Was the Jan. 6 Attack on the Capitol an Act of 'Terrorism'? – Yahoo News

WASHINGTON — After a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol last year, many Democrats and Republicans alike denounced the riot using terms like “terrorism.” But many Republicans later backed away from such condemnations as they sought to realign themselves with former President Donald Trump.
The highest-profile example yet came Thursday, when Fox News host Tucker Carlson accused Sen. Ted Cruz of purposefully lying because he had continued to call the events of Jan. 6 a terrorist attack, including at a Senate hearing this week.
Cruz, R-Texas, apologized, calling his phrasing “frankly dumb” and saying that he was referring only to those rioters who assaulted police. Carlson, who has insinuated that Jan. 6 may have been a plot to justify a “purge” of Trump-supporting “patriots,” rejected Cruz’s explanation, citing his consistent use of that term over the past year to describe the Capitol attack.
Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times
Here is a closer look at the charged debate over the use of the word.
What is terrorism?
Essentially, it is politically motivated violence.
Denouncing Cruz, Carlson declared that “by no definition” was Jan. 6 “a terror attack.” But Congress has enacted a statute that defines domestic terrorism as criminal offenses that are dangerous to human life, lack a foreign nexus and appear to be seeking “to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.”
According to that definition, some of the events of Jan. 6 “were acts of domestic terrorism, and that’s accurate regardless of whether it applies to each individual,” said Mary McCord, who was a senior Justice Department national security official in the Obama administration and into the early Trump era.
She added, “We are talking about acts that were dangerous to human life and that were in violation of criminal laws, and they were certainly done to influence government policy because they were trying to prevent the counting of Electoral College votes.”
Did all the Jan. 6 rioters commit life-endangering crimes?
No. More than 700 people have been charged to date in connection with the Capitol attack, and they are accused of a spectrum of crimes. Just as only some have been charged with conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding, only some have been charged with violent offenses like assaulting police officers and destroying government property. Others have been charged only with nonviolent crimes, such as illegally entering a restricted building.
Cruz told Carlson that at the Senate hearing this week, he was not saying that “the thousands of peaceful protesters supporting Donald Trump are somehow terrorists.” Rather, he contended, he was merely using that term for people who attacked police officers — an explanation that Carlson, who agreed that such people should go to prison but maintained that they were not terrorists either, rejected.
On many occasions, Cruz has broadly called the assault on the Capitol an “act of terrorism” without specifically limiting his words to police assailants. In an interview a day after the riot, for example, he described the “terrorist attack” as “a traumatic experience for everyone in the building and everyone across the country,” and he referred to a rioter who “broke into the Senate chamber” and “did damage” as a “terrorist.”
Has anyone been charged ‘with terrorism’ over Jan. 6?
No. Carlson asked Cruz, “How many people have been charged with terrorism on Jan. 6?” The answer is zero — but that fact is deeply misleading.
Congress — despite establishing a legal definition for “domestic terrorism” — has not created any stand-alone federal crime called that. As a result, it is not possible for prosecutors to charge any of the Jan. 6 rioters “with terrorism” regardless of whether they committed terrorist acts.
Might some defendants nevertheless face longer sentences for terrorism-related offenses?
Yes. Dozens of defendants are facing charges that will give prosecutors the opportunity to ask for longer sentences by invoking the context of domestic terrorism. It is not yet clear how harsh prosecutors and judges will be when it comes time to sentence uncooperative defendants who insist on going to trial and then get convicted, rather than striking plea deals.
In one statute, for example, Congress deemed about four dozen offenses as eligible to count as a “federal crime of terrorism” if the acts were “calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct.” Under sentencing guidelines, such a conviction can result in a much longer prison term.
The list includes destruction of government property, a charge that 44 defendants are facing so far, according to the Justice Department’s tally of the Jan. 6 cases. The list also includes a “weapon of mass destruction” charge that may be brought if the FBI finds whoever put pipe bombs outside the Capitol Hill headquarters of both major political parties the night before the riot.
In addition, two defendants so far have been charged with making false statements. Under a separate law, prosecutors can ask for a sentence of up to eight years, rather than the normal five, if such lies involve domestic terrorism.
Why is the terrorism label subject to dispute?
Because nobody likes terrorists. And as a matter of ordinary speech as opposed to legal definitions, drawing the line between “terrorism” and less pejorative terms for politically motivated violence can be notoriously subjective.
