The man accused of breaking the window Ashli Babbitt tried to climb through when she was shot during the Capitol insurrection has been arrested

US Capitol riot
Riots at the US Capitol Building.

  • Chad Barrett Jones, 42, of Coxs Creek, Kentucky, was arrested in Louisville on Saturday, the FBI said in a news release.
  • Jones is accused of breaking a window of the Capitol building moments before Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot during the insurrection earlier this month. 
  • He’s facing multiple charges, including assault on a federal officer, destruction of government property, obstruction of justice, unlawful entry on restricted building or grounds, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A Kentucky man who is accused of breaking a window of the Capitol building moments before Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot during the insurrection earlier this month has been arrested.

Chad Barrett Jones, 42, of Coxs Creek, Kentucky, was arrested in Louisville on Saturday and charged with assault on a federal officer, destruction of government property, obstruction of justice, unlawful entry on restricted building or grounds, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, the FBI said in a news release.

According to an FBI charging affidavit, Jones broke a window near the House Speaker’s Lobby that Babbitt tried to climb through as she was fatally shot.

The affidavit cites video from the Washington Post, alleging that Jones can be seen striking a door to the lobby’s glass panels with what appeared to be a wooden flag pole.

The crowd around the man can be heard shouting “Break it down” and “let’s f—— go!” as he struck the glass, the FBI said.

Seconds after the glass panel was broken, Babbitt, 35, was shot by a police officer as she tried to climb through it to enter the lobby.

Babbitt and four others died in the Capitol riot, which was carried out by supporters of President Donald Trump who stormed the building as Congress debated Electoral College votes from the 2020 election won by President-elect Joe Biden.

FBI Special Agent Javier Gonzalez said in the affidavit that a witness identified Jones through a tip to the FBI National Threat Operation Center.

The witness said Jones was a relative who had told him he traveled to Washington DC and had used a flag pole holding a flag supporting Trump to break the Capitol window.

Another person, who identified himself as a friend of Jones, told the FBI that Jones had called him after seeing himself on the news, and called himself an idiot, according to the affidavit.

Jones is scheduled to appear in court on January 19.

Read the original article on Business Insider

‘Cowboys for Trump’ leader detained by FBI after pledging to bring guns to DC

AP20031827217483
Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin speaks Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Santa Fe, N.M., as hundreds of advocates for gun rights rallied at the New Mexico Statehouse against a proposed red-flag gun law that has the support of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

  • Couy Griffin, the founder of “Cowboys for Trump,” was arrested Sunday in Washington, DC, after pledging to bring guns to the city on the day of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
  • Griffin, an ally of President Trump with a history of inflammatory and racist remarks, is an elected Republican county commissioner in New Mexico.
  • The FBI’s Washington Field Office told Insider that Griffin was detained by US Capitol Police due to an arrest warrant over his participation in the January 6 insurrection.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The far-right leader of “Cowboys for Trump” has been arrested in Washington, DC, after last week pledging to bring guns to the nation’s capital on the day of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

In a statement, the FBI’s Washington Field Office told Insider that Couy Griffin, an elected Republican county commissioner in New Mexico, was detained Sunday afternoon by US Capitol Police, who then notified the bureau. Griffin “was the subject of an arrest warrant for his role in the January 6 Capitol riots,” the FBI said.

A criminal complaint, dated January 15, accuses Griffin of entering restricted grounds without lawful authority.

A police affidavit in support of the complaint cites videos posted to Griffin’s Facebook page – since deleted – where he boasts of attending the January 6 insurrection and pledges to return in order to plant a US flag on the desk of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“We could have a 2nd Amendment rally on those same steps that we had that rally [on January 6],” Griffin said in another video. “You know, and if we do, then it’s gonna be a sad day, because there’s gonna be blood running out of that building.”

As Insider reported last week, Griffin reaffirmed his intent to travel again to Washington, DC, for Biden’s inauguration, stating at a January 14 Otero County commissioners hearing that he would be bringing two guns in his car along with him. One, he said, would be placed under the front passenger seat – a violation of DC law, which prohibits keeping any firearm within reach of a vehicle’s occupant.

“I embrace my Second Amendment, I will keep my right to bear arms, my vehicle is an extension of my home in regard to the constitution law, and I have a right to have those firearms in my car,” he asserted. Those remarks are cited in the police affidavit used to request a warrant for his arrest.

