Several U.S. Capitol Police officers have been suspended and more than a dozen others are under investigation for suspected involvement with or inappropriate support for the demonstration last week that turned into a deadly riot at the Capitol, according to members of Congress, police officials and staff members briefed on the developments.
Eight separate investigations have been launched into the actions of Capitol officers, according to one congressional aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the status of the internal review.
In one of the cases, officers had posted what Capitol Police investigators found to be messages showing support for the rally on Wednesday that preceded the attack on the complex, including touting President Trump’s baseless contention that the election had been stolen through voter fraud, the aide said.
President Trump urged fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat in an extraordinary one-hour phone call Saturday that election experts said raised legal questions.
The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation in which Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims, at one point warning that Raffensperger was taking “a big risk.”
Throughout the call, Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel rejected Trump’s assertions, explaining that the president is relying on debunked conspiracy theories and that President-elect Joe Biden’s 11,779-vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate.
The Senate passed a $741 billion defense authorization bill on Friday, sending it to President Trump with veto-proof majorities in both chambers of Congress and effectively daring him to make good on his threat to scuttle the legislation.
The tally was 84 to 13.In recent weeks, Trump has escalated his promises to veto the annual legislation, which directs funding for the Pentagon on everything from overseas operations to pay and health care for civilian and uniformed personnel.
Trump threats began over the summer, when he vowed to stymie the legislation if it included a directive to the Defense Department to rename installations commemorating Confederate figures. More recently, he has demanded that the bill repeal an unrelated law granting technology companies liability protections against content that users post to their websites.
President Donald Trump engaged in what could best be described as a lengthy airing of grievances on Sunday morning, venting to sycophantic Fox News host Maria Bartiromo during his first post-election television interview while baselessly suggesting his own FBI and Department of Justice were “involved” with a “rigged” election against him.
Since decisively losing the election to President-elect Joe Biden earlier this month, the president has been holed up inside the White House tweeting unhinged conspiracies about widespread voter fraud while his “elite strike force” legal team has had its attempts to overthrow the election repeatedly laughed out of court.
The best indication yet that congressional Republicans accept Trump’s defeat in the election has been the flurry of statements decrying the Tuesday announcement by acting secretary of defense Chris Miller that the military will reduce troop numbers from about 5,000 to 2,500 in Afghanistan and from about 3,000 to 2,500 in Iraq before the inauguration.Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) took to the floor to declare that he is “alarmed” by Trump’s plan to reduce the U.S. presence to “a potentially unstable and dangerous level,” and that the lame-duck president is doing so “without any real consultation, either with our allies at NATO or elsewhere, certainly not with Congress.”
“A precipitous retreat, which would reverse the progress we have made and fought so hard to make, is deeply troubling,” Cornyn said.