The Oath Keepers: What the Indictment Says and Does Not Say About the January 6 Riot

The indictment of eleven individuals associated with the “Oath Keepers” produced an immediate deluge of the postings that an insurrection had finally been established on the January 6th attack at the Capitol. The charges do not establish an insurrection. It does reveal how extremist groups show the protest as an opportunity and hoped that it might trigger greater unrest. However, the indictment does not offer the long-sought proof of an insurrection to fulfill the narrative of many commentators and politicians. While I would not be surprised by additional charges against other co-conspirators and more details could emerge, the indictment does not support the prior allegations of a coordination or collusion with the Trump campaign. Here is a first take on what the indictment says and does not say.

Is this the Insurrection?

Before addressing the details of the indictment, it is important to state the obvious about this indictment and how it is already being spun as proof of an insurrection. It is not.  These are charges of seditious conspiracy based on efforts to disrupt the proceedings. There was discussion among some of the defendants about the prospects of civil war, particularly after January 6th. However, the charge itself is much broader.

The provision in 18 U.S.C. 2384 has long been controversial because it is so sweeping and includes any effort “by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law”:

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

When most of us discussed the riot previously, we noted that there were people who clearly came to the Hill that day to commit violent acts and interrupt the legislative process. Indeed, most of us predicted that a small group of people would receive the more serious charges.

I have never had much sympathy for those who rioted or those who recklessly fueled such anger. Saying that this was not an insurrection does not mean that this was not a desecration of our constitutional process and values. I publicly condemned Trump’s speech while it was being given and I called for a bipartisan vote of censure over his responsibility in the riots.

The charging of a relatively small number of extremists in this large protest belies rather than supports the broader allegations of an actual insurrection. This remains a protest that became a riot — a view shared by the vast majority of the public. Over seven hundred people have been charged and most face relatively minor charges of trespass and unlawful entry. The fact that there were a small number of people intent on violence does not convert the intent or actions of the thousands in the protest into an insurrection.

FBI sources previously told the media that, despite months of intense investigation, they could find “scant evidence” of any “organized plot” and instead found that virtually all of the cases are “one-offs.” One agent explained: ”Ninety to 95 percent of these are one-off cases. Then you have 5 percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.”

This is clearly part of that five percent that the FBI and most of us have been discussing. Their views or intentions do not convert hundreds of defendants from trespassers into insurrectionists.

The same is true for rioters in prior summers. We have seen anarchist and extremist groups like Antifa come to protests to fuel violence. This small number of individuals often discuss (as did these defendants) a desire to see an overthrow of the government. They tried to further such objectives by burning police stations and trying repeatedly to burn down a federal courthouse. However, their intentions did not convert the thousands of other protesters into rioters or insurrectionists. Even these extremist groups have not been called domestic terrorists or seditionists by the media or Democratic politicians.

The Indictment and Likely Trial Issues

The indictment itself details the same extremist rhetoric and calls that we have seen from extremist groups on both the left and right in past years. It is an unsettling part of this age of rage. The defendants adopted pseudo military jargon and beat their chests about the coming civil war. It is important not to dismiss the danger that such groups pose. They come across at points as clowns but this is why clowns can be so scary. They are clowns who openly discussed storing weapons and fostering a civil war. The indictment details evidence that most of these men entered the Capitol and encouraged the rioting. Most of the charges are similar to those in other cases in that respect and seem well-based.

It is really the first charge that has drawn the most attention and is likely to draw the most litigation.  However, as discussed above, keep in mind that a conspiracy requires only two people to conspire by force to hinder the execution of any law.

Nevertheless, the Justice Department works hard to reinforce the view of this group as launching a military attack, using their own military jargon. It divides the group into “stacks” that “marched” on the Capitol.

Thus, Stack 2 (composed of just three people) is described as not walking but marching around the crowded grounds: “[Stack Two] breached the Capitol grounds, marching from the west side to the east side of the Capitol building and up the east stairs.”

The defense is likely to question these characterizations in pre-trial motions. Each “stack” was composed of a handful of people. Stack 1 was composed of Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins, Jospeh Hasckett, and David Moerschel. Stack 2 was composed of just Joshua James and Robero Minuta. Then there is the ominous sounding “Quick Reaction Force,” which the indictment said was composed of only Thomas Caldwell and Edward Vallejo.

The indictment is strong on detailing the alleged violent rhetoric and machinations of the defendants. It shows men who speak of civil war and actively acquire weapons in the anticipation that they might be used.

However, as a criminal defense attorney, there are some gaps and disconnects that I expect could cause difficulties at trial on the sedition conspiracy charge. (The rest of the charges will be more difficult to contest on things like obstructing an official proceeding).

