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Washington, D.C., locks down as inauguration events kick off

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Washington, D.C. fortifies security ahead of Biden inauguration 03:15

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Vehicles checked. Roads blocked. The National Mall shut down. The nation's capital increasingly locked down on Saturday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's upcoming inauguration as the Pentagon authorized 25,000 troops deployed to Washington, D.C.

A Virginia man was arrested at a checkpoint and charged with having an unregistered gun. 

The unprecedented ramp-up in security happened as the handover of power continued, with inauguration events kicking off virtually on Saturday. And Mr. Biden's incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, issued a memo detailing Mr. Biden's priorities in the first 10 days of his administration, including several executive actions.

"President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward," Klain said in the memo. 

Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Saturday also introduced members of their science team, with Mr. Biden insisting, "science will always be at the forefront of my administration."

More charges were announced against Capitol rioters on Saturday. A Texas realtor said she should be pardoned because she was following the advice of President Trump. Prosecutors said Jenna Ryan took a private plane to Washington, D.C., livestreamed the assault and then tweeted afterward "we just stormed the Capital (sic). It was one of the best days of my life."

"I just want people to know I'm a normal person, that I listen to my president who told me to go to the Capitol. That I was displaying my patriotism while I was there and I was just protesting and I wasn't trying to do anything violent and I didn't realize there was actually violence," Ryan told CBS Dallas / Fort Worth.


Far-right personality "Baked Alaska" arrested in riot probe

Far-right media personality Tim Gionet, who calls himself "Baked Alaska," has been arrested by the FBI for his involvement in the riot at the U.S. Capitol, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

Gionet was arrested by federal agents in Houston on Saturday, according to the official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter before the public release of a criminal complaint and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Gionet faces charges of violent and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. 

FBI Special Agent Nicole Miller said in an affidavit filed in the case that Gionet streamed live for about 27 minutes from inside the Capitol and could be heard encouraging other protesters not to leave, cursing and saying "I'm staying," "1776 baby," and "I won't leave guys, don't worry." 

By The Associated Press

Charges announced against man who allegedly posted "feelin' cute … might start a revolution later"

The U.S. Attorney's Office on Friday charged Jacob Hiles, who was allegedly photographed in a "F--- antifa" hoodie, in relation to the January 6 Capitol riot. Multiple people familiar with Hiles pointed law enforcement to posts he made on Facebook about the Capitol assault, prosecutors said. 

According to charging documents, one photo posted to Facebook was timestamped January 6 and had the caption "Feelin cute…might start a revolution later, IDK – in Capitol Hill." 

At 1:31 p.m., Hiles allegedly wrote: "After being tear gassed for an hour, we entered the capitol, thousands of us. The fbi shot and killed a woman in front of us. We followed the trail of her blood out of the building." 

Prosecutors said he also posted a "lengthy" first-person account on Facebook of the assault.  He allegedly wrote: "While under the rotunda, I never saw anyone touch or vandalize anything and I distinctly heard several people saying 'look but don't touch ... I was walking past offices, and one office clearly above the door said 'Office of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.'"

By Caroline Linton

Trump mulling sendoff while refusing to attend Biden inauguration

Trump mulling sendoff while refusing to attend Biden inauguration 02:08

With just four days left in his presidency, President Trump is considering a final military sendoff on the morning of Biden's inauguration. Meanwhile, the Senate is preparing for his impeachment trial. Nikole Killion has more. 


Washington, D.C., fortifies security ahead of Biden inauguration

Washington, D.C. fortifies security ahead of Biden inauguration 03:15

The nation's capital is on lockdown as it prepares for the upcoming Biden inauguration. Kris Van Cleave reports on the unprecedented enhancement of security for an inauguration. 


Capitol Police arrest man at D.C. checkpoint with unregistered gun and 500 rounds of ammo

U.S. Capitol Police on Friday arrested a man who had an unregistered firearm and 500 rounds of ammunition at a checkpoint in Washington, D.C. The man, Wesley Allen Beeler of Virginia, has been charged with carrying a pistol without a license; possession of unregistered firearm, and possession of unregistered ammunition.  

According to Capitol Police, Beeler was stopped at a security checkpoint near the Capitol that has been put up ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. He presented a non-government issued credential and police said they observed a firearm in plain sight. A search of the vehicle also found numerous rounds of ammunition, police said.

Metro police said the items recovered from Beeler's vehicle included two 9MM Glocks, 509 rounds of ammunition, 21 12-gauge shotgun shells and a 17-round Glock 17 magazine.

By Caroline Linton

Inauguration events kick off Saturday night

President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration events will kick off Saturday night from 7-8:30 p.m. ET. The Presidential Inaugural Committee will host a virtual event called "An Inauguration Welcome Event Celebrating America's Changemakers." According to the committee, the night will "feature musical performances, celebrity appearances, and remarks from some of the most popular leaders from across the country, the event will kick off five days of programming leading into the inauguration." 

