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It was so much worse than it seemed nine days ago

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And think about what it seemed like nine days ago!

Federal prosecutors offered the most chilling description yet of rioters who seized the Capitol last week, writing in a new court filing that the intention was “to capture and assassinate elected officials.”The view was included in a memo seeking to keep Jacob Anthony Chansley, who rallied people inside the Capitol using a bullhorn, in detention. According to Capitol Police information included in the filing, Chansley was notable for his headdress, face paint and carrying of a six-foot spear.

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,” government prosecutors wrote.The allegations, written by Justice Department lawyers in Arizona, come as the government have begun describing in more alarming terms what transpired. In a separate case, prosecutors in Texas court alleged that a retired Air Force reservist who carried plastic zip tie-like restraints on the Senate floor may have intended to restrain lawmakers.close dialog

Chansley is due in federal court in Arizona on Friday for a detention hearing.”He loved Trump, every word. He listened to him. He felt like he was answering the call of our president,” Chansley’s attorney Al Watkins, appearing on CNN Thursday night, said. ” My client wasn’t violent. He didn’t cross over any police lines. He didn’t assault anyone.” Watkins said Chansley also hopes for a presidential pardon.Prosecutors describe those who took over the Capitol as “insurrectionists” and offer new details about Chansley’s role in the violent siege last week, including that after standing at the dais where Vice President Mike Pence had stood that morning, Chansley wrote a note saying “it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”Chansley later told the FBI he did not mean the note as a threat but said the Vice President was a “child-trafficking traitor” and went on a long diatribe about Pence, Biden and other politicians as traitors.

One striking aspect of the videos now emerging is how many of the insurrectionists obviously had a detailed understanding of the layout of the Capitol, which is a confusing maze to people who aren’t intimately familiar with it.

The buffoonish and carnivalesque atmosphere that the insurrectionists created and then exploited is merely par for the course for many fascist and fascist-adjacent political movements, which have always depended on a kind of violent performance art to pursue their goals.

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