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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

On January 6, the Committee may add new expertise to investigate

WASHINGTON – A House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol is weighing whether it is worth hiring employees who can analyze social media posts and examining the role of foreign adversaries in planting division among Americans over the presidential election. two people informed about the decision by the committee.

New investigative avenues are emerging as the committee, which currently has about 40 staff, continues to bring testimony and documents to court.

Witnesses this week included William J. Walker, a former commander of the DC National Guard, who said military leaders had delayed a January 6 response from the guards, and conservative activist Dustin Stockton, whose lawyer said he was handing over a “treasure trove.” “Documents from which high-ranking Trump allies and lawmakers are” shaking in their boots. “

Mr. Stockton and fiancée Jennifer L. Lawrence helped organize the post-election rallies by falsely claiming the results. But Mr. Stockton said he was concerned that a march to the Capitol on January 6, when Congress was certifying the election, would mean “possible danger,” and that his pressing concerns were passed on to Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff at the time, according to the committee. …

Politician Roger J. Stone Jr., a close ally of former President Donald J. Trump, appeared before the committee to testify on Friday. But he cited his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination on each of the commission’s questions because, he said, he feared Democrats would fabricate perjury charges.

“I fulfilled my civic duty and responded as required by law,” Mr. Stone said after testifying. He then criticized the investigation as “Witch Hunt 3.0” and accused the government of concealing potentially justifying video evidence of the Capitol attack.

Mr. Stone claimed to have left the city when rioters stormed the Capitol. “I didn’t go to the Capitol. I have not been to the Capitol, “he said, adding that he believed the violence was” illegal and politically counterproductive. “

But Mr. Stone facilitated the January 5 and 6 rallies, requested support for security payments through the stopthesteal.org website, and used Oath Keepers militia members as personal guards while he was in Washington. At least two of these members were charged with involvement in the attack on the Capitol.

To raise public awareness of the attack, the committee is considering hiring several new hires to analyze the vast amount of information that Mr. Trump’s supporters posted on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Parler and YouTube in the weeks before and after the attack. These digital footprints can help Congressional investigators connect players to events, or uncover details that bystanders may not know or remember.

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Federal prosecutors have used hundreds of thousands of digital evidence to identify and corroborate charges against over 700 defendants who have been arrested in nearly every state for their involvement in the attack.

Committee investigators are also seeking to understand whether foreign governments have been able to exploit and deepen the social divisions that have arisen over Trump’s refusal to admit election defeat. Foreign adversaries have long sought to damage America’s national security interests by exacerbating social unrest and polarization.

The committee also discussed whether foreign adversaries had any other links to the attack on Congress, according to a person briefed on that part of the investigation.

In mid-December, a “list of enemies” of famous people who did not support Trump’s election lies were circulated online, including on a website called Enemies of the People. The FBI investigated and attributed the list to an Iranian disinformation campaign that sought to capitalize on the Stop Theft movement in order to sow discord.

In November, the Justice Department indicted two Iranian hackers in an attempt to influence the 2020 elections by sending threatening messages to several thousand voters. Many of the messages were written as if they came from the right-wing extremist group Proud Boys.

Although House Republicans condemned the investigation as a political witch-hunt, the committee found support this week with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top House Republican. Mr McConnell, who in May led the pirate who blocked the creation of an independent commission to investigate the attack, said this week that he believed a House committee was gathering valuable information.

“It was a terrible event,” Mr. McConnell said of the siege of the Capitol in TV interview… “I think that what they want to know, the public needs to know.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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