By Caroline Linton

Biden chief of staff outlines plan for first 10 days

Ron Klain, who President-elect Joe Biden has selected as chief of staff, issued a memo on Saturday outlining the incoming Biden administration's priorities for the first 10 days in office, including dozens of executive orders. "President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward," Klain said in the memo. 

According to Klain, Mr. Biden will ask the Department of Education to extend the existing pause on student loan payments and interest for millions of Americans with federal student loans, and he will sign executive action to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, extend the eviction moratorium and reverse the Muslim ban. Mr. Biden will also launch the "100 Day Masking Challenge." 

According to the memo, on January 21, Mr. Biden will sign executive action aimed at addressing COVID-19 and reopening schools. On January 22, he will direct his Cabinet agencies to address economic relief.

Klain also listed a number of less specific execution actions Mr. Biden plans to address from January 25-February 1. "President-elect Biden will demonstrate that America is back and take action to restore America's place in the world," Klain wrote. 

By Caroline Linton

Hotel chain dumps Hawley's Florida fundraiser

Loews Hotels will no longer host a February fundraiser for Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri at one of its Florida locations. The move comes in response to his objection to the counting of the Electoral College votes, one of the rallying cries of the Capitol rioters. 

"We are horrified and opposed to the events at the Capitol and all who supported and incited the actions," Loews said in a statement on Twitter. "In light of those events and for the safety of our guests and team members, we have informed the host of the Feb. fundraiser that it will no longer be held at Loews Hotels."

Fighting for Missouri PAC, a Leadership PAC affiliated with Hawley, planned to host a "fun-filled-family-friendly" weekend at the hotel, according to an invitation shared on Twitter. Attendees were encouraged to contribute $5,000 for a family, $3,000 for a couple and $1,000 for an individual.

Hawley was the first senator to publicly announce he would challenge the Electoral College vote tally, which preceded the Capitol siege. 

This is not the first blow for Hawley following last week's attack. Publisher Simon & Schuster announced on January 7 that it is dropping plans to publish his book "The Tyranny of Big Tech," saying it "cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom."

Hawley responded by calling Simon & Schuster a "woke mob" and said "this could not be more Orwellian."

By Audrey McNamara

Prosecutors charge man who allegedly posted a photo with metal from the Capitol with caption "got some memorabilia, did it myself"

Charges were announced on Friday against Samuel Camargo, who prosecutors alleged posted photos on Instagram and Facebook from the assault on the U.S. Capitol. Prosecutors said one photo featured a piece of metal from the Capitol and had the caption "got some memorabilia, did it myself."

The U.S. Attorney's Office said that many of the pictures he posted disappeared from his Instagram Story. But prosecutors said he posted a Facebook status that said "To all my friends, family, and people of the United State of America I apologize for my actions today at the Capitol in D.C. I was involved in the events that transpired earlier today. I will be getting off all social media for the foreseeable future and will cooperate with all investigations that may arise from my involvement. I'm sorry to all the people I've disappointed as this is not who I am nor what I stand for."

A former classmate and friend on social media alerted the FBI about the posts, prosecutors said. When speaking to law enforcement, Camargo allegedly became uncooperative, and questioned the FBI agent's loyalty to the Constitution, and proceeded to tell the agent he had no further information.

After the interview, Camargo allegedly posted on Facebook "Just finished speaking to an FBI agent, I believe I've been cleared."

Camargo has been charged with civil disorder; entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority;  knowingly engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in any restricted building or grounds and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

By Caroline Linton

Constitution does not directly address if former presidents can be impeached and tried

The Congressional Research Service, which provides legal analysis to Congress, issued a report on Saturday that explains the Constitution does not directly address whether a former president can be impeached and tried after leaving office. The House on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time in his presidency, and the Senate is now expected to hold a trial as the second part of the impeachment process - after Mr. Trump's term is over. 

According to CRS, most scholars have concluded that Congress has the authority to impeach a president after leaving office. "As an initial matter, a number of scholars have argued that the delegates at the Constitutional Convention appeared to accept that former officials may be impeached for conduct that occurred while in office," the CRS report reads.

But, the CRS report also says there are some arguments against Congress' authority to impeach a former president, since the Constitution says "[t]he President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment ... and Conviction." This could be read to support the requirement that the process only applies to officials who are holding office during impeachment proceedings.

The House has never impeached, and the Senate has never tried, a former president. But both chambers have embarked on impeachment proceedings against an official who has left office. In 1876, the House recommended Secretary of War William Belknap be impeached, unaware he had already resigned. The House concluded after a debate that Belknap could be impeached, and articles of impeachment were sent to the Senate for trial. 

Belknap argued that he could not be tried since he was no longer in office, but the Senate found after three days of debate that "amenable to trial by impeachment for acts done as Secretary of War, notