Oath Keepers militants allegedly stockpiled a month's worth of supplies, rifles and ammunition just outside Washington, D.C., in the days before the Jan. 6 insurrection.
A late-night filing by federal prosecutors provided new details in a memo seeking pretrial detention for Oath Keeper Ed Vallejo about the weapons stockpile assembled by right-wing extremists at a Comfort Inn in nearby Alexandria, Virginia, where three "quick reaction force" teams waited to bring arms to the Capitol to support the insurrectionists, reported Politico.
“That Vallejo’s co-conspirators did not activate him on January 6 does not mitigate his dangerousness,” prosecutors say. “Vallejo traveled across the country and staged himself near the congressional proceedings ready to transport firearms and equipment into the nation’s capital. That is what makes him a danger. And there is no evidence that he has renounced violence or that he no longer believes in the necessity of guerilla warfare after January 6.”
The weapons ultimately weren't needed because the Oath Keepers managed to break into the Capitol without them and halted the certification of Joe Biden's election win, but prosecutors say the militia was prepared for a fight that lasted until Inauguration Day.
Vallejo allegedly tried but failed to launch a drone to conduct reconnaissance for the Oath Keepers, and Capitol police have recently released details about their efforts to protect the building from unauthorized drones.
More than 100 millionaires made an unusual plea on Wednesday: "Tax us now".
Their appeal came as a study backed by wealthy individuals and nonprofits found that a wealth tax on the world's richest people could raise $2.52 trillion per year -- enough to pay for Covid vaccines for everyone and pull 2.3 billion people out of poverty.
In an open letter to the World Economic Forum's online Davos meeting, 102 millionaires, including Disney heiress Abigail Disney, said the current tax system is unfair and "deliberately designed to make the rich richer".
"The world -- every country in it -- must demand the rich pay their fair share," the letter says. "Tax us, the rich, and tax us now."
Their plea follows a report by global charity Oxfam this week which said that the world's 10 wealthiest men doubled their fortunes to $1.5 trillion during the first two years of the pandemic while inequality and poverty soared.
"As millionaires, we know that the current tax system is not fair," says the letter circulated by groups including Patriotic Millionaires, Millionaires for Humanity, Tax me Now, and Oxfam.
"Most of us can say that, while the world has gone through an immense amount of suffering in the last two years, we have actually seen our wealth rise during the pandemic -- yet few if any of us can honestly say that we pay our fair share in taxes."
The signatories include wealthy men and women from the United States, Canada, Germany, Britain, Denmark, Norway, Austria, the Netherlands and Iran.
The Patriotic Millionaires took part in a the wealth tax study with a network of non-profits and social movements, including Fight for Inequality Alliance, Oxfam and the US-based Institute for Policy Studies think tank.
In addition to funding vaccines worldwide and alleviating poverty, the tax would be enough to provide universal health care and social protection to 3.6 billion people in low- and middle-income countries, the group said.
The tax would be set at two percent for those worth over $5 million, three percent for over $50 million and five percent for over $1 billion.
The group said a steeper progressive tax, which includes a 10 percent levy on billionaires, would raise $3.62 trillion a year. The actual levels of taxation would be country specific.
Jenny Ricks, global convenor of the Fight Inequality Alliance, told AFP the group chose a lower progressive tax that was on the "realistic side".
A plan to tax the wealth of some 700 American billionaires was floated by Democrats in the US Congress last year, but it was cut from President Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion social spending and climate change programme.
Wednesday's tax proposal was made as global government and business leaders take part in the virtual Davos meeting this week. The in-person gathering was postponed due to the spread of the Omicron variant.
"There is no defending a system that endlessly inflates the wealth of the world's richest people while condemning billions to easily preventable poverty," Patriotic Millionaires chairman Morris Pearl, a former BlackRock investment firm managing director, said in a statement.
"We need deep, systemic change, and that starts with taxing rich people like me," Morris said.
Republicans aren't planning to offer an agenda for the second straight election cycle, and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough laid bare the cynicism behind that stalling strategy.
The GOP lost promising Senate candidate Chris Sununu, the New Hampshire governor, after he spoke with Republican senators and found they had no policies to offer if they retook the majority, and the "Morning Joe" host said that tracks with the last time the party had a Senate majority.
"They only talked about a wall when they were out of power," Scarborough said. "They get in power, and suddenly Lindsey Graham is saying building a wall makes absolutely no sense. John Cornyn says, yeah, it's crazy. Republican senators, they didn't want to do any of this stuff. They didn't want to build a wall. They had complete power and didn't want to do it. They waited until Democrats got in charge, and then, suddenly, they start parroting Donald Trump again on these insane ideas that none of them wanted in on that, they don't want to do anything when they're out of power, and they're afraid to do anything when they're in power."
Washington Examiner reporter David Drucker, who reported on Sununu's disillusionment with his own party, and he thinks the GOP is trying to manage voter expectations.
"One of the things that's gotten Republicans into so much trouble with their base is overpromising and underdelivering," Drucker said. "As I watched Republicans campaign in 2010, 2014 and even 2016, they made a lot of promises about what they would do once they were in power, particularly when Democrats still controlled the White House, between 2010 and 2014, still controlled the Senate. Republicans ran up against a brick wall because Democrats in the Senate had no interest in helping Republicans accomplish anything on their agenda. They obviously disagreed with President [Barack] Obama on key items, nothing got done."
"Instead of Republican voters saying, well, I'll give you a pass because you didn't have enough control in Washington to do what you wanted, they got mad at them for overpromising and underdelivering," Drucker added. "So if the message in this midterm election in 2022 is, look, we're going to hold the line and stop President [Joe] Biden from doing anything you don't like, at least from a political standpoint, they're guarding against a backlash from their own pace. Then there's, though, this issue of exactly what do voters want from politicians on Capitol Hill? Do they want them to work with the other side when the other side has more power than them and help them accomplish something, or will they be okay with them holding the line?"
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