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The Secret Service Not So Secretly Knew There Would Be Violence On Jan. 6
And they DGAF.
The topline takeaway from the final January 6 Select Committee hearing yesterday was of course the vote to subpoena Donald Trump. Which will never, ever happen — come on, it took New York Attorney General Letitia James three years of litigation to get him to sit down and plead the Fifth 400 times. Be serious.
But secondarily, one of the important themes to emerge from yesterday's hearing was the lackadaisical response by the Secret Service and the FBI to the danger of violence from the mob Trump summoned to DC, both in the weeks before January 6, 2021 and indeed on the day itself.
With the Secret Service having conveniently dumped all their texts five minutes after the insurrection, we're never going to get to see all of what they said to each other about the dangerous people Trump was assembling that day. But recently unearthed emails and other communications show that the agents knew in December that there was massive online chatter from people intent on committing violence to accomplish what they hadn't done at the ballot box. They even got a tip on December 26 that warned of Trump's supporters who "think they will have a large enough group to march into DC armed and will outnumber the police so they can’t be stopped.”
“Secret service knew the danger to Pence and that it was caused by Donald.”
— Mueller, She Wrote (@Mueller, She Wrote) 1665685610
On January 6, they were well aware that many of the assembled mob were refusing to go through the metal detectors to get onto the Ellipse where Trump and his team of dipshits and liars were calling for "trial by combat." Everyone knew that was because they were armed — hell even Trump knew it, and he demanded that they take away the magnetometers because the men with guns weren't there to shoot him.
“With so many weapons found so far, you wonder how many are unknown” a Secret Service employee emailed a colleague at 12: 36 that day. “Could be sporty after dark.”
Yeah, it did get pretty sporty!
The Secret Service knew damn well that the armed mob was intent on marching on the Capitol at the conclusion of Trump's speech, despite the event organizers going to lengths to hide the fact from the Park Police with their application for a static rally. Hell, if the Service hadn't picked up online chatter in advance, they knew it because Republican members of Congress were openly plotting it with the White House chief of staff.
Everyone in the White House knew that Trump planned to lead those people in the assault on Congress, and their only concern was keeping Trump physically safe. Literally the only thing they did that day to tamp down the violence was refuse to take Trump to the Capitol. And then they lied about it , leaving Cassidy Hutchinson to tell the truth and become a piñata for the MAGA loons.
There's a reason that Mike Pence, who'd spent the past four years with those guys, didn't want to get into the car with his Secret Service on that day when he was under the Capitol hiding from the mob. And we may never know the specific reason, but let's take a wildass guess that it isn't because he thought they were Deep State supporters of Hillary Clinton.
Hell, the Secret Service was in regular contact with the goddamn Oath Keepers, who provided "security" at Trump rallies and touched base with the Secret Service to check whether they could bring their weapons. Stewart Rhodes, the head Oaf, told his people that the Secret Service would be "happy" to have their help if and when Trump invoked the Insurrection Act on January 6.
“ As we have seen, the Secret Service and other agencies knew of the prospect of violence well in advance of the president’s speech at the Ellipse,” Rep. Adam Schiff said yesterday. “Despite this, certain White House and Secret Service witnesses previously testified that they had received no intelligence about violence that could have potentially threatened any of their protectees on January 6th, including the vice president. Evidence strongly suggests that this testimony is not credible.”
And the rot goes much further than the Secret Service. NBC's Ken Dilanian and Ryan Reilly just unearthed a January 13, 2021 memo from Paul Abbate, a career FBI agent who is now the Deputy Director, warning the undisclosed recipient that there was broad-based support among the FBI rank and file for the mob that had just tried to overthrow the government.
"There’s no good way to say it, so I’ll just be direct: from my first-hand and second-hand information from conversations since January 6 there is, at best, a sizable percentage of the employee population that felt sympathetic to the group that stormed the Capitol, and said it was no different than the BLM protests of last summer," he wrote. "Several also lamented that the only reason this violent activity is getting more attention is because of 'political correctness.'“
Abbate went on to warn that it was causing racial strife within the ranks, where Black agents were refusing to participate on SWAT teams with their white colleagues "because they do not trust that every member of their office's SWAT team would protect them in an armed conflict."
As David Rothkopf points out in the Daily Beast today, the problem was never some "woke" Deep State trying to thwart Trump's agenda. The problem was and is that a lot of the people who run our government can't conceptualize white nationalists and their fellow fascist travelers as domestic terrorists, and so their response to the rising threat is either a wink and a nod, or outright complicity.
In fact, some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses, and always have been. And we're going to have to to figure that shit out if we want to keep being a democracy.
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