Garland warns Justice will be done to perpetrators of Jan 6 at any level. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday said the Department of Justice would continue to pursue those responsible for the January 6 insurrection “at any level,” vowing that the charges brought against more than 725 people in the year since the attack on the Capitol “will not be our last”.

In remarks to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the worst attack on the Capitol since the 1814 Burning of Washington, Mr Garland appeared to acknowledge critics who’ve accused him of holding back on charging anyone in former president Donald Trump’s inner circle — or Mr Trump himself — for roles they may have played in the violence that unfolded as Congress met to certify President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, or suggested that the department is slow-walking any investigations into the same.

The former District of Columbia circuit judge said the department has operated at a deliberate pace that is governed by evidence, and evidence alone, and vowed that the department was not done filing charges against those responsible for the insurrection.

“The actions we have taken thus far will not be our last. The Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators — at any level — accountable under law, whether they were present that day, or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault. on our democracy,” he said. “We will follow the facts, wherever they lead”.

“Because January 6th was an unprecedented attack on the seat of our democracy, we understand that there is broad public interest in our investigation. We understand that there are questions about how long the investigation will take, and about what exactly we are doing,” he said.

“Our answer is and will continue to be the same answer we would give to with respect to any ongoing investigation: As long as it takes, and whatever it takes for justice to be done, consistent with the facts and the law”.

“I understand that this may not be the answer some are looking for, but we will and we must speak through our work. Anything else jeopardizes the viability of our investigations, and the civil liberties of our citizens,” he added.

Mr Garland touted the progress made over the past year in bringing charges against those who were caught on more than 20,000 hours of video footage or brought to the department’s attention by the more than 300,000 tips recieved from citizens.

“As of today, we have arrested and charged more than 725 defendants in nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia for their roles in the January 6 attack,” he said, adding that the charges have been determined using “well-worn prosecutorial practices” — filing “greater charges” against “who assaulted officers or damaged the Capitol” and “lesser charges” against those who did not.

The attorney general noted that many of those facing “greater charges” have been indicted for conspiring to corruptly obstruct an official proceeding — charges based on an obscure, little-used part of the US criminal code that many accused Capitol rioters have argued is inapplicable to what they’ve been accused of.

Last week, a District of Columbia federal judge rejected such a legal challenge from four members of the “Proud Boys” right-wing nationalist gang who argued that Congress’ quadrennial certification of electoral college votes was not such a proceeding. And members of the House select committee investigating the origins of the insurrection have said the committee could make criminal referrals of high-level Trump administration officials — including Mr Trump himself — for prosecution under that same statute if the evidence warrants it.

Mr Garland did not address the possibility of charges against Mr Trump or any other specific person in his remarks. But he said the “central norm” that the department is following under his leadership holds that “there cannot be different rules depending on one’s political party or affiliation”.

“There cannot be different rules for friends and foes and there cannot be different rules for the powerful and the powerless,” he said. There is only one rule: We follow the facts and enforce the law in a way that respects the Constitution and protect civil liberties … and we adhere to those norms, even when, and especially when the circumstances we face are not normal”.

Continuing, Mr Garland explained that the department is handling “straightforward cases” first because they can “provide an evidentiary foundation for more complex cases”.

“Investigating the more overt crimes generates linkages to less overt actors, and the evidence they provide can lead us to others who may also have been involved, and that evidence can serve as a foundation for further investigative leads and techniques,” he said.

He added that “a full accounting” in “circumstances like those of January 6th” doesn’t “suddenly materialize”.

“To ensure that all those criminally responsible are held accountable, we must collect the evidence,” he said.

Mr Garland also took aim at the lies about the conduct of the 2020 election that have become articles of faith for supporters of Mr Trump.

After noting that many state legislatures have enacted new restrictions on voting based on “unfounded claims of material vote fraud in the 2020 election,” he said such claims “have corroded people’s faith in the legitimacy of our elections” and “have been repeatedly refuted by the law enforcement and intelligence agencies of both the last administration and this one, as well as by every court, federal and state that has considered them”.

