‘Strong evidence’ Pro-Trump rioters intended to kill Pence, members of Congress, prosecutors say


Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

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Federal prosecutors said in a new court filing there is “strong evidence” that the pro-Trump rioters who invaded the U.S. Capitol last week intended “to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government,” including Vice President Mike Pence.

Prosecutors also noted in that filing that “news reports suggest that the U.S. Capitol siege may just be the beginning of potentially violent actions from President [Donald] Trump’s supporters.”

The filing by the office of Arizona U.S. Attorney Michael Bailey asked a judge on Friday to detain Jacob Chansley, one of the most notorious Jan. 6 rioters without bail, saying he has planned to return to Washington for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.

“Chansley is a self-proclaimed leader of the QAnon,” a group of conspiracy theorists that believes many U.S. lawmakers are part of a ring of child molesters and Satan worshipers.

Bailey’s office said Chansley, who was wearing face paint and a hat with horns on it, raced up to a dais in the Senate “where Vice President Pence had been presiding just minutes before, and began posing” to be photographed by other rioters.

Pence was presiding that day over a joint session of Congress to formally confirm the election of Biden as president.

A protester yells inside the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee | Getty Images News | Getty Images

“Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States Government,” prosecutors wrote in their filing.

“Chansley left a note on the Senate Chamber dais, where Vice President Mike Pence had been presiding over the session just minutes before, warning ‘it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.’ “

Prosecutors said that when the FBI questioned Chansley about the meaning of his words, he “went on a lengthy diatribe describing current and past United States political leaders as infiltrators, specifically naming Vice President Mike Pence.”

“He said that he was able to get into the United States Senate in D.C. ‘by the grace of God.’ Chansley said that he was glad he sat in the Vice President’s chair because Vice President Pence is a child-trafficking traitor,” the filing said.

While Chansley claimed that he did not mean the note as a threat, “the Government strongly disagrees,” the filing said.

A demonstrator holds a mannequin wearing a noose with “Traitor” written on it during a protest at the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Prosecutors noted that, “Chansley also expressed his interest in returning to Washington D.C. for the inauguration, later telling the FBI: ‘I’ll still go, you better believe it.’ “

” ‘For sure I’d want to be there, as a protestor, as a protestor, f–‘ a,’ ” he said, according to the filing.

In an video interview outside the Capitol as he and other rioters left the complex, Chansley said that he left the Senate floor and “the cops just walked out with me.”

He also said the mob was leaving because Trump had posted a message online asking them to do so, and that rioters had “won” the day.

“We won by sending a message to the senators and the congressmen, we won by sending a message to Pence, that if they don’t … do as it is their oath is to do, that if they don’t uphold the Constitution, then we will remove you, but one way or the other,” Chansley said.

Trump was impeached Tuesday by the House of Representatives for inciting the mob, which stormed the Capitol complex after a rally on the Ellipse, in which he urged supporters to help him undo Biden’s election.

Also Friday, The New York Times reported that the FBI is investigating 37 people in a probe of the killing during the riot of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

The Times cited an F.B.I. memo sent to the private sector and others.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.



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