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On Thursday, writing for Slate, Aymann Ismail blasted Capitol Police leadership following the new watchdog report that revealed how, ahead of and during the Capitol insurrection, higher-ups ordered officers to stand down from their most effective riot control methods even as they pleaded for backup.
"I expected police in military gear and a response as aggressive as I've come to anticipate covering and observing protests over the past year, where a single water bottle thrown at a cop line can bring a volley of tear gas and percussion grenades in retaliation," wrote Ismail. But instead, "I'd never seen law enforcement show this level of restraint at any protest, much less a riot."
As Ismail noted, inspector general Michael Bolton "found that Capitol Police leadership dismissed threat assessments and forbid rank-and-file officers from appropriately responding to the threat" even though the agency's own intelligence noted that "Congress itself is the target on the 6th" and "Stop the Steal's propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members and others who actively promote violence may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike." The officers were told not to use stun grenades and were given faulty equipment, including shields that shattered on impact with rioters' weapons.
All of this, wrote Ismail, spoke to how the pro-Trump rioters were subject to a completely different standard of law enforcement than that brought to bear against Black Lives Matter protesters.
"I have no idea what was in the heart of the former police chief or his leadership, but his and others' actions seem to fit a pattern that any hyphenated American is very familiar with, the chasing of perceived threats and the abandoning of evidence-based policing based on stereotypes, or just plain racism," wrote Ismail. "Not only does that drive a dagger through a community's trust in law enforcement, but it's also proven to be an obstacle in hindering actual police work. As much as this new report reveals, it leaves a fuller institutional reckoning with what happened on Jan. 6 for another day."
You can read more here.
The host of "Late Night with Seth Meyers" on Thursday updated his viewers on the latest news on the alleged Matt Gaetz sex scandals.
The host played a clip from CNN.
"We've learned these parties were held at a house in a gated community in suburban Orlando. The women we spoke with said, when some of the women arrived, there were rules. For example, the first thing some of them were asked to do was put away their cell phones," CNN's Paula Reid reported. "And we're told folks mingled and shared drugs, including cocaine and ecstasy."
Meyers focused on the details in the reporting.
"You know, my grandmother used to say nothing good happens after midnight and I'd say the same is true about anything that happens at a party at a gated community in suburban Orlando where they make you give up your phone," he said.
"As a general rule, never go to a party at a gated community in suburban Orlando where they make you give up your phone," Meyers explained.
The FBI Seized Matt Gaetz’s Phone Amid Sex Trafficking Investigation: A Closer Look www.youtube.com
On Thursday, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) announced a lawsuit against former Attorney General William Barr to obtain the records of a meeting he took with infamous Blackwater founder Erik Prince.
"CREW is suing the DOJ for records on any meetings that Barr and Prince had since they could reveal potential preferential treatment for Trump's allies in Department of Justice investigations," said the group their press release. "Prince reportedly faced a DOJ investigation for apparently lying before Congress about the Russia probe following Representative Adam Schiff's request for a criminal investigation, but almost two years later, no investigation has been reported and no charges have been announced. In addition to charges related to making false statements to Congress, DOJ apparently was considering whether Prince violated U.S. export laws, but no charges have been announced in that case either."
"Throughout his tenure, Barr consistently intervened in cases to the benefit of Trump's allies, including several Trump would later go on to pardon," continued the statement. "In his final days as president, Trump issued pardon after pardon to benefit himself and his cronies, including for four Blackwater guards convicted of killing of Iraqi civilians. Trump also pardoned Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, whose cases Barr and top DOJ officials had reportedly previously intervened in to withdraw stiff sentencing recommendations — in Stone's case, after Trump tweeted that the recommendations were unfair."
Prince, who is also a GOP megadonor and the brother of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, was reportedly also involved in a meeting in the Seychelles to try to establish a backchannel to the Kremlin for the Trump administration. He is currently facing United Nations sanctions for allegedly violating an arms embargo in Libya.
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