‘No Direct Evidence’ of Intent to Capture or Assassinate During Capitol Riots: Acting DC Attorney General

By Neil Campbell | January 18, 2021
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
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The acting Attorney General for the District of Columbia debunked Arizona Federal Prosecutors’ filings alleging that the participants in the Jan 6 Capitol Building break-in intended “to capture and assassinate elected officials.”

The Arizona filings rely on a note Jacob Chansley, the so-called “QAnon Shaman,” allegedly left for Vice President Mike Pence, that said: “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.” The filings claim: “Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government.” 

Jacob Angeli Chansley became an iconic figure of the Capitol riots with his horned helmet. His portfolio was previously listed on Backstage.com as an actor-for-hire with a specialization in playing Viking and Chewbacca-esque characters. His profile has since been removed from the website.

According to Attorney Mike Sherwin: “There is no direct evidence at this point of kill-capture teams and assassination.” The Acting D.C. Attorney General spoke in a phone conference on Friday. He also revealed that “two off-duty Rocky Mountain Virginia police officers” were arrested and charged federally for “their participation in the rioting at the Capitol.”

At a live press conference held on Jan. 13, Sherwin said more than 170 subject files were opened with 70 charges having been laid. Charges range from trespass to theft of mail and digital devices and even theft of national security and defense information from the Capitol.

Sherwin noted that getting to the bottom of the investigations would be a lengthy process that would conclude long after the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. He made it clear: “The enormity of this investigation is going to take a lot of work and a lot of effort. This is not going to be solved overnight. It’s not going to be solved in the coming weeks. It’s not going to be solved in the coming months. This is going to be a long term investigation.” 

On Thursday, Black Lives Matter-linked rioter John Sullivan was charged by the Department of Justice. Sullivan gave an interview to Utah CBS affiliate KUTV on Jan. 7 claiming he was at the Capitol to document protests. According to interviewer Jim Spiewak, Sullivan described himself as someone who “aligns more with the Black Lives Matter movement and does not align with President Trump’s form of politics.”

The 26-year-old is the founder of a self-described “civil rights group” aptly titled “Insurgence USA.” Before and shortly after the riots, Sullivan’s Twitter account featured a profile banner for an Insurgence USA event titled “Kick These Fascists out of DC January 6th, 2021” and “Dump Trump for Good,” calling for rioters to meet at the Washington Monument, a 30-minute walk from the Capitol Building.

A video showed Sullivan shouting: “There are so many people. Let’s go. This [Expletive] is ours! [Expletive] yeah. We accomplished this [expletive]. We did this together. [Expletive] yeah! We are all a part of this history. Let’s burn this [Expletive] down” inside the Capitol Building. He was also captured in photographs and on video standing next to Ashli Babbitt as she was shot and killed by D.C. Police. 

According to the court filings in Sullivan’s charges, the man used psychological operations on D.C. Police to coerce officers into opening the doors for the rioters, saying he was carrying a knife and warning officers: “Bro, I’ve seen people out there get hurt.”

Sullivan also told The Epoch Times that plans for the Capitol riots were spread throughout “undergrounds chats and things like that,” while describing himself as a member of the violent leftist anarchy group Antifa.

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, speaks during her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on January 15, 2021.
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, speaks during her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on January 15, 2021. (Image: by SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images)

On Thursday, House Democrats, joined by 10 Republicans, voted to impeach Donald Trump for a second time by a vote of 232-197 in a single seven-hour session where no evidence was provided, the fastest impeachment in U.S. history. 

House Resolution 24, the single Article of Impeachment, relies on just one statement by President Trump at a rally prior to the Joint Session, where he said: “If you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

The Senate, who must conduct the impeachment trial, will have to convict the President by a two-thirds majority vote. However, the Senate will not reconvene until after the Jan. 20 inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Some experts are of the opinion that the Constitution does not allow for impeachment against presidents who no longer hold office.

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