This morning, Stephanie Ruhle dug into the newly-released FBI report on the Capitol assault with reporters Kerry Sanders and Carol Leonnig.
"These are big developments from the FBI report, it's just a report. What are they going to do about it?"
"Such a good question, Stephanie. Because that's really an ongoing and very tense battle in Washington. There are local officials who are looking at the FBI and saying you better be investigating every single one of these people for trespassing and more. The organizers obviously are the focus, and we are told by Department of Justice officials that this will be one of the biggest domestic terrorism investigations in the FBI's history. They're already sending out calls for prosecutors around the country to loan themselves, basically, to Washington to help. So we'll see what happens in the coming days.
"But clearly, the organizers are already in the vise grip of investigators, because they left a lot of trails. They left television cameras. They left actual online social video posts in which they claimed that they had a front row seat to the violence. They videotaped themselves going through the halls of the Capitol. They videotaped their own hand-to-hand combat with police officers. Some of which showed, you know, ex-military and other protesters using pipe and bats on Capitol police. So there's a lot of evidence to sort through and I think it won't be very good for a lot of these protesters. In addition, Stephanie, there's a lot of trail of evidence about the actual organization of this event, and as you mentioned the Wall Street Journal had this good story about the funding from the Publix heiress Miss (Julie) Cancelli.
"But there's more to that story. Obviously many, many people knew ahead of time that something was going to happen. Look to Donald Trump's own tweet on December 19, where he urges people to come to the January 6th rally in Washington to 'stop the steal.' And he says, you know, basically 'It's gonna be wild.' He was right. He predicted correctly. The organizers also were talking about wildness and they were talking about war. They were talking in language of combat and they were organizing how to bring certain weapons. They were talking about bringing riot gear, gas masks, climbing gear, something called a plate carrier, which is a reinforced, bulletproof vest that is usually used in tactical assaults by SWAT teams.
"So these people weren't coming for a First Amendment purpose and they knew right off that they were coming to battle and to storm the Capitol and to basically intimidate lawmakers from certifying the election."
"Then if they were talking about bringing riot gear, gas masks, these are the rioters, why is it that we learned that the Pentagon restricted the D.C. National Guard from being armed with similar equipment, like riot gear to defend themselves? Square that for us," Ruhle said.
"It's hard to make sense of it, especially because of the FBI and Capitol police's early warning about what was going to happen. Remember, again, connecting the dots, January 3rd, the Capitol police intel unit circulates a memo warning that the Capitol is the target and that this war language is being used and that it's likely to be violent. And some of that memo is just chilling to read because it completely nailed what actually happened. It completely predicted it.
"January 5th, the FBI's Norfolk office is noticing these caravans moving from the south to the north, from rebel and cowboy check points, as they called them, the MAGA cavalry coming to Washington and actually using these words, Stephanie, 'We're going to get our president or we're going to die.' So it doesn't make sense. but the National Guard was also in sort of a political quandary, which doesn't -- it doesn't really count in this instance but that quandary was they'd been criticized heavily for 1/3 militarization of downtown D.C. especially during the George Floyd protests. But apparently when you are white supremacist militia coming and storming Washington, the Pentagon and the National Guard were not as worried."
She's tiptoe-ing around the real issue, which is that Trump minions embedded in the Pentagon blocked National Guard use at the direction of Trump -- which I'm sure we'll find out by the time this investigation is through.