With the events of January 6th still very fresh in the mind, the FBI is learning ever more about what transpired ahead of the storming of the US Capitol.
The event was one of the more brazen in American history. After all, the building hadn’t been compromised by an invading force since 1814, and that was when the British ransacked it during the War of 1812.
For some, the siege was spurred on by Donald Trump, President at the time, who is about to face an impeachment trial over his “incitement” of the attempted insurrection. For others, there are concerns that nothing Trump said to the crowd ahead of their march on the Capitol could have deterred them from this path.
The FBI appears to be finding evidence that there was some premeditation involved.
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Video and court filings, for instance, describe how several groups of men that include alleged members of the Proud Boys appear to engage in concerted action, converging on the West Front of the Capitol just before 1 p.m., near the Peace Monument at First Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Different factions of the crowd appear to coalesce, move forward and chant under the direction of different leaders before charging at startled police staffing a pedestrian gate, all in the matter of a few minutes.
An indictment Friday night charged a member of the Proud Boys, Dominic Pezzola, 43, of Rochester, N.Y., with conspiracy, saying his actions showed “planning, determination, and coordination.” Another alleged member of the Proud Boys, William Pepe, 31, of Beacon, N.Y., also was charged with conspiracy.
Minutes before the crowd surge, at 12:45 p.m., police received the first report of a pipe bomb behind the Republican National Committee headquarters at the opposite, southeast side of the U.S. Capitol campus. The device and another discovered shortly afterward at Democratic National Committee headquarters included end caps, wiring, timers and explosive powder, investigators have said.
And while this sort of coordination could be a boon to Trump’s impeachment defense, it could bring some far heavier charges to those who stormed the Capitol itself.
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