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Jan. 6 panel to examine extremist groups, ties to Trump

The Home committee investigating final yr’s Capitol rampage will quickly flip its gaze to the function performed by far-right extremists, inspecting not solely the affect of nationalist networks in finishing up the assault but in addition what coordination, if any, the Trump White Home had with these teams main as much as the violence.

The panel’s investigators have already teased the potential connection between former President Trump and the ring-wing extremists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, utilizing final month’s public listening to with a former West Wing aide to counsel direct hyperlinks between a few of Trump’s closest allies and leaders of a number of distinguished nationalist teams now accused of spearheading the assault.

Heading into the subsequent listening to on Tuesday, members of the panel are already promising to disclose beforehand undisclosed data they are saying will substantiate these ties.

“We might be connecting the dots, as folks know,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a member of the choose committee, advised MSNBC on Thursday. “This wasn’t simply an occasion that unfolded. It was deliberate. Who did the planning, and who had been they linked with? How did it unfold?”

The forged of characters the committee has already implicated within the scheme to overturn the election outcomes reads like a who’s who of Trump’s inside circle.

It contains John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani, two authorized advisers to the previous president who arrange a “warfare room” at a Washington resort on Jan. 5; Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, two allies within the “Cease the Steal” motion who had been indicted for unrelated crimes however pardoned by Trump; and Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of workers who was appearing as a liaison between Trump and the opposite 4 males, in accordance with Cassidy Hutchinson, a former senior Meadows aide who testified earlier than the choose committee on June 28.

On the periphery had been the extremist teams, together with the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, that gathered in Washington on Jan. 6 as a part of Trump’s effort to overturn his election defeat.

The traces between the 2 worlds kind a fancy matrix, and the committee has not but demonstrated direct connections between the Trump confidantes and the extremist teams that had been on the entrance traces of the violence on the Capitol.

But Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a constitutional lawyer who sits on the choose committee, has promised to dig into these associations when he leads the questioning, together with Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), at Tuesday’s listening to. And out of doors consultants who monitor hate teams are wanting to see what turns up.

“If coordination did exist, what kind did it take? Who had been the conduits for data?” stated Cassie Miller, senior analysis analyst on the Southern Poverty Regulation Heart, which tracks extremist teams of all stripes across the nation.

“However we must also acknowledge that formal coordination wasn’t essential for Trump to affect the actions of teams just like the Proud Boys through the months main as much as the riot or through the day itself,” Miller rapidly added. “This can be a group that has lengthy wished to behave because the foot troopers for Trumpism, and the Cease the Steal motion and riot gave them the chance to take action.”

Some connections between Trump’s associates and the far-right teams had been established lengthy earlier than the choose committee started a collection of public hearings final month.

Each Flynn and Stone, as an illustration, have lengthy been identified to make use of safety particulars offered by far-right teams, together with the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and 1st Modification Praetorian, which had protected Flynn throughout an election protest in Washington in mid-December. Stone had rallied with Proud Boys leaders, together with Chairman Enrique Tarrio, at the same protest the identical month and was reportedly protected by members of the Oath Keepers on the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Whereas neither Stone nor Flynn was part of the Trump marketing campaign or administration on Jan. 6, the investigation has turned up a direct hyperlink.

He. John. 5, Hutchinson advised investigators, Trump requested Meadows to contact Stone and Flynn about their plans for the next day, when Congress would convene to certify President Biden’s election victory. She stated she is “beneath the impression” that Meadows spoke with each males however had no indication of what was stated.

Meadows has declined to talk with the investigators, even beneath subpoena, main the Home to carry him in contempt of Congress.

Hutchinson additionally testified in regards to the West Wing’s curiosity in a gathering of Trump allies on the Willard Lodge, a complicated locale close to the White Home, on the night of Jan. 5. That gathering was attended by Eastman and Giuliani, amongst others, she stated, and Meadows had sought to affix them there. Hutchinson advised Meadows it was a nasty thought, she testified, and Meadows finally phoned into the assembly as a substitute.

Hutchinson recommended that Giuliani was additionally associating with extremist teams.

“I recall listening to the phrase ‘Oath Keeper’ and listening to the phrase ‘Proud Boys’ nearer to the planning of the Jan. 6 rally when Mr. Giuliani could be round,” Hutchinson stated.

Rachel Kleinfeld, a senior fellow on the Carnegie Endowment for Worldwide Peace, stated the Trump marketing campaign was courting militia teams because the very starting, praising their attendance at rallies as they more and more turned a part of the safety at occasions.

These callouts would get extra particular over time, together with a message to the Proud Boys to “stand again and stand by” at a debate through the 2020 election cycle.

“Trump knew that militia teams appreciated him, had been extremely supportive of him and had been keen to guard him and had been keen to supply themselves to guard him. He knew that he might mobilize these teams by tweets and thru callouts, just like the ‘stand again and stand by,’ which the Proud Boys [documentarian] on the first listening to they tripled their membership,” Kleinfeld stated.

Each Stone and Flynn spoke with the committee’s investigators solely to plead the Fifth quite a few occasions. The committee has proven little of these filmed depositions past a clip of Flynn declining to reply whether or not he believes within the peaceable switch of energy.

Documentary footage reviewed by The Washington Submit earlier this yr exhibits a member of the Oath Keepers, later indicted for seditious conspiracy, in Stone’s suite on the Willard Lodge on the morning of Jan. 6. The video additionally confirmed Stone utilizing an encrypted messaging app to speak with Tarrio and with Stewart Rhodes, the pinnacle of the Oath Keepers, later that month.

Each Tarrio and Rhodes have been indicted, together with different members of their respective teams, on expenses of seditious conspiracy for his or her function within the Capitol assault. If convicted, they withstand 20 years in jail.

Kleinfeld stated that even when there isn’t a proof of direct contact between Trump and the extremists, the previous president’s success in mobilizing these teams was a significant factor resulting in the violence on the Capitol.

“It is not that Trump was calling the Oath Keepers — though Roger Stone might have been,” she stated. “It’s that Trump or the Trump marketing campaign was organizing this response in order that it was prepared and in order that it might stress Republicans who would not do his bidding and finally stress actors who [were needed] to hold out one half or one other of this plan.”

“As all of the totally different dominoes saved falling and his plan wasn’t working,” she added, “this was the last-ditch effort for Jan. 6.”

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