Some Capitol Mob Participants Seek Plea Deals

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Several members of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol have reported their involvement to law enforcement as prosecutors race to charge dozens of the most visible participants and dig into what kind of planning went into it, reports the Wall Street Journal. Lawyers for several have called law enforcement to disclose information about their clients’ participation in an effort to avoid more serious criminal charges and potentially negotiate plea deals. Prosecutors announced the arrest of a Virginia man who was photographed wearing a sweatshirt bearing the words Camp Auschwitz. Among others arrested or charged were former Phoenix resident and Olympic gold medalist swimmer Klete Keller, identified as one of the people who illegally entered the U.S. Capitol,  a man from Idaho who was identified from photos showing him hanging by one hand from the Senate balcony, and two off-duty Rocky Mount, Va., police officers, Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson, who were allegedly photographed making an obscene gesture in front of a statue of Revolutionary War officer John Stark in the Capitol.

The new cases come as cities across the U.S. brace for the possibility of more armed protests and violence in the days before Joe Biden’s inauguration. Officials expect 20,000 National Guard members to be involved in securing Washington, D.C., for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week, NPR reports. Washington, D.C., Police Chief Robert Contee said the inauguration has been designated as a “national special security event.” The FBI and National Counterterrorism Center on Wednesday circulated among law-enforcement agencies a bulletin warning that partisan grievances pose the greatest domestic terrorism threat in 2021.

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