Griffin has a history of making inflammatory and racist remarks. Last year, he declared that “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat” in a video that was shared on Twitter by President Donald Trump; he also declared that supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement should “go back to Africa.”

Democrats are calling for him to leave public office.

“I am demanding that Couy Griffin immediately resign from the Otero County Commission or my office will seek his removal,” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said Sunday.

The local Republican Party, for its part, is distancing itself from Griffin.

“Mr. Griffin does not represent The Republican Party of New Mexico nor does he speak for the party,” Mike Curtis, a party spokesperson, told Insider. The state GOP “does not endorse or condone the statements made by [the] Cowboys for Trump founder,” he said, and “condemns violence and any threats of violence against any person or group.”

Griffin could not immediately be reached for comment.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

‘Kill him with his own gun’: DC police officer recounts being attacked by pro-Trump mob at the US Capitol

GettyImages 1230588468
Flowers are placed on a fence, a week after a pro-Trump mob broke into and took over the Capitol, in memory of slain Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick on January 14, 2021, in Washington, DC. – The center of Washington was on lockdown Thursday as more than 20,000 armed National Guard troops were being mobilized due to security concerns ahead of the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden.

  • Michael Fanone, a police officer in Washington, DC, said he was attacked by a pro-Trump mob during the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.
  • Fanone, who suffered a mild heart attack, told The Washington Post that he was dragged down the Capitol steps, shot with a stun gun, and struggled to retain consciousness.
  • “We got one!” Fanone claimed rioters shouted. “Kill him with his own gun!”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The pro-Trump mob that attacked the US Capitol on January 6 killed one police officer, with another committing suicide soon after. But the death toll could have been higher, with one cop telling The Washington Post that the rioters wanted to kill him, too.

“We got one!” Michael Fanone, a DC Metro Police Officer, said the crowd yelled after he was dragged down the steps of the Capitol, hit with a stun gun, and suffered a mild heart attack. “Kill him with his own gun!”

In an interview with The Post published Thursday, Fanone said he rushed to the Capitol after hearing dispatchers declare an emergency.

When he got there, he realized law enforcement was severely outnumbered.

“We were battling 15,000 people,” he said. “It looked like a medieval battle scene.”

According to The Post, Fanone barely survived that battle. One rioter grabbed his helmet and dragged him down the stems where others swarmed over him, attacking Fanone and another officer with metal pipes and a flag pole amid chants of “USA.”

In total, nearly five dozen DC police officers were wounded by rioters during the insurrection, according to The Post.

“They were overthrowing the Capitol, the seat of democracy,” Fanone commented.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

Expanded Coverage Module: capitol-siege-module

Read the original article on Business Insider

National Guard asks people to please stop trying to give it donations, after photos of National Guardsmen sleeping on the floor of the Capitol spread on social media

GettyImages 1230572842
UNITED STATES – JANUARY 13: A member of the National Guard reads Atlas Shrugged in the Capitol Visitor Center as the House debates an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

  • The National Guard said Wednesday that it is not capable of accepting donations.
  • The statement came after some were moved to donate after seeing photos of National Guard members sleeping on the floor of the US Capitol.
  • The National Guard assured the public that its members have proper sleeping quarters.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Members of the US National Guard were seen Wednesday sleeping on the floors of the US Capitol, but that does not mean they lack proper sleeping quarters or otherwise help from members of the public.

“While we appreciate the many offers and people who care about our soldiers and airmen, we are not logistically able to accept donations of any kind,” the National Guard said in a statement.

Thousands of National Guard members are currently in Washington, DC, to prevent a repeat of the January 6 insurrection and any outbreaks of violence during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

In response to news stories about soldiers laying on the floor of the Capitol, some were moved to act, thinking a cold, hard floor was to be their only respite.

Brian Bartlett, a Republican communications strategist, raised more than $3,000 on GoFundMe to buy sleeping pads “so they can get a decent rest as they protect our democracy!”

But the National Guard soon clarified: “please know our National Guardsmen have appropriate lodging for when they are off-duty; the photos circulating are of them on-duty, in a designated rest area between shifts.”

In an update, Bartlett told supporters he would be returning the sleeping pads he purchased “and asking GoFundMe to refund all donations.”