These are eleven people who were not armed with guns and some apparently never entered the Capitol. While the Justice Department discussed plans for river landings and arsenals of weapons and forces held in reserve, the individuals in Stack 2 were equipped with:

“battle apparel and gear, including hard-knuckle tactical gloves, tactical vests, ballistic goggles, radios, chemical sprays, a paracord attachment, fatigues, goggles, scissors, a large stick, and one of the Stack Two member’s 82-pound German Shepherd named ‘Warrior.’”

That is undistinguishable (and in some cases less lethal) than material seized from Antifa, Proud Boys, and other rioters in prior summers.  Despite buying and storing weapons, they did not bring them to the Hill, did not use them, and left the Hill with many others. Only one, Joshua James, is charged with the broad offense of “assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers.” (Count 8). The rest are charged with the common crimes of trespass, obstruction, and unlawful entry.

The indictment details discussions of a civil war after the riot. On January 12, 2021, James messages “after this, … if nothing happens, its war … Civil War 2.0.” There was no apparent follow through after January 6th with an actual attack or rebellion against the government.

 The indictment also does not allege the broader conspiracy often raised by politicians and pundits. The defendants themselves appeared to acknowledge that they were acting without coordination with the Administration or President Trump. Rhodes messages “All I see Trump doing is complaining. I see no intent by him to do anything. So the Patriots are taking it into their own hands. They’ve had enough.”

There may be more charges coming given the references to unnamed “co-conspirators.” For example, on page 18, Watkins is quoted in discussions with someone who is only referenced as a “co-conspirator.” It is not clear if that person is a cooperating witness or a soon-to-be-charged defendant.

There are other glaring issues for defense counsel, including the possibility that a couple of the defendants did not even participate in the actual riot at the Capitol building. That does not mean that they cannot be guilty of a conspiracy but it contradicts earlier published accounts.

The government, for example, previously held Caldwell as a key organizer of the attack and claimed that he entered the Capitol with his co-conspirators.  The indictment, however, omits that allegation and now lists Caldwell with the two-man “Quick Reaction Force.” A federal judge ultimately refused to continue to hold Caldwell over the objections of the Justice Department.

Those issues will have to be hashed out in the forthcoming criminal indictments. After such charges are brought, defendants are under overwhelming pressure to cooperate and reach a plea deal. We will have to see if that proves the case here or with any additional indictments.

Conversely, these defendants will be able to demand exculpatory evidence from the government. Indictments always look more ominous before they are subject to adversarial challenge. However, it will be difficult to rebut some of these charges on obstructing the process or damaging government property. It will be the seditious conspiracy count that will produce the greatest factual and legal challenges in the months to come.

Here is the indictment: Rhodes et al indictment

 

272 thoughts on “The Oath Keepers: What the Indictment Says and Does Not Say About the January 6 Riot”

    1. Young, I agree on your assessment of the inconsistency of the Supreme Court ruling. It’s not the first time that Roberts has split the baby in half. Sometimes half a loaf is not better than none.

    2. The linked article is pretty good, but the dissents did not touch on the argument that the vaccine mandate was arbitrary and capricious. Instead the dissents made two main points:

      1. Even if the statute authorised the agency to establish conditions in covered facilities to ensure the health of patients, it did not clearly and specifically authorise it to impose universal vaccination of staff as one of them. The majority did not think a clear authorisation of this specific condition was required, essentially concluding that the power of the agency to impose conditions to ensure the health of patients was not limited by the statute, so couldn’t be by the court.

      2. There was no justification for departing from the normal practice of notice and comment when the agency adopted the rule. The majority accepted the agency’s view that it needed to act more quickly than this would have allowed.

      Having concluded that the agency was authorised to mandate vaccination, the majority did not consider at length the quality of the reasoning the agency used to do so, concluding without analysis that it was within the “zone of reasonableness” and so not arbitrary or capricious. The dissents did not address this issue at all.

      On the whole, I think the dissents had the stronger arguments. And neither the majority nor the dissents did justice to the contention that imposing the mandate was arbitrary and capricious. This point is now even more significant as Omicron has become dominant, since vaccines are less effective in stopping its spread than they were with regard to Delta.

      But this was a much closer case than the OSHA mandates, since the statute does appear to authorise the agency to impose conditions on facilities to ensure the health of patients, and vaccinating staff arguably does that, at least to a limited extent. While it is disappointing that Roberts and Kavanaugh decided as they did, they appear to have had a basis, thin though it might be, for distinguishing this case from OSHA. In the end I think what caused them to come out as they did was their desire to be seen as “judicial statesmen”.

      1. “In the end I think what caused them to come out as they did was their desire to be seen as “judicial statesmen”.”

        If so, they tried to be “judicial statesmen” in the wrong fashion.

