rotunda near where the late U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick will lie in honor Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Washington.

  • Federal investigators have a suspect in the killing of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
  • The probe was narrowed after video footage showed the suspect attacking officers with bear spray.
  • The assailant has not yet been publicly named by federal investigators.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The FBI has narrowed in on a suspect in the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, The New York Times reported Friday.

Sicknick was among the Capitol Police officers who defended the US Capitol against a pro-Trump mob on January 6. He succumbed to injuries sustained during the riot a day later, on January 7.

Officials initially said Sicknick was struck by a fire extinguisher, but later said there was no evidence to suggest that he died from blunt force trauma. Federal investigators then launched a probe to look into whether bear spray – a  chemical irritant used by rioters during the insurrection – could instead have played a role in Sicknick’s death.

After questioning dozens of people, investigators zeroed in on a single suspect after a video showed the individual using bear spray on other officers, law enforcement officials told The Times. Another video also showed the suspect discussing plans to assault officers with bear spray, according to one of the officials.

The assailant has not yet been publicly named by federal investigators.

Christina Laury, an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, had previously mentioned that rioters sprayed chemical irritants at officers who were preventing them from entering the Capitol.

“By the time I got there, officers were already getting, you know, sprayed with whatever these individuals had, which I believe they had bear mace, which is literally used for bears,” Laury told WJLA.

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told reporters earlier this month that Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman told him that he “had to breathe a lot of bear spray and tear gas and that he was nauseated” during the insurrection.

Goodman recently received a Congressional Gold Medal for his role in diverting a mob of rioters away from the Senate chamber where lawmakers were taking refuge. He also led Romney away from the crowd that breached the Capitol as he passed him in the hall.

Sicknick was one of three officers who died following the Capitol riots – two other officers died by suicide.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ted Cruz was filmed using his phone while a former police chief testified about violence at the Capitol

ted cruz texas power
Ted Cruz

  • Sen. Ted Cruz was pictured using his phone during Tuesday’s hearing on the Capitol riots.
  • The former chief of Capitol police was giving an account of the violent scenes in the January 6 riot.
  • Cruz was criticized last week for flying to Mexico during deadly storms in Texas.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Sen. Ted Cruz was filmed using his phone during Senate testimony from the former Capitol police chief who said that the riot “constituted the worst attack on law enforcement that I have ever seen.”

The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs and Senates Rules committees on Tuesday heard evidence from current and former police officers into the events surrounding the deadly Washington riot on January 6, when a mob of pro-Trump supporters breached the Capitol building, resulting in at least five deaths.

Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund was one of those who testified into the events surrounding the insurrection at the Capitol building. Sund in his written testimony said that the Capitol insurrection was carried out by “criminals” who “came prepared for war.”

“Based on the intelligence we received, we planned for an increased level of violence at the Capitol,” Sund, who resigned in the wake of the January 6 riot, said at one point in the hearing.

At that point, footage broadcast by C-SPAN cut to Sen. Cruz, who appeared to be typing on his phone.

It was unclear whether or not he was using his phone for purposes related to the hearing. Insider contacted Sen. Cruz’s office but did not receive a response by the time of publication. 

Cruz was at the center of an intense political backlash last week after he flew to Cancun for a vacation during extreme winter storms in Texas which knocked out power for millions across the state. 

Text messages seen by Insider showed Cruz’s wife, Heidi, talking to neighbors about the trip in advance. 

“Anyone can or want to leave for the week? We may go to Cancun, there is a direct flight at 445pm and hotels with capacity. Seriously,” she wrote.

The senator flew back after less than 24 hours and admitted the trip, which he said he had taken at the request of his daughters, had been “a mistake.”

“It was obviously a mistake and in hindsight I wouldn’t have done it,” Cruz said. He added that he had not intended to aggravate “the suffering and hardship other Texans had experienced.”

He also faced intense criticism for helping to push President Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in the run-up to the Capitol riot. 

Cruz had spoken on the Senate floor to call for an audit of November’s presidential election just hours before hundreds of Trump supporters breached the Capitol, prompting his communications director to resign.