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

Expanded Coverage Module: capitol-siege-module

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump is now more isolated than ever as his administration is in its last gasps, but the wheels of the democracy he sought to destroy keep turning

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump.

  • The violence and disruption that ensued in Washington, DC, on Wednesday was unlike anything seen in modern US history: crowds of people marching through the halls of Congress, waving Trump flags, ransacking lawmakers’ offices, and planting MAGA hats on historic statues.
  • It was, though, in some ways a natural consequence of President Donald Trump’s chaotic four years in office, and a manifestation of his relentless attacks on American democracy.
  • The violence that erupted at the US Capitol was unprecedented and disturbing, but also entirely predictable — and ultimately won’t stop Trump’s term from coming to an end. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

One of the central pillars of American democracy withstood a devastating blow on Wednesday when an angry mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters converged on the Capitol building in Washington, DC, and, in relatively short order, breached its barricades, shattered its windows, and stormed in.

The violence and disruption that ensued was unlike anything seen in modern US history: crowds of people fanning out and marching through the halls of Congress, waving Trump flags, ransacking lawmakers’ offices, and planting MAGA hats on historic statues.

One intruder took a seat at the dais where Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been conducting the business of certifying the electoral votes that will confirm President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the next administration to assume the White House. He stood with a clenched fist, in a stance that’s become common amongst hardcore Trump acolytes. 

The unrest followed a rally at a DC park where thousands of people supporting Trump and his crusade to delegitimize Biden’s victory showed up to hear the president speak. Trump has stubbornly rejected the reality that he lost the election to Biden, and he only leaned further into that rhetoric Wednesday morning, even as the House and Senate prepared to execute their duties under federal law, just two miles away.

Political worlds collide

Lawmakers tasked with counting the electoral votes for each state had only managed to get through two of them, Alabama and Alaska, before a handful of Republicans launched into their planned objections to the states Biden won. But the digression didn’t last long before the Capitol went into lockdown. Secret Service agents swept Pence out of the room; Pelosi, other lawmakers, and congressional aides were rushed away to secure locations.

At least four people died, including a woman who was shot inside the Capitol. Residential neighborhoods surrounding the riot were placed on lockdown. A suspected pipe bomb was found near a building occupied by the Republican National Committee. The DC National Guard was deployed, and National Guard troops from Virginia were sent to help.

In the ensuing hours, the culmination of Trump’s four years in office unfolded in a dramatic, and yet ultimately unsurprising way. Years of the president’s unapologetic rhetorical attacks against democratic institutions and governance were manifested in the explicit and destructive actions of his supporters.

Trump’s Republican colleagues have long tolerated and appeased his bombast in the name of partisan expediency, but after the insurrection on Wednesday, the strong rebukes Trump received from some people within his own party may signal the true end to his grip on power.

A disparate law-enforcement response

The standoff between pro-Trump agitators and police stretched into the night in the District of Columbia, even after a 6 p.m. curfew imposed by Mayor Muriel Bowser went into effect. Protesters lingered and shouted at the police as they moved the crowds away from the Capitol building.

Police said they made at least 30 arrests, according to the Associated Press, prompting comparisons to the law-enforcement response seen months earlier during Black Lives Matter protests where peaceful demonstrators were tear gassed, brutalized, and arrested in far greater numbers.

At the end of the day, the picture was clear. Years of Trump’s allies insisting that his divisive rhetoric be taken seriously but not literally, and the argument that his fiercest supporters are patriots who are simply passionate about America, came unglued. And police did not appear as ready or eager to douse the flames.

World leaders react in dismay, the president punts

Reactions to the unrest on Wednesday were swift, and they stretched far beyond Washington’s political bubble. Top Republicans and Democrats rejected the savagery. Vice President Mike Pence said, “We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms … We grieve the loss of life in these hallowed halls, as well as the injuries suffered by those who defended our Capitol today.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell, once a strong ally to Trump, went further: “The United States Senate will not be intimidated. We will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs, or threats.”

Former President Barack Obama said the violence at the Capitol was “incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election,” calling Trump’s actions “a great dishonor and shame for our nation.” Former President George W. Bush called the insurrection “sickening and disheartening,” and added, “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic.”

Trump’s former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis offered a bleak assessment of the soon-t0-be former president’s future: “Trump will deservedly be left a man without a country,” he said.