        If you wish, perhaps you can tell us what type of law you practiced.

          1. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I have known American attorneys that represented their clients and needed to live in the country they were doing business with. The one’s I met had very lucrative jobs. It sounds interesting.

              1. Daniel, that means you have a way to compare London, Moscow and wherever you live in the US. I’ve never been to Moscow, but was in St. Petersburg. That was enough for me. Nice piece of real estate, but poorly managed.

  1. Still waiting for the investigation into why Pelosi rejected the deployment of National Guard troops — a deployment that would have stopped the “insurrection” in its tracks.

    1. I absolutely have no problem investigating why the National Guard was not deployed. What’s more, unlike lying Trumpists, I won’t call a duly authorized investigation a “witch-hunt.”

      1. “What’s more, unlike lying Trumpists, I won’t call a duly authorized investigation a “witch-hunt.””

        The problem is when “duly authorized investigations” only go after folks on one side of the political isle. Remember the Kavanaugh hearings? Why weren’t any of those Handmaidens, the ones who disrupted the proceedings, charged with “seditious conspiracy” for trying to “prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law”? Similarly, why not the people who firebombed federal buildings in Portland, and the people who were so aggressive in DC that Trump had to be rushed to a bunker?

        It is the unequal application of the law that makes it a witch hunt. Or so I’d argue.

        1. Brian,

          Don’t take my word for it. Turley never undermines the rule of law by calling legitimate investigations “witch-hunts.” That is a Trumpist smear which serious academics eschew.

          1. Jeff,

            I will repeat myself: a duly authorized investigation is a witch hunt IF only “duly authorized investigations” are launched into one political viewpoint. You can prove me wrong by pointing to any people who assaulted Portland police, the Federal courthouse there, the Molotov cocktail throwers in Minneapolis, the rioters who attacked police and forced Trump to take cover in a bunker or the Handmaidens who upset the Kavanaugh hearings have been charged with “seditious conspiracy.”

            The process has been weaponized, to the advantage of the political left and the disadvantage of the political right.

            And the process is the punishment.

            1. Brian,

              Investigating someone on account of his political beliefs or race is *persecution.* The Jews were singled-out and harassed. That is persecution.

              A *witch-hunt* is different. As you know people used to believe in literal witches (religious people today may still do because they believe in evil incarnate). Rational people nowadays don’t. To call an investigation a “witch-hunt” is to claim that the investigator is hunting for something he knows does not exist. His investigation, therefore, is a sham made in bad faith just to harass his victim.

              While Turley was not as confident as many that the Mueller investigation would prove criminality on the part of Trump, he did *approve* of the investigation:

              https://jonathanturley.org/2017/07/20/trump-i-would-not-have-appointed-sessions-if-i-knew-he-would-recuse-himself-from-russian-investigation/

              Not a witch-hunt! You may be correct that the Trumpists who defiled the Capitol are being singled-out and persecuted. I don’t know enough about the summer riots to judge whether the seditious conspiracy law would apply to their rioting.

              1. Jeff, I see it this way.

                1. The witch hunt begins with a belief . . . historically, that there were witches to be persecuted.
                2. The “belief” was not be based on the fact of actual witch-existence. The belief was superstition borne of fear (or hate).
                3. That belief was originally used as a pretext to hunt for “witches.”
                4. The fact of the belief-based hunt for “witches” is so ubiquitous throughout history and across cultures that the term “witch hunt” has broadened to encompass any systematic hunt for scapegoats for persecution, said scapegoats being largely defined by myth, lies, false perceptions or deliberately exaggerated perceptions in a process reminiscent of “confirmation bias.”
                5. Once the “witch hunt” has, through its beliefs, selected its victims and the victims are hunted down, they are persecuted.
                6. Thus, the “witch hunt” identifies the supposed characteristics of the victims and hunts them down, and the persecution of the victims is the result of the witch hunt, not the process of the witch hunt.

                1. Brian,

                  I agree with 1 and 2. I don’t agree with 3. Historically, the belief in witches was authentic- not a pretext for a hunt. Thanks to modern science, only people of faith may still believe in such superstitions. Nowadays, therefore, to call an investigation a “witch-hunt” is to assert that it is made in bad faith because the investigation is looking for something that is known not to exist!

                  No doubt, persecuted people are particularly vulnerable to witch-hunts. Take, for example, the Dreyfus Affair. Jews had been persecuted in France long before this witch-hunt for a traitor the military knew not to be Captain Dreyfus. Scapegoating Dreyfus was accepted by the French on account of historic anti-semitism. Fortunately, he was exonerated in the end.

                  The Mueller investigation was not a witch-hunt, and Trump was not exonerated.

