Growing evidence Capitol attack was pre-planned undercuts Trump impeachment premise

Emerging evidence also raises questions about whether the FBI and other security agencies acted proactively enough to thwart the violence.



Days before former President Trump's impeachment trial begins, newly filed federal charges against anti-government activists offer fresh, compelling evidence that the accused perpetrators of the Capitol riots pre-planned their attack days and weeks in advance and in plain sight of an FBI that vowed to be vigilant to extremist threats.

A dozen FBI affidavits supporting charges against the more than 200 defendants show rioters engaged in advance planning on social media sites. The planning included training, casing sites, identifying commanders on scene, and requests for donations of cash, as well as combat and communication gear.

More than a half dozen of the suspects are now charged with conspiracy to commit violence for actions predating the Jan. 6 riots. The early actions identified in court documents date back to November, with planning and rhetoric accelerating after Christmas, court records show.

That growing body of evidence raises questions about whether the FBI and other security agencies acted proactively enough to thwart the violence. It also undercuts the House Democrats' impeachment claim — supported by 10 Republicans — that Trump's speech spontaneously incited the riots, legal experts told Just the News.

"I would hope that those 10 Republicans and hopefully even some Democrats would say as we now look at the timelines that the media, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and all are reporting on, here's exactly it, the facts," said Kenneth Starr, the former federal appeals judge, solicitor general and Whitewater independent counsel.

"[House lawmakers] made a huge, colossal blunder," said Starr, who was a member of the defense team for Trump's first Senate impeachment trial. "So walk back, and apologize to the former president, apologize to the American people that I never should have voted in favor of this without the benefit of all the facts. I rushed to judgment."




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