Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez condemned critics who accused her of lying about her experience during the Capitol siege

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) leaves the U.S. Capitol after passage of the stimulus bill known as the CARES Act on March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. The stimulus bill is intended to combat the economic effects caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to the House floor on Thursday to condemn those who accused her of lying about her account of the Capitol siege.

The congresswoman also issued a special order to allow her colleagues to share their own accounts of the deadly insurrection that transpired on January 6.

The move followed Ocasio-Cortez sharing her harrowing experience during the insurrection on Instagram Live, saying she thought she was “going to die” as rioters stormed the Capitol building.

“Twenty-nine days ago, on January 6th of 2021, insurrectionists attacked our Capitol, seeking to overturn the results of our nation’s election,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Twenty-nine days ago, the glass in and around this very chamber was shattered by gunshots, clubs, by individuals seeking to restrain and murder members of congress duly elected to carry out the duties of their office.”

“Sadly, less than 29 days later, with little to no accountability for the bloodshed and trauma of the 6th, some are already demanding that we move on, or worse, attempting to minimize, discredit, or belittle the account of survivors,” she added.

 

Ocasio-Cortez, who also revealed during the Instagram Live that she is a survivor of sexual assault, said such rhetoric sends a “tremendously damaging message to survivors of trauma all across this country, that the way to deal with trauma, violence, targeting is to paper it over, minimize it, and move on.”

“Sadly, this is all too often what we hear from survivors of trauma as the reason why they don’t get care,” the congresswoman continued, “that what they experienced wasn’t bad enough or too bad to talk about, or that they are afraid of being invalidated, accused of exaggeration, or making a mountain out of a mole hill.”

“As a result, thousands, if not millions, deny themselves the care that they need and deserve to live better lives.”

Read more: Election-fraud liars are scrambling to avoid lawsuits, but they can’t retract the damage they’ve done

She then announced she was calling a special order to allow her fellow members of Congress to recount their experiences of the Capitol siege and thanked her colleagues “who have bravely come forward today to share their accounts.”

A number of House members stepped forward, including Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, Dean Phillips, and Peter Welch.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who was not present during the siege, also delivered her thoughts on the events that transpired. She was moved to tears when addressing her colleagues, saying that the violent insurrection prompted her to recall when she had received her first death threat on her “very first day of orientation.”

“It was a serious one. The FBI took me aside, they had to go to the gentleman’s home. I didn’t get sworn in yet and someone wanted me dead for just existing,” Tlaib said. “More came later, uglier, more violent. One celebrating in writing the New Zealand massacre and hoping more would come. Another mentioning my dear son Adam, mentioning him by name. Each one paralyzed me each time.”

“So what happened on January 6, all I could do was thank Allah that I wasn’t here. I felt overwhelming relief,” she continued. “And I feel bad for Alexandria and so many of my colleagues that were here. But as I saw it, I thought to myself, ‘Thank God I am not there.'”

 

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Biden ordered a review of domestic extremism in the US after the Capitol siege, but a number of political, legal, and cultural obstacles lie ahead

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President Joe Biden speaks before signing executive orders on his first day in White House on January 21, 2021.

  • President Joe Biden on Friday said several intelligence departments would be working together to assess domestic terrorism. 
  • There have been calls to expand state security in light of the January 6 Capitol siege. 
  • However, those efforts face some legal and cultural obstacles. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Joe Biden ordered several intelligence agencies to review domestic terrorism in the US in the wake of the January 6 Capitol siege, however, his plans face a number of obstacles. 

On Friday, the Biden administration announced that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Department of Homeland Security will work together to create a domestic terrorism threat assessment that could be used to determine policy, the Associated Press reported. 

“The Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we all know: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. 

However, experts have said that Biden could face legal, political, and cultural obstacles. The Washington Post reported that even before the January attack, the FBI had warned about rising domestic terror threats, but critics have accused the agency of being “more primed” to focus on international threats over those at home since the 9/11 attacks.

“We have overlooked, not just over the last four years, but much longer than that some of the extremists within this country,” Sean Joyce, a former FBI special agent who served as deputy director from 2011 to 2013, told The Post. 

Joyce said white supremacists have become a much greater threat than they were as a result.

John Brennan, who served as CIA director and White House homeland security adviser in the Obama administration, told The Post that similar to extremists during 9/11, white supremacists and those who stormed the Capitol have been radicalized through misinformation and “taught” that violence is an acceptable means to get their desired political outcome. 

Read more: Trump didn’t pardon himself. Here’s the massive tsunami of legal peril that now awaits him.

On January 6, Trump supporters breached the Capitol building and clashed with law enforcement, halting a joint session of Congress as lawmakers met to certify Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. The mob was motivated by unproven claims about mass voter fraud spread by Trump. The riot resulted in the deaths of five people. 

There has been no evidence found of widespread voter fraud in the election, and Trump and his Republican allies lost several dozen lawsuits attempting to overturn election results.

While there have been calls to instate new laws that target domestic terrorism, some have expressed opposition, citing concerns that such laws could target minority groups and further erode civil liberties. Rep. Rashida Tlaib is leading a call to not expand the security state.

“The Trump mob’s success in breaching the Capitol was not due to a lack of resources at the disposal of federal law enforcement, and in this moment we must resist the erosion of our civil liberties and Constitutional freedoms, however well-intentioned proposed security reforms may be,” Tlaib, and nine other Democrats, wrote in a letter to Congressional leadership. “We firmly believe that the national security and surveillance powers of the US government are already too broad, undefined, and unaccountable to the people.”

Brennan also told The Post that there may be many legal obstacles in pursuing domestic terrorists.

“How do you uncover these types of incubating threats while at the same time not violating or infringing upon those principles that we’re trying to protect?” Brennan asked. “It was a problem after 9/11. It is even moreso now, because you’re talking about US citizens and persons.”

Read more: Trump’s threat to bolt from the Republican Party could spark a serious legal fight over his ‘gold mine’ list of supporters who have helped fill the GOP coffers with billions of dollars

Additionally, law enforcement cannot surveil citizens based on their political views, even if they are hateful or anti-government. And while federal law defines the concept of domestic terrorism, there isn’t a specific charge for it. 

“We really do want to be very careful about criminalizing ideologies, no mater how poisonous and awful,” David Kris, a former senior Justice Department official, told The Post. “You’re entitled to have an opinion and entitled to express that opinion no matter how noxious. But when you cross the line from having or expressing an ideology to acting on it in ways that are violent, you’ve crossed the line.”

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