                  1. “The Mueller investigation was not a witch-hunt, and Trump was not exonerated.“

                    You also believe the Steele Dossier was true and you are unable to deal with the facts. That is OK. We understand. You have your limitations and do better when you don’t have to deal with facts.

                    Keep reading the comic books and stay happy.

          2. Your leftist friends and media use witch-hunt type of words all the time. In fact they lie to create circumstances where the words could be used.

            Tell us what better word could be used for an investigation of a person based on a known lie.

      1. From the link:
        No. The D.C. National Guard is controlled solely by the President and is sometimes delegated to the Secretary of Defense or Secretary of the Army.

        That’s a lie. Proof that its a lie is President Trump could not order the National Guard up in June 2020. He wanted to, but has to be asked by the DC Mayor.

        On Jan 6 President Trump again offered up the DC Guard for security. In DC That offer was refused

        The Mayor controls the city

        The Capital is run by the Capital Architect, and the Sargent at Arms for the Capitol. Final say rotates between the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority leader. Jan 6th was Pelosi. Pelosi would have had to approve the request, or she had the power to make the request without the Architect and Sargent at Arms.
        Pelosi never requested or rejected the request.

        While there is no doubt the President is Commander and Chief of the Military, protocol has always been the President always waits for a request. It it were up to President Trump, he would have activated the NG during the summer of love, and shut down the riots and destruction in Democrat controlled cities. But he lacked the power.

        1. Pelosi din’t have to make the request, CapitolPolice Chief Stephen Sund made five separate requests but was either denied or delayed. Other people including Mike Pence called in vain for immediate response from the National Guard. Other states like Maryland begged for permission to help out, whatever the reason for the delay, it wasn’t about Pelosi or that nobody made a request.

          https://www.npr.org/local/305/2021/01/12/955707097/your-questions-about-how-the-national-guard-works-in-d-c-answered

          1. Enigma, Pelosi could clear most of this up if she permitted a release of the communications of her, the sergeant at arms and the Capital police.

          2. “Pelosi din’t have to make the request . . .”

            You’re right. She merely has to approve it.

            More importantly, you still don’t know what you’re talking about.

            The CHP Chief cannot by himself authorize the DC National Guard to be deployed at the *Capitol Building*. His request has to be approved by his superior, the House Sergeant at Arms — who answers to Pelosi.

            Try as you might to evade it, the fact remains: The security failure at the Capitol Building is squarely on Pelosi’s shoulders.

          3. Pelosi din’t have to make the request, Capital Police Chief Stephen Sund made five separate requests but was either denied or delayed.

            This is were you get into trouble. The chief of police would have to go through the chain of command and ask the Mayor. There is no evidence of this happening. Nothing in your link makes this claim.

            As I factually laid out in my earlier comment, DC is a tricky situation, since it lacks enumerated powers of States. But it is navigated by the insertion of Congressional leadership, because using military in DC is mired in political dangers. The DC Mayor can make a request to the President, but politics suggests getting Congressional leadership approval.
            The Capital Grounds are not controlled by the DC Mayor.
            The Capital Architect, and the Sargent at Arms together make the day to day rules, and set procedures. These MUST be approved by The Speaker of the House, or Majority Leader of the Senate. The chain of command ends at political (This rotates on a schedule)

            In short the President is CIC of all military. But, The Constitution via Federalism limits the use of NG because of States Rights. That is how States prevented President Trump from sending the NG into Portland.

            Your NPR article spoke in broad generalities and never got down to specifics.

            1. Iowan, you have detailed the chain of events to call the National Guard out. We have heard from many different people what their responsibilities were and what they did. The one we haven’t heard from is Nancy Pelosi, who had control over those who were part of the chain of command to call in the National Guard.

              Why haven’t all of Pelosi’s communications with the various people been released? They have nothing to do with our national security, but they can reveal the failures. Pelosi must be considered guilty unless she permits the release of all the documents. That is part of a Jan 6 investigation.

            2. The CAPITOL Cheif doesn’t have to talk to the mayor who is nowhere in his chain of command. The Mayor cannot request National Guard for federal property. The Capitol Police can’t request it for the city. Pelosi is nowhere in the chain which leads one to wonder why McCarthy is saying so. Perhaps because he doesn’t want to answer the questions he was being asked about his conversations with the President in real time.

          4. “CapitolPolice Chief Stephen Sund made five separate requests”

            That is why the communications between Pelosi and the Capitol police, etc. need to be released. Pelosi was in charge of the Capitol Police.

      2. “Pelosi has no control or involvement in deploying the National Guard. None.”

        You don’t know what you’re talking about.