Several Democratic lawmakers called at the time for Sen. Cruz to resign, including Sens. Patty Murray, Chris Coons, Sherrod Brown, and Sheldon Whitehouse.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump’s pardon of Lil’ Wayne said to be the breaking point for QAnon Shaman in new court documents filled with bizarre anecdotes

qanon shaman jacob chansley jake angeli capitol riot
Jacob Chansley screams “Freedom” inside the Senate chamber after the U.S. Capitol was breached by a mob during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump.

  • The QAnon Shaman is requesting pretrial release after weeks in solitary confinement, court records say.
  • Counsel for Jacob Chansley says he’s had “significant” digestive tract issues since being jailed.
  • The pretrial release motion is transparent in its blame of former President Donald Trump. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The QAnon Shaman is a published author. You can buy his books on Amazon. 

The QAnon Shaman has been known to “capture and release” insects rather than kill them.

And the QAnon Shaman reflected on his life choices when former President Donald Trump pardoned rapper Lil’ Wayne at the end of his presidency last month. 

These bizarre anecdotes are found in new court documents filed by counsel for the QAnon Shaman – also known as Jacob Anthony Chansley – on Tuesday, in which his lawyer seeks a pretrial release for his now-infamous client. 

Adorned with horns, a headdress, and face paint, Chansley quickly became one of the most recognizable rioters at the January 6 Capitol insurrection, photographed with his bullhorn and flagpole in various locations throughout the building that day.

He was arrested days later in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, and charged with two felonies and four misdemeanors related to his role in the deadly attack. While many of his fellow rioters have been granted pretrial release, Chansley has remained in federal facilities since his arrest on January 9, court records say.

COVID-19 restrictions have relegated Chansley to solitary confinement for the entirety of his detainment, according to his lawyer, Al Watkins.

Earlier this month, he made headlines yet again when his attorney announced Chansley had lost 20 pounds and hadn’t eaten in a week because his religious beliefs prohibited him from eating non-organic food, and organic food wasn’t being served in jail.

In a video court hearing, Chansley told a judge that his body suffers when he eats food that is not “made by God.” 

A federal judge eventually ordered the Washington, DC, jail to feed Chansley an organic diet.

But even with the accommodations, Chansley’s attorney said in the court documents filed Tuesday that his client has continued to suffer “significant” digestive tract issues for which medical counsel has been sought, though he noted that Chansley is appreciative of efforts being made to try and meet his dietary needs.

Chansley’s “longstanding status as a practicing shaman” also precludes him from receiving any vaccinations, including the COVID-19 shot, documents say, and the pandemic has made “meaningful, unmonitored” communication between Chansley and his counsel nearly “impossible.”

Watkins writes in the motion that these facts alone should make Chansley eligible for temporary release, though the attorney offered additional arguments, emphasizing Chansley’s cooperation during the initial investigation.

According to court documents, Chansley returned home to Phoenix following the riot on January 7 and was advised that the FBI wanted to talk to him. Watkins said Chansley was “immediately and fully forthcoming” and identified himself in pictures from the riot.

Chansley continued to speak “openly and honestly” and even allowed officials to inspect his car which, at the time, housed his horns, court records say.

“He did so possessed of the genuine belief he had done nothing wrong,” Watkins writes.

During Chansley’s detention hearing, officials reportedly argued he was dangerous, highlighting his use of the “spear” he was seen holding in photos from the insurrection.  

The court documents spend a considerable amount of space detailing the government’s “mischaracterization” of the “flagpole” Chansley was holding as a “spear.” Counsel argues the flagpole Chansley carried was adorned with a “finial” – an ornament at the top – which “dates back to Native Americans, a fact consistent with the Shamanic faith of the Defendant.”

q shaman qanon viking

Later in the motion, Watkins argues that similar flagpoles exist in government buildings around the country which “gives rise to the inevitable conclusion that the Government must not be too concerned that a member of the public will use the flagpole…as a weapon, otherwise they would not employ same (sic) across the country in Federal Government Buildings.”

In the weeks since the insurrection, Chansley has been one of the most outspoken critics of former President Donald Trump, and the release motion is transparent in blaming Trump for inciting the mob.

Chansley offered twice to testify against the former president during his impeachment trial.

