US Capitol riot panel says Trump may have engaged in ‘criminal conspiracy’


Former U.S. President Donald Trump factors out to supporters as he leaves the stage after talking throughout the Conservative Political Motion Convention in Orlando, Florida, on Feb. 26. The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday mentioned former President Donald Trump could have engaged in prison conduct in his bid to overturn his election defeat. (Marco Bello, Reuters)

Estimated learn time: 2-3 minutes

WASHINGTON — The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday mentioned former President Donald Trump could have engaged in prison conduct in his bid to overturn his election defeat.

“(E)vidence and data obtainable to the Committee establishes a good-faith perception that Mr. Trump and others could have engaged in prison and/or fraudulent acts,” the committee mentioned in a courtroom submitting.

“The Choose Committee additionally has a good-faith foundation for concluding that the President and members of his Marketing campaign engaged in a prison conspiracy to defraud the US,” the submitting mentioned.

The courtroom doc was filed in federal courtroom in Los Angeles as a part of the U.S. Home of Consultant Choose Committee’s dispute with John Eastman, a lawyer who suggested Trump on a plan to invalidate election ends in key battleground states.

Eastman sued the committee in December, searching for to dam a congressional subpoena requesting that he flip over 1000’s of emails.

The Choose Committee’s members have mentioned they may contemplate passing alongside proof of prison conduct by Trump to the U.S. Justice Division. Such a transfer, referred to as a prison referral, can be largely symbolic however would improve political stress on Lawyer Common Merrick Garland to cost the previous president.

Representatives of Eastman and Trump didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The committee’s leaders mentioned in a press release that “Eastman’s emails could present that he helped Donald Trump advance a corrupt scheme to hinder the counting of electoral school ballots and a conspiracy to impede the switch of energy.”

Lawyer regulators in California mentioned Tuesday they’ve been investigating Eastman and whether or not he acted unethically in his work for Trump. The investigation might result in disciplinary motion towards Eastman, reminiscent of suspension of his legislation license.

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‘Huge impact’: First January 6 US Capitol riot trial begins | Courts News


The primary trial for one of many a whole bunch of US Capitol riot defendants has begun, with jury choice beginning on Monday for the case in opposition to Man Wesley Reffitt.

The Texas man is charged with bringing a gun onto Capitol grounds, interfering with cops guarding the constructing, and threatening his teenage kids in the event that they reported him to authorities.

Reffitt’s trial might be a bellwether for a lot of different Capitol riot circumstances, authorized consultants have stated. A conviction would give prosecutors extra leverage in plea talks with rioters dealing with essentially the most severe prices. An acquittal might lead others to attend for their very own day in courtroom.

Reffitt “really is the canary within the coal mine,” stated Gregg Sofer, a former federal prosecutor who served as US lawyer for the Western District of Texas from October 2020 to February 2021.

“It’ll actually be fascinating to see how robust a case the federal government has and whether or not or not they’re counting on proof that, when pushed and examined, stands up. It’s going to have a huge effect going ahead,” Sofer, now a associate at a legislation agency, advised The Related Press information company.

Greater than 750 individuals have been charged with federal crimes associated to the riot, which Democrats usually describe as an rebellion that aimed to violently stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.

Greater than 200 of them have pleaded responsible, principally to misdemeanours carrying a most sentence of six months imprisonment. Greater than 100 riot defendants have been sentenced. And a minimum of 90 others have trial dates this 12 months.

Former President Donald Trump was impeached by the US Home of Representatives for “inciting” the riots.

Reffitt is a member of a militia-style group referred to as the “Texas Three Percenters”, in keeping with prosecutors. The Three Percenters militia motion refers back to the delusion that solely 3 % of Individuals fought within the Revolutionary Warfare in opposition to the British.

On January 6, 2021, Reffitt was armed with a handgun in a holster on his waist, carrying zip-tie handcuffs and sporting physique armour and a helmet geared up with a video digicam when he and others charged at cops on the west aspect of the Capitol, in keeping with prosecutors.

Prosecutors imagine Reffitt took a minimum of two firearms with him to Washington: an AR-15 rifle and a Smith & Wesson pistol. When FBI brokers searched Reffitt’s dwelling in Wylie, Texas, they discovered a handgun in a holster on a nightstand within the defendant’s bed room. Prosecutors say photographs and video of Reffitt through the riot present a handgun holster on his proper hip, with what seems to be a silver object contained in the holster.

On the morning of January 6, Reffitt stated he deliberate to “do the recon after which come again for weapons sizzling” and despatched messages about assembly at a “rendezvous level,” in keeping with prosecutors.

“These messages, together with the weapons that Reffitt carried and the gear he wore, clarify that the defendant didn’t come to DC with the intention to interact in peaceable exercise,” prosecutors wrote.

The siege resulted within the deaths of 5 individuals, together with a police officer. The Division of Justice has stated greater than 235 rioters have been charged with assaulting or impeding legislation enforcement, injuring greater than 100 officers. Rioters brought on greater than $1m in injury to the Capitol.