        The *DC* National Guard’s controlling authorities are clearly spelled out. When deployed in DC, one of the controlling authorities is the DC mayor (Bowser). When deployed at the Capitol Building (e.g., for Jan. 6), an additional controlling authority is the CHP, who are overseen by the House Sergeant at Arms (the chief law enforcement officer for the Capitol). The Sergeant at Arms answers to Pelosi.

        If Pelosi refuses to authorize the deployment of the DC National Guard at the *Capitol Building*, then they are not deployed. She refused to authorize their deployment. Why?

    2. Sam, questions relating to Ms. Pelosi’s decision-making process remain unanswered. Her communications with the House Sargeant at Arms are under wraps. Then, when you factor in her control over composition of the committee assigned to investigate the events of January 6, 2020, it begins to look like a set-up. Ms. Pelosi’s recent statement that “we’ve got to keep the narrative going” seems to suggest that she prefers selective disclosure to full disclosure of the facts.

      1. “. . . it begins to look like a set-up . . .”

        It was a set up as soon as Pelosi announced the formation of that kangaroo committee. Since the day Trump became the R frontrunner, the D’s strategy has been: Get Trump. By any means necessary.

        These days, the D’s entire strategy for “winning” elections is to criminalize their political opposition. Their current slimy tactic is a smear campaign: “domestic terrorists.”

      2. The Jan 6 committee has wide ranging powers to investigate. Only one small carve out was created. The only area barred from the investigation, is the Speaker of the House. Strange considering the Speakers total power surrounding the Capital security.

  2. Lots of talk about organizations such as the Proud Boys. Joe Biden has undeniably become an ANTIFA Proud Boy. Kamala Harris has become an ANTIFA Proud Girl. Kamala said that the riots in Seattle should continue. Remember, she instituted a GoFundMe page to bail ANTIFA out of jail in Seattle. She didn’t do anything with out the approval of Joe Biden and the leadership of the Democratic Party. January 6 is just an attempt to deflect from the insurrection of the Democratic party through the use of a phony dossier manufactured by the Clinton campaign. Dirty tricks happen in a campaign but seldom continue after an election. The Democratic insurrection continued in its attempt to unseat the elected leader for the next four years and every sleazy tactic they could find was implemented. Now the ANTIFA Proud Boy and ANTIFA Proud Girl sit in The White House. We should make no physical attempt to remove them from office but at every possible occasion we should point out who they really are. Don’t forget Proud Girl Nancy.

    1. You sure you have thought this through? When I read Turley’s articles, I don’t get a sense that he thinks like you at all. Why do you think he doesn’t?

      1. JeffSilberman, in many instances the good Professor and I are in agreement. Beginning with the phony dossier. He and I have disagreed on the ACLU. The professor is late to the ACLU party. Obviously he and I do not agree on all issues but we do agree on many. Does the Professor agree with me when I agree with him. You should explain your opposite position from the Democrats on the supposed insurrection. Does the Professor more often agree with me or with you? An argument with some strength would be appreciated in order to perhaps change my mind. Finding you defending the Professor is indeed a big foot moment.

        1. Thinkitthrough,

          You have not been paying much attention to me if you don’t know by now that I praise Turley for not being a lying Trumpist. He never lies by calling investigations into Trump “witch-hunts,” or “hoaxes.” He has never lied by calling the MSM “fake news.”
          And he is on the record debasing Trump as a “carnival snake charmer.” So, it is fair to call him a Never Trumper.

          Furthermore, I agree with Turley’s criticism of the advocacy journalism by the MSM. What I object to is his abject hypocrisy in ignoring WORSE advocacy journalism at his employer Fox News. He won’t even criticize Newsmax or One America News even though they criticize Fox.

          Finally, as will become more evident in the weeks to come if and when Trump is indicted, Turley will not agree with those Trumpists calling such prosecutions “persecutions.” Like me, he will defend the rule of law and, unlike Trumpists, he will not call a jury’s conviction of Trump a “sham.”

  3. This was not an insurrection, not even close, and the vast majority of us agree. If the Dems keep pushing their nonsense, they might get to see what real insurrection looks like, and I don’t want that to happen. the American Democratic Party and its stooges have lost their bloody minds, and they seem to be at this point beyond redemption or course correction. I am simply in awe. We really all need to cease fearing speaking up – in the end, the marginalization that needs to occur is really up to us.

    1. James warns:

      “they might get to see what real insurrection looks like.”

      Tell us what a *real* insurrection would look like. Not only don’t I believe that 1/6 was an insurrection, I don’t believe that Trumpists could do an insurrection even if they tried. I don’t see it happening ever. The Civil War settled that question.

      1. Dear JeffSilberman. I applaud your jumping off of the insurrection train. However, you should be careful that your blue friends who are pushing the insurrection narrative might not invite you over for tea. You could be shunned and your woke credentials might be revoked. They are watching what you write.

