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nothing to see here: Trump lawyers claim that his big lie gives him 'special' First Amendment rights

4 min read

Insurrection, per dictionary: “an act or instance of rising in revolt, rebellion, or resistance against civil authority or an established government.”

Trump's lawyer says he's innocent because 'clearly there was no insurrection'

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— emptywheel (@emptywheel) February 12, 2021

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— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 12, 2021

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— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) February 12, 2021

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— Vox (@voxdotcom) February 12, 2021

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— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) February 12, 2021

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— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) February 12, 2021

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— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) February 12, 2021

Trump’s Guilt Is Far Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

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— Jennifer 'America is Back' Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) February 12, 2021

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— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) February 12, 2021

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— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) February 12, 2021

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— tracyweber (@tracyweber) February 12, 2021

Over the last several weeks, ProPublica has interviewed 19 current and former U.S. Capitol Police officers about the assault on the Capitol. Following on the dramatic video of officers defending the building that House lawmakers showed during the first day of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, the interviews provide the most detailed account to date of a most extraordinary battle.

The enemies on Jan. 6 were Americans: thousands of people from across the country who had descended on the Capitol, intent on stopping Congress from certifying an election they believed was stolen from Trump. They had been urged to attend by Trump himself, with extremist right-wing and militia leaders calling for violence.

Many of the officers were speaking to reporters for the first time about the day’s events, almost all anonymously for fear of retribution. That they spoke at all is an indication of the depth of their frustration over the botched response. ProPublica also obtained confidential intelligence bulletins and previously unreported planning documents.

Combined, the information makes clear how failures of leadership, communication and tactics put the lives of hundreds of officers at risk and allowed rioters to come dangerously close to realizing their threats against members of Congress.

In response to questions for this story, the Capitol Police sent a one-sentence email: “There is a multi-jurisdictional investigation underway and in order to protect that process, we are unfortunately unable to provide any comment at this time.”

The interviews also revealed officers’ concerns about disparities in the way the force prepared for Black Lives Matter demonstrations versus the pro-Trump protests on Jan. 6. Officers said the Capitol Police force usually plans intensively for protests, even if they are deemed unlikely to grow violent. Officers said they spent weeks working 12- or 16-hour days, poised to fight off a riot, after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police — even though intelligence suggested there was not much danger from protesters.

“We had intel that nothing was going to happen — literally nothing,” said one former official with direct knowledge of planning for the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. “The response was, ‘We don’t trust the intel.’”

www.propublica.org/…

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— Tom the Dancing Bug, by Ruben Bolling (@RubenBolling) February 12, 2021

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