World leaders lamented the scenes playing out on screens around the globe. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it “disgraceful.” Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “I think the American democratic institutions are strong, and hopefully everything will return to normal shortly.”

Ireland’s minister for defense and foreign affairs, Simon Coveney, said: “We must call this out for what it is: a deliberate assault on Democracy by a sitting President & his supporters, attempting to overturn a free & fair election.”

In contrast, Trump tweeted hollow pleas for peace to his 88 million-plus followers, asking them to “remain peaceful,” and “respect the law.” The messages were seen as lukewarm, with Trump weaving platitudes like, “We love you,” and “You’re very special” into his remarks.

Members of Trump’s own inner circle publicly urged him to go further, but he resisted, staying true to his refusal to strongly condemn anyone who supports him, even if there is violence and bloodshed. One of the first examples of this came in 2017, in the midst of the deadly Charlottesville riots.

Trump’s former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney pleaded with him on Twitter at the height of Wednesday’s chaos: “The President’s tweet is not enough. He can stop this now and needs to do exactly that. Tell these folks to go home.”

It didn’t work. Trump followed up his Twitter statements with a video that rehashed his lies that he won the 2020 election. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pulled down the president’s video and the social media outlets temporarily locked his accounts.

The wheels of the US government keep turning, but Trump’s future is uncertain

Despite the relentless chipping away of democratic norms during the Trump presidency, the wheels of the US government kept turning, as lawmakers reconvened on the Senate floor late Wednesday night to continue counting electoral votes that will inevitably certify Biden’s clear victory in the presidential election.

But the last two weeks of Trump’s presidency are less clear. Multiple news reports of internal deliberations about how to deal with the outgoing president circulated in the hours following the attempted coup.

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar said she would draw up new articles of impeachment. Rep. Cori Bush called on the House of Representatives to investigate whether lawmakers had “violated their oath of office to uphold the Constitution” and should face sanctions or removal.

And the specter of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office loomed larger than ever, one of the clearest signs yet that Trump is an imminent threat to the country he was elected to lead.

In a presidency that has prided itself in its appetite for chaos, Trump is getting what he wanted, but the long-term damage to America’s standing in the world may be costlier than anyone can quantify.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump’s former White House communications director called on the president to stop his supporters’ siege on the US Capitol: ‘you are the only one they will listen to’

Protestors
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud

  • Alyssa Farah, a former White House official who last year served as communications director, urged President Donald Trump to call his supporters off from their siege of the US Capitol.
  • Pro-Trump demonstrators stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday while members of Congress were discussing the certification of the Electoral College vote.
  • In a tweet, Trump urged his supporters to listen to police officers and told them to “stay peaceful!”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Alyssa Farah, who last year served as the White House director of strategic communications, on Wednesday called for President Donald Trump to tell his supporters who had stormed the US Capitol to stand down.

Lawmakers were meeting Wednesday to discuss the certification of the Electoral College vote, which cemented President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. Because several GOP lawmakers planned to object to the certification, lawmakers were discussing the process when the protesters stormed past police and into the building.

Since the election, Trump has refused to concede the race and encouraged his followers to show up in Washington, DC, on Wednesday for a “Stop the Steal” event. The movement is named for his baseless claims that there was widespread voter fraud that led to Democrats “stealing” the election from him. There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the election.

“STOP THIS NOW,” Farah tweeted. “Capitol Police protect & defend the People’s House. We BACK THE BLUE. This is insanity.

“Condemn this now, @realDonaldTrump – you are the only one they will listen to,” she continued in a separate tweet. “For our country!

In addition to serving as Trump’s communications director from April to December of last year, Farah also previously worked as a press secretary in the Department of Defense and before that, for Vice President Mike Pence, who was present in the Senate Wednesday when it abruptly went into a recess when protesters entered the building.

While the demonstrators ignored the instructions from Capitol Police and sparred with officers as they stormed their way into the building, Trump and Republicans have long claimed to be fierce advocates for police officers, especially amid Democratic lawmaker’s calls for reform last year.

Trump eventually tweeted a plea to his supporters at 3:13 p.m, asking that they remain peaceful following their storming of the building.

“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful,” the president said on Twitter. “No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”

Read the original article on Business Insider