Philadelphia-based defence lawyer Justin Danilewitz, who was a federal prosecutor in New Jersey from 2012 to 2017, stated a conviction in Reffitt’s case might result in a flurry of responsible pleas by different riot defendants.

“And that may profit defendants every now and then as a result of it’s higher than the choice if the choice is a conviction following a trial,” Danilewitz added.

An acquittal might encourage different defendants to “dig of their heels” and both push for a greater plea provide from prosecutors or gamble a trial of their very own, he stated.

Defence lawyer William Welch has stated there isn’t any proof that Reffitt broken property, used power or bodily harmed anyone. In a Could 2021 courtroom submitting, Welch stated not one of the movies or photographs exhibits a gun in Reffitt’s possession on the Capitol.

“In reality, neither of the cops interviewed by the federal government stated something a few firearm,” he wrote.

Reffitt has been jailed since his arrest in Texas lower than every week after the riot. He faces 5 counts: obstruction of an official continuing, being unlawfully current on Capitol grounds whereas armed with a firearm, transporting firearms throughout a civil dysfunction, interfering with legislation enforcement officers throughout a civil dysfunction, and obstruction of justice.

The obstructing justice cost stems from threats that he allegedly made in opposition to his son, then 18, and daughter, then 16, after returning dwelling from Washington. Reffett advised his kids to “select a aspect or die” and stated they might be traitors in the event that they reported him to legislation enforcement, prosecutors stated.

Many Capitol riot cases could hinge on 1st trial’s outcome


Isurrectionists storm the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. The primary trial for one of many a whole lot of Capitol riot prosecutions begins this week, with jury choice scheduled to start on Monday. (John Minchillo, Related Press)

Estimated learn time: 6-7 minutes

WASHINGTON — The Justice Division launched one of many largest and most complicated felony investigations in its historical past after a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol over a yr in the past. Now it is time for a jury to listen to a few of the authorities’s proof concerning the unparalleled assault on American democracy.

The primary trial for one of many a whole lot of Capitol riot prosecutions begins this week, with jury choice scheduled to start on Monday for the case in opposition to Man Wesley Reffitt. The Texas man is charged with bringing a gun onto Capitol grounds, interfering with cops guarding the constructing, and threatening his teenage youngsters in the event that they reported him to authorities.

Reffitt’s trial might be a bellwether for a lot of different Capitol riot circumstances. A conviction would give prosecutors extra leverage in plea talks with rioters dealing with probably the most severe fees. An acquittal might lead others to attend for their very own day in court docket.

Reffitt “actually is the canary within the coal mine,” mentioned Gregg Sofer, a former federal prosecutor who served as U.S. lawyer for the Western District of Texas from October 2020 to February 2021.

“It will actually be attention-grabbing to see how robust a case the federal government has and whether or not or not they’re counting on proof that, when pushed and examined, stands up. It may have a huge effect going ahead,” added Sofer, now a accomplice at a regulation agency.

Reffitt is a member of a militia-style group referred to as the “Texas Three Percenters,” in accordance with prosecutors. The Three Percenters militia motion refers back to the fable that solely 3% of Individuals fought within the Revolutionary Conflict in opposition to the British.


It will actually be attention-grabbing to see how robust a case the federal government has and whether or not or not they’re counting on proof that, when pushed and examined, stands up. It may have a huge effect going ahead.

–Gregg Sofer, former federal prosecutor


On Jan. 6, 2021, Reffitt was armed with a handgun in a holster on his waist, carrying zip-tie handcuffs and sporting physique armor and a helmet outfitted with a video digital camera when he and others charged at cops on the west facet of the Capitol, in accordance with prosecutors.

“This motion brought on the police line guarding the constructing to retreat nearer to the constructing itself; quickly after this, regulation enforcement was overwhelmed, and rioters flooded the constructing,” prosecutors wrote in a court docket submitting.

Reffitt retreated solely after an officer pepper sprayed him within the face, prosecutors mentioned.

Prosecutors imagine Reffitt took not less than two firearms with him to Washington: an AR-15 rifle and a Smith & Wesson pistol. When FBI brokers searched Reffitt’s residence in Wylie, Texas, they discovered a handgun in a holster on a nightstand within the defendant’s bed room. Prosecutors say images and video of Reffitt through the riot present a handgun holster on his proper hip, with what seems to be a silver object contained in the holster.

On the morning of Jan. 6, Reffitt mentioned he deliberate to “do the recon after which come again for weapons scorching” and despatched messages about assembly at a “rendezvous level,” in accordance with prosecutors.

“These messages, together with the weapons that Reffitt carried and the gear he wore, clarify that the defendant didn’t come to D.C. with the intention to interact in peaceable exercise,” prosecutors wrote.

The siege resulted within the deaths of 5 individuals, together with a police officer. The Justice Division says greater than 235 rioters have been charged with assaulting or impeding regulation enforcement, injuring over 100 officers. Rioters brought on over $1 million in injury to the Capitol.

The Justice Division says its investigation has generated an unprecedented quantity of proof, with a whole lot of hundreds of paperwork and hundreds of hours of movies to share with protection attorneys. Shared information complete greater than 9 terabytes of data and would take over 100 days to view, the division says.

Greater than 750 individuals have been charged with federal crimes associated to the riot. Over 200 of them have pleaded responsible, largely to misdemeanors carrying a most sentence of six months’ imprisonment. Greater than 100 riot defendants have been sentenced. And not less than 90 others have trial dates this yr.

Philadelphia-based protection lawyer Justin Danilewitz, who was a federal prosecutor in New Jersey from 2012 to 2017, mentioned a conviction in Reffitt’s case might result in a flurry of responsible pleas by different riot defendants.

“And that may profit defendants once in a while as a result of it is higher than the choice if the choice is a conviction following a trial,” Danilewitz added.

An acquittal may encourage different defendants to “dig of their heels” and both push for a greater plea supply from prosecutors or gamble a trial of their very own, he mentioned.

“It can even be attention-grabbing to see what the protection technique is within the face of this very compelling proof,” Danilewitz mentioned.

Protection lawyer William Welch has mentioned there isn’t a proof that Reffitt broken property, used drive or bodily harmed anyone. In a Might 2021 court docket submitting, Welch mentioned not one of the movies or images exhibits a gun in Reffitt’s possession on the Capitol.

“In actual fact, neither of the cops interviewed by the federal government mentioned something a couple of firearm,” he wrote.

Reffitt has been jailed since his arrest in Texas lower than every week after the riot. He faces 5 counts: obstruction of an official continuing, being unlawfully current on Capitol grounds whereas armed with a firearm, transporting firearms throughout a civil dysfunction, interfering with regulation enforcement officers throughout a civil dysfunction, and obstruction of justice.

The obstructing justice cost stems from threats that he allegedly made in opposition to his son, then 18, and daughter, then 16, after returning residence from Washington. Reffett informed his youngsters to “select a facet or die” and mentioned they might be traitors in the event that they reported him to regulation enforcement, prosecutors mentioned.

“He predicted future political violence in statements each to his household and to fellow militia members, bragged to fellow militia members about his involvement within the riot, recruited different rioters into the militia, and ordered bear spray and riot shields to his residence to organize for additional violence,” prosecutors wrote.

Messages recovered from Reffitt’s cellphone point out he deliberate to joined an armed rebellion on Jan. 6 and meant to occupy the Capitol, prosecutors mentioned.

“We had hundreds of weapons and fired no rounds but confirmed numbers. The following time we won’t be so cordial,” he wrote, in accordance with prosecutors.

Presiding over Reffitt’s trial is U.S. District Decide Dabney Friedrich, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in 2017. Friedrich already has sentenced 9 rioters who pleaded responsible.

Prosecutors count on to name a couple of dozen witnesses, together with three Capitol cops who interacted with Reffitt and an officer who was answerable for the U.S. Capitol Police command middle.

Jurors will see movies that captured Reffitt’s confrontation with police. Prosecutors even have audio recordings of Reffitt speaking concerning the riot inside his residence after returning residence.

“We made some extent. That was a historic day,” Refffitt mentioned throughout one of many recorded conversations, in accordance with prosecutors. “And guess what? I am not finished but. I acquired much more to do. That is the start.”

Reffitt’s son, daughter and a fellow Texas Three Percenter group member are also listed as authorities witnesses. The group member traveled with Reffitt to Washington and again to Texas between Jan. 4 and Jan. 8, 2021.

“In the course of the drive (to Washington), Reffitt talked about ‘dragging these individuals out of the Capitol by their ankles’ and putting in a brand new authorities,” prosecutors wrote.

A court docket submitting that refers back to the different militia member by the initials “R.H.” says the person will inform jurors he was given immunity from prosecution in trade for his testimony.

Welch has mentioned Reffiitt labored as a rig supervisor and as a guide within the petroleum business earlier than COVID-19 restrictions successfully shut down his enterprise.

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Pride Was A Riot — And LGBTQ Demonstrators Around The World Are Still Fighting For Equality


The primary Delight marches had been held in 1970, a 12 months after the Stonewall riots in New York Metropolis. During the last 50 years, Delight has turned from a solemn response to police brutality and discrimination towards the LGBTQ group right into a celebration of what it means to be queer.

Rights for the LGBTQ group in america have come a good distance — however that is not the case in all places on the earth.

Individuals’s rights are nonetheless quashed by anti-LGBTQ governments, and in international locations like Iran, Myanmar, and Uganda, being homosexual remains to be thought of unlawful.

We checked out 10 years of Delight marches world wide to remind ourselves that, for many individuals, Delight remains to be a riot.