Most Americans want the people who invaded the Capitol to be prosecuted
The US House of Representatives voted on May 19th to create an independent commission to investigate the invasion of the Capitol building on January 6th. Members voted 252 in favor of, and 175 against, the commission, which was inspired in part by a similar body that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Every Democratic member voted in favor of the bill.
They were joined by 35 of their 211 Republican colleagues, who ignored orders from Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the party’s caucus in the House, to vote down the bill. It now heads to the Senate, where Republican lawmakers were threatening to filibuster it to halt its passage on May 27th.
Most Americans support Congress in establishing the inquiry, according to a new poll from YouGov and The Economist. The survey of 1,500 adults, conducted between May 22nd and 25th, found that 56% “somewhat” or “strongly” approve of the commission. Just 29% oppose it.
There is even stronger support for prosecuting the rioters through the judiciary: 59% of adults told YouGov they agreed with prosecuting Donald Trump's supporters who participated “in the takeover of the Capitol building”.
Among people who call themselves Democrats, 82% support prosecution, as do 56% of independents. Of Republicans 39% agree (see left-hand chart), thought slightly more (43%) say that the insurrectionists should not be prosecuted.
At first blush, the approval ratings among Republicans for the commission and prosecution seem relatively high, considering the opposition of Mr Trump, the de facto leader of the party, and most of its elected representatives.
But other polling reveals starker opposition among right-leaning voters.
One survey from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, found that about one in ten supporters of the GOP blame either the Republican Party or Mr Trump for the riot.
Roughly one in every five Republican voters blame “Antifa”—a catch-all term common in conservative networks for progressive protesters and other more violent demonstrators—and nearly one out of every three blame the Democratic Party.
These data raise a troubling puzzle for supporters of liberal democracy and free elections in America: how can the government effectively combat an attempted insurrection if one party’s leaders and voters don’t even acknowledge the facts of the case?
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling associates he had no idea his Justice Department seized phone records of two top Democratic congressional critics of then-President Donald Trump. In the hours since The New York Times broke the news on Thursday that prosecutors subpoenaed Apple metadata from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), former Attorney General Sessions has privately told people that he wasn’t aware of, nor was he briefed on, the reported data seizures while he led the Trump DOJ. This week’s revelations were a surprise to him, according to a source familiar with the matter, and another person close to Sessions.
The FBI says that Brian Mock went to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 unsure of what he would face, but as he shared on social media just days later, he was prepared to fully commit to whatever came his way — even death. “I went to the Capitol not knowing what to expect but said goodbye to my 4 children, not sure if I was going to come home,” Mock wrote on Facebook on Jan. 8, according to federal documents charging Mock with multiple crimes. “I was at peace with that knowledge.” Mock, 43, is one of the latest people to be arrested for crimes related to the siege on the U.S. Capitol, according to a statement from the Justice Department.
The US justice department’s internal watchdog launched an investigation on Friday after revelations that former president Donald Trump’s administration secretly seized phone data from at least two House Democrats as part of an aggressive leaks inquiry related to the Russia investigation into Trump’s conduct.
Donald Trump called Joe Biden a “mental retard” during the 2020 election, a new book says, but was reluctant to attack him too strongly for fear the Democrats would replace him with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama. Biden went on to beat Trump by more than 7m in the popular vote and by 306-232 in the electoral college, a result Trump deemed a landslide when it was in his favor against Clinton in 2016.