        1. I was never on the insurrection train. How could the Trumpists have managed to pull off a genuine insurrection when they couldn’t even lay their hands on the traitor Pence to string him up?

          Lame.

      2. You need to first learn what he said and did before drawing conclusions. You neglect those things, but we are used to it.

  4. Karen warns:

    “No accountability for illegal acts perpetrated by the CIA or FBI. Nothing changes.”

    Sad isn’t it that Turley does not share your paranoid delusions. I told you he would disappoint your expectations. He is a Never Trumper. Always was.

  5. From case law: “An insurrection occurs when a movement acts to overthrow the constituted government and take possession of its inherent powers”

    Still looks like an insurrection to me.

    1. “And take possession of its inherent powers.” Where is that in the indictment?

      Does anyone know how old these defendants are? My impression is that a good number of them are over 60 and perhaps not in the best of health. Hardly typical for the vanguard of a violent coup.

    2. David,

      You are giving these lying Trumpists too much credit. Sure, some in the crowd were a Pence lynch mob if we take them at their word, but the majority were there to party. There was no prospect that these yahoos actually were going to succeed in overthrowing the government.

    3. Benson: “From case law: “An insurrection occurs when a movement acts to overthrow the constituted government and take possession of its inherent powers”

      Still looks like an insurrection to me.

      +++

      I agree. And will add that the insurrection succeeded and put their chosen, demented puppet in the White House.

    1. Ray Epps was engaging in Free Speech. The solution to bad speech is good speech. The government does not criminalize bad speech like Trump’s 1/6 speech which Turley stated was “reckless” and called for his Congressional censure. Let’s censure Epps, not indict him.

  6. The Democrats are trying to convince the country that cameras and an 82-lb German Shepherd posed a serious threat to the greatest military in the world. But the more omninous they can make this circus seem, the less they’ll have to account for the lack of security prior to the riot, and Pelosi’s part in rejecting Trump’s call for National Guard protection. Narrow the focus to a few scapegoats and we won’t ever see the bigger picture the Dems are painting: federal control over all state election laws; delegitimization of the 2022 and the 2024 elections should Republicans win; and the prevention of Trump ever running for office again. Watch the birdie.

    1. Giocon1 says:

      “delegitimization of the 2022 and the 2024 elections should Republicans win”

      People are saying- A LOT of people- are saying that the ONLY way the Republicans take control of the Congress in 2022 is if the Republicans steal the elections.

  7. Out of 700 people arrested and charged, most of which with trespassing and illegally parading, we have these 11.

    We are supposed to believe that 11 people planned to take over the US government with pepper spray and a German Shepherd, and no plan for anything other than entering the Capitol.

    As a dog lover, I am offended at the stupidity of the media to portray this as an insurrection. Poor dog. With how the Democrats have abused power by mistreating those charged for participating in Jan 6th, I hope the dog is OK.

    1. Democrats are the ones who “abused power”? How dim do you have to be to say this? Did you see that the Oath Keepers had stashes of weapons they had amassed in a Comfort Inn in Virginia, waiting for the word to take over our government and install the fat pig you worship as President? They even were planning on using a boat on the Potomac. If taking the Capitol by force to prevent the election winner from taking office is not an insurrection, then what was it? If lying to supporters about a “landslide victory” being “stolen” and then telling them to “fight like hell or you’re not going to have a country any more” isn’t fomenting an insurrection, then what was it? It has been explained to you numerous times that they go after the little fish first, and use the evidence they get from them to go after the big fish. All of the charges and indictments are not filed yet. The issue isn’t the “stupidity of the media”, but because Fox tells you that it is, you buy it.

      1. “Oath Keepers had stashes of weapons they had amassed in a Comfort Inn in Virginia”

        Stashes? LOL. you call guns stashes? Worse would have been armies of black bloq BLM ANTIFA DNC anarchists wielding incendiary devices, molotov cocktails, bombs, explosives, oh wait

        Your President is done. Elections have consequences.

    2. Karen says:

      “We are supposed to believe that 11 people planned to take over the US government with pepper spray and a German Shepherd, and no plan for anything other than entering the Capitol.”

      I agree. No one brings a dog to a proper insurrection.

  8. Think I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. Despicable actions, no problem with legitimate prosecutions. Thinking that the DOJ overcharged here in an attempt to defuse the argument that no one involved was so charged

  9. I will post the most crucial sentence in Turley’s op-ed for those who have difficulty reading. He explains his reasoning in his op-ed.

    “The charges do not establish an insurrection.”

  10. Discussions about a civil war are a red herring.

    I can cite myriad video of anchors on major news media fretting about civil war or using that kind of rhetoric.