“Why did you use that word?” Carlson asked Cruz.
He accused the senator of playing into a characterization by “the other side” seeking to smear the “entire population” of Trump supporters as “foreign combatants,” likening it to labels like “insurrection” and “coup.”
Notably, during the nationwide protests after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020, Carlson called on the Justice Department to charge “every single person caught on camera torching a building, destroying a monument, defacing a church” with terrorism.
“Call them what they actually are — domestic terrorists,” he said, adding: “That would be their new government-approved title. Once they’re charged, it’s official. In fact, they are literally, as a factual matter, accused terrorists. And that would change minds right away.”
© 2022 The New York Times Company
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the ruling party, the African National Congress, must work to regain popular support after being embroiled in corruption scandals and divided by bitter factional rivalries. Marking the ANC's 110th anniversary Saturday, Ramaphosa struck a somber note, emphasizing that the party of Nelson Mandela which helped South Africa to achieve democracy, has lost voter backing. “We must be forthright in recognizing, and deal decisively with, the reality that ANC structures are in a poor state," Ramaphosa said.
There's a growing global potato shortage – a real problem for a planet addicted to french fries and chips. A number of popular items, including marmite and cream cheese, have faced scarcities amid supply chain disruptions wrought by the coronavirus pandemic and extreme weather. Potatoes are the latest to join the list, becoming unevenly available in some countries and fast-food chains because of a confluence of factors.Subscribe to The Post Most newsletter for the most important and interesting
A summary of where the investigation stands publicly in the death of James Williams, shot and killed by Canton police on Jan. 1, 2022.
Celebrate 2022 with us! Score more than 80 percent off beloved brands like Samsung, Apple, Fitbit, Hoover, Shark, Ninja and more!
The U.S. company Moderna has donated 2.7 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to Mexico as the country's official death toll topped 300,000
The Department of Homeland Security monitored lots of online chatter about potential threats on Jan. 6. Little came of it.
Like most Republicans in Congress, Rep. Scott Franklin and Rep. Greg Steube did not participate in any public events for the Jan. 6 anniversary.
On busy summer weekends at the Oceanfront, the Virginia Beach Police Department beefs up its presence with sheriff’s deputies. But under city code, those deputies don’t have the same powers as police officers when it comes to non-felony offenses, such as misdemeanors and traffic violations. Sheriff Ken Stolle wants to replace references to “police officer” with “law enforcement officer” in the …
Tulsa Police DepartmentA murder suspect in Oklahoma allegedly admitted to police that he and his fellow suspect had sex in the victim’s bed as they could hear her “struggling to live” in the next room.According to an affidavit from Tulsa police, obtained by local outlet KNWA/KFTA, 28-year-old Nicholas Johnson and 25-year-old Brinlee Denison beat the victim, Sarah Maguire, to death with a crowbar inside her home in Oklahoma earlier this week. The outlet reported that the pair face charges of firs
Jason Jones, 29, died at a New York hospital in December.
The three men who chased Arbery through a Georgia neighborhood in 2020 were all sentenced to life in prison.
A Washington state man identified as William Cunningham is facing felony hate crime charges after video footage captured him hurling racial slurs as he threatened […]
Kansan Lisa Montgomery, who endured years of sexual and physical abuse, murdered an expectant mother and took the baby. She is to be executed Tuesday.
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin may have put the final nail in the coffin on President Joe Biden’s social spending plan. The Washington Post reports Manchin has taken his $1.8 trillion compromise proposal off the table. The WaPo cited three unnamed sources in its report. Manchin previously said he was no longer discussing the […]
Sgt. 1st Class Robert Nicoson, a paratrooper who was accused of leading a patrol into an unnecessary gunfight in Syri, was acquitted of all charges.
The Dallas salon owner recently tweeted “Chinese students should be BANNED from attending all Texas universities”
Ankeny man: How you experience your life would depend on whether you identified — and were identified — as a Trump Republican.
Divers and helicopters joined the frantic effort to rescue tourists thrown into a Brazilian lake when a cliff wall collapsed on their boats.
The disturbing video appears to show Jason Jones dousing himself with hand sanitizer before being tased.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) on Sunday said former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol about "a number of names that I had not heard before.""She had a number of names that I had not heard before, and she had some ways of looking at it," Raskin told moderator Chuck Todd when asked about Grisham's meeting with the panel during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.