“But for the actions and the words of the president, [Chansley] would not have appeared in Washington, DC to support the president, and, but for the specific words of the then-president during his January 6 2021 speech, the Defendant would not have walked down Pennsylvania Avenue and would not have gone into the US Capitol building,” the motion reads.

Some additional findings in the 74-page pretrial release motion

  • Chansley asked then-President Trump for a presidential pardon multiple times but was ultimately not granted one. When the former president pardoned rapper Lil’ Wayne, “the Defendant was compelled to reconcile his prior faith in former President Trump with the actions and words of President Trump.”
  • Court records say Chansley’s counsel reached out to then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to obtain the pardon.
  • Chansley has published two books (his counsel includes the Amazon information pages of the two works as case evidence) and his lawyer described them as “one fiction and one being what might best be described as misguided musings.”
  • Chansley left a note for Vice President Mike Pence while in the Capitol building, writing “it’s only a matter of time justice is coming.” His counsel argues those words came directly from Trump and were in no way meant as a threat to Pence by Chansley.
  • In the interest of full disclosure, Chansley wanted it noted that he received a speeding ticket somewhere in the state of Oklahoma on his return trip from the riots but has thus far been unable to address it “by virtue of his incarceration.”
Read the original article on Business Insider

Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund reveals he never saw an FBI warning about the deadly January 6 attack

Steven Sund
Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testifies before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs & Senate Rules and Administration joint hearing on Capitol Hill, Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, to examine the January 6th attack on the Capitol

  • A former Capitol Police leader said he didn’t see a January 5 FBI warning about violence at the Capitol.
  • “I actually just in the last 24 hours was informed” that the Capitol police got the report, Sund testified. 
  • Sund emphasized that the intelligence came in the form of unverified “raw data” from social media.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testified that neither he nor any law enforcement leaders received a January 5 warning from the FBI detailing possible violence at the Capitol.

The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs and Senate Rules Committees are holding a crucial joint public hearing on the January 6 capitol riots with some of the key figures involved. 

In addition to Sund, acting Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee, former Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger, and former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving all testified publicly for the first time on the day’s deadly events.

In a question to Sund, Sen. Amy Klobuchar noted that the Norfolk branch of the FBI had issued a threat report on Jan 5. “that detailed specific calls for violence online in connection with January 6, including that protesters ‘be ready to fight’ and ‘go there ready for war.'” 

“When a critical intelligence report is received by the Capitol police from an intelligence community source like the FBI, who usually would see it? Did you see it?” Klobuchar asked. 

“I actually just in the last 24 hours was informed by the department that they actually had received that report, it was received by one of our sworn members assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is a task force with the FBI. They received it on the evening of the 5th, reviewed it, and forwarded it to an official at the intelligence division over at US Capitol Police headquarters.”

“And so you hadn’t seen it yourself?”, Klobuchar asked.

“No ma’am, it did not go any further than that,” Sund answered, adding that he doesn’t believe it went any further at the intelligence division at Capitol police. 

Sen. Gary Peters, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said he was “struck” that the leadership of the Capitol police did not receive the FBI report, asking Sund, “How can that happen? How did you not get that vital intelligence on the eve of a major event?”

“I know that’s something that’s going to be looked at, and I think that information would have been helpful to be aware of,” Sund said.

“Looking at the information for the first time yesterday, it is strictly raw data, it’s raw intelligence information that has come in, seen on a social media post,” Sund told Peters. “Lots of people post things on social media that need to be corroborated and confirmed, so again, it’s coming in as raw data, so keep that in mind, but I agree that’s something we need to look at.” 

Both Stenger and Irving also told Klobuchar that they did not receive the FBI warning. 

Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada also pressed Contee on the FBI information shared with the MPD and why it didn’t get up the chain of command. 

“What the FBI sent on January 5 was in the form of an email,” Contee said. “I would certainly think that something as violent as an insurrection on the Capitol would warrant a phone call or something. But as Chief Sund mentioned earlier, the information that was sent was uncorroborated, it was raw information that we had and we received through the same [Joint Task Force]. That information was not fully vetted and not been sent up the chains of the Metropolitan Police Department.” 

Expanded Coverage Module: capitol-siege-module

Read the original article on Business Insider