    This was a protest that went way too far, until some of them rioted.

    Once again, the media misrepresented what actually happened.

    Note that Democrats refused the National Guard, and fencing to protect federal buildings and blue cities, but all it took was Jan 6th for them to call in the National Guard and erect razor wire. We see who they protect, and it’s not the average citizen at risk in these cities under siege, it’s not the small business owner getting looted, and it’s not the people on the street dealing with out of control crime that resulted from the Democrat-driven defund the police movement.

    1. Karen says:

      “This was a protest that went way too far, until some of them rioted.”

      Turley contradicts you:

      “Saying that this was not an insurrection does not mean that this was not a desecration of our constitutional process and values. I publicly condemned Trump’s speech while it was being given and I called for a bipartisan vote of censure over his responsibility in the riots.”

      Read it and weep.

      1. Karen’s problem is that she thinks she’s an intellectual because she watches Fox news, starry-eyed, and agrees with everything they tell her: “Democrats are bad”; “Democrats told BLM and ANTIFA to riot”; “the mainstream media lie”; Democrats are fascists and racists” “there wasn’t an insurrection–just a protest that got out of control with a few windows getting broken” … the list goes on and on. No matter how many times you point out the fallacies of her arguments, she keeps repeating them, over and over again. She doesn’t even understand what “defund the police” means, which is to re-direct priorities to solve social problems short of spending money on guns, training and tactical weapons to shoot and kill people. She looks for op ed pieces to confirm her beliefs, and then talks about “citing” sources as some sort of proof or validation. She keeps harping on “riots”, but where are there any riots, Karen? Why did people riot? Was it because of the George Floyd murder? How long has it been since there was a “riot”? Karen’s not qualified to “cite” anything, other than the lies she heard on Fox. She’s a disciple, and therefoe, arguing with her is a waste of time.

        1. True, but to her credit, she writes cogently with proper grammar and punctuation which is why I react to her because she is no dolt which is more than I can say for most here.

          Because I monitor the prime time Fox line-up, it is quite evident to me that there is hardly a thought in her mind that was not placed there by Hannity, Carlson or Ingraham. She is a model of Rightwing rage.

  11. “Send lawyers, guns and money! Lord get me outta this!”

    And:
    “I went out with a waitress . That I hardly knew!
    How was I to know.. she was with the Russians too!”

  12. The FBI refused to answer Ted Cruz’s questions as to whether FBI agents or sources were involved in the January 6th riot, committed illegal acts, or incited or urged on illegal acts.

    https://youtu.be/DZQRetozhSY

    I see shades of MK-Ultra and the alleged murder of Dr Frank Olson. No accountability for illegal acts perpetrated by the CIA or FBI.

    Nothing changes.

    1. Karen says:

      “I see shades of MK-Ultra and the alleged murder of Dr Frank Olson.”

      What you are likely experiencing is a hallucinogenic flashback…

    2. The FBI NEVER comments, one way or the other, about any of their activities, because if they started doing this, the first time they refused to comment, people would place meaning into such refusal, which would be taken as a tacit admission. Refusal to comment has been SOP for many years with the FBI. There’s no evidence that either the CIA or FBI had anything to do with the Trump Insurrection, other than from the lie machine at Fox.

  13. You have to commit arson to be an arsonist.

    You have to loot to be a looter.

    You have to riot to be a rioter.

    If all you did was take a selfie, then you were not a rioter. You might have been a trespasser. Or you might have hung out outside the Capitol. But the trend to claim that anyone who even attended the Jan 6 rally was an insurrectionist worthy of firing is not factually based.

    Antifa, on the other hand, coordinates efforts at property destruction and violence to try to force political goals. The entire movement promotes property damage. The reason why the Leftist media and Democrat politicians refuse to condemn Antifa might have more to do with the side of the political aisle they support than the facts of their behavior.

    Domestic Terrorism – per the 2001 USA Patriot Act, defined as acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the US or of any state, appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping, and occur within the territory of the US.

    Property damage alone, including arson, might not rise to the definition of domestic terrorism. Although many people, including cops, have been assaulted and murdered in BLM/Antifa riots, such deaths might be laid at the feet of riots and general lawlessness, and anti-cop brutality, rather than domestic terrorism.

    I am absolutely certain that if Trump supporters engaged in the activity of BLM and Antifa, harassing people in restaurants, burning a police precinct, seizing entire city blocks for an autonomous zone guarded by armed people, and mass looting and arson that gripped the nation for a year, that you would not see this strange reticence to condemn their acts.