Local paper trolls Devin Nunes for retirement and says ‘we need a representative who will meet with citizens’

Daily news outlet attacked outgoing representative for ‘being a leading foot soldier for Trump’

Devin Nunes resigns from House for Trump’s social media firm

Former Republican representative Devin Nunes has been trolled by a local paper in Fresno, California, following his departure from Congress.

Mr Nunes, who left his seat on Saturday, had announced in December that he had been appointed to head Donald Trump’s emergent tech firm and social media platform, Truth Social.

On Monday, The Fresno Bee took to ridiculing the outgoing representative after nearly two decades of serving California’s 22nd Congressional District.

His time in the position has seen a number of controversies, including the creation of a social media page widely known as “Devin Nunes’s Cow”, and which he unsuccessfully tried to sue for defamation.

Mr Nunes, according to The Bee, “decided to leave Congress rather than face a tough re-election prospect in a newly drawn district that’s much more favourable to a Democrat than a Republican.”

It also outlined “key qualification” for the Republican’s successor, including meeting with citizens, telling the truth, and being willing to appear on news channels that were not Fox News.

“The last record The Bee has of Nunes meeting with constituents in a typical town hall came in 2009,” the local paper alleged. “In recent years, he would only gather with specific like-minded interest groups or in fundraising events that bore a hefty admission.”

“Similarly, the new representative should have the courage to face the press,” the local paper added, while claiming that he “refused to engage with reporters from news outlets like The Bee who might ask probing questions.”

The Republican, who will now have power over Mr Trump’s emerging social media network, was described in December as somebody who “understands that we must stop the liberal media and Big Tech from destroying the freedoms that make America great.”
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The press release added that “America is ready for TRUTH Social and the end to censorship and political discrimination,” although no further updates about the venue have been made.

An election will be held later this year to fill the vacant House seat left by Mr Nunes, and whom The Bee finished by saying “had morphed into being a leading foot soldier for Trump, defending the president at every turn in countless Fox News appearances”.

January 6 committee news – latest: Riot perpetrators at ‘any level’ warned justice is coming as Biden blames Trump

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Liz Cheney says Trump ignored Ivanka’s calls to stop Capitol riot

Donald Trump has canceled a press conference scheduled for 6 January at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Capitol mounted by his supporters.

The former president blamed the “total bias and dishonesty” of the “Fake News Media” as well as the House panel investigating the assault, which released several text messages from Fox News personality Sean Hannity to the former president’s then-chief of staff Mark Meadows in the days surrounding the attack.

Documents recently published by the committee also reveal how the former president’s allies planned a campaign to intimidate election officials and spread voter fraud falsehoods, while another appeared to call for the seizure of “evidence” in service of his false claims that propelled the attack and his spurious bid to overturn election results.

In recent weeks, the committee has accelerated its probe into the attack, fuelled by conspiracy theories that the 2020 presidential election was rigged, and a violent attempt to reject the votes of millions of Americans.

Firefighters respond as blaze rips through Philadelphia row house killing at least 13

At least 12 people are feared dead after a fire ripped through a house in Philadelphia. Two others remain in critical condition.

Nine children are thought to have died, in addition to three adults, and an adult and another child have been taken to hospital.

Firefighters were called to the scene in the Fairmount neighbourhood of the city at 6.38am to battle a heavy fire in a three-story row house. When they arrived at the scene, flames were coming out of the second floor of the building and they worked for 50 minutes to regain control of the blaze.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) owns the home and inspections were carried out in 2019 and 2020 during which six smoke detectors were installed with 10-year batteries. A further inspection was carried out in May 2021.

As many as 26 people were believed to be living at the property which the Deputy Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said was a tremendous number to be living in a duplex.

He added that the fire was “one of the worst fires I’ve ever been to” during his 35 years of service.

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