    1. Neither Biden nor Pelosi have any control over: 1. whether persons arrested for their conduct on Jan. 6th are allowed bail, and if so, the amount. That decision belongs to the Judge in the jurisdiction where they were arrested and charged, and the Judge considers numerous factors like: a. outstanding arrest warrants; b. prior failures to appear; c. criminal history; d. ties to the community; e. probable flight risk; and other factors; some of them did qualify for bail, but couldn’t raise the money. Not the fault of Biden or Pelosi, neither of whom told any of these people to invade the Capitol, batter the police or smash doors or windows. So, if you want to blame someone for their getting arrested, blame Trump. 2. whether those arrested are allowed contact with other prisoners. That decision belongs exclusively to the person in charge of the jail, usually a warden or Sheriff. Factors considered are risk of injury to themselves or others, propensity for gang violence and other factors. Those responsible for jails have a duty to keep inmates safe from violence, self-inflicted or otherwise.

      So, when your alt-right media source talks about Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden jailing Trump Insurrectionists and putting them in solitary confinement, they are LYING to you. Some of the judges who have denied bail are Trump appointees. And, there was no Trump “inauguration”. He LOST. Fair and square.

  14. I no longer trust the FBI. The selective enforcement of the law makes them an armed division of the Democrat party. These people may be guilty, may be not. When they start enforcing the law against both sides, see Antifa violence in Portland and other places. I’ll take the FBI seriously. Probably not in my lifetime.

      1. I knew you Trumpists would begin to turn on the law. Thankfully, Turley does not share your delusion of a “Deep State.”

        1. The law is bad because Trump broke it and might get criminally charged. The FBI is bad because they have gathered evidence of Trump’s wrongdoing. Democrats are bad because they defeated Trump in 2016 (he lost the popular vote) and 2020, so the election must have been “rigged”. Democrats in Congress are bad because they impeached Trump twice for his conduct, and because the Mueller investigation and the Jan 6th investigation are all a “hoax”, Republicans need not comply with requests to appear or subpoenas. See, everything revolves around that massive, fragile ego. Republicans don’t even have any platform, and didn’t in 2020, either, other than worship of Trump. Name some platform or some agenda. You can’t. They didn’t, and still don’t, have a platform other than bitching about Joe Biden, blaming him for the economic and public health crises caused by Trump’s incomptence, and doing everything to prevent Biden from succeeding as President by voting against everything, including the John Lews Voting Rights Act. But, that doesn’t stop the disciples from worshipping and defending the ReTrumplican Party.

          Here’s food for thought: Hillary Clinton sat for 11 hours of interrogation by Republicans over their phony investigation into Benghazi. She didn’t try to avoid appearing and answered their questions. All a nothingburger. She did nothing wrong. No Republican from Trump’s cabinet has agreed to appear voluntarily for an interview or testimony before Congress. See, everything revolves around that massive, fragile ego, and they know the truth about how he tried to forment a coup after failing in court, failing to bully states and refusing to accept the will of the American people. They know he sat for hours, mesmerized by the adoration of his fawning disciples while Capitol Police Officers were being battered and while they trashed the symbol of our democracy, all while waiving the American flag. But their refusal to cooperate shows their true colors–contempt for Congress and its Constitutional right to investigate such matters as the Jan 6th insurrection, all to protect a lying narcissist who was rejected by the majority of the American voters. But, hey, it’s the Democrats who are the bad guys, so say Hannity and Ingraham, who also played roles in the Trump Insurrection. And, BTW, when Fox is complaining about CNN, consider this: they fired Chris Cuomo for informally advising his brother about sexual harassment allegations, which, incidentally, were dropped. Hannity and Ingraham were actively advising Trump on a regular basis, and they are still on the air. Which network stands for journalistic integrity and neutrality?

          So, you want to know why so many people fear about the future of America? As long as Trump is around and controlling a major political party that has no agenda other than worship of this person who has proven, beyond any doubt, that he is incompetent and vindictive, and while he has media enablers who will lie and protect him, there’s not much hope for the future of democracy.

        2. That is not turning on the law. It is a belief in the rule of law something Democrats have forgotten about.

    1. DRAMA QUEENS RUNNING THE COUNTRY

      What the —- did you think the 19th Amendment was going to engender – abortion, a fertility rate in a “death spiral,” and hysteria and incoherence in governance? Yep!

      Where’s the future in killing your babies and gifting your country to foreigners?

      Why do you suppose the Founders denied the vote to women, slaves and the “poor?”

      They had in mind “keeping,” growing and perpetuating the restricted-vote Republic they established – just ask Ben Franklin.
      _________________________________________________________________________________________________

      “[We gave you] a [restricted-vote] republic, if you can keep it.”

      – Ben Franklin, 1787

      1. I don’t think he has to spell it out for you. The only question is whether Darren will let the gun warning stand to continue to threaten Turley’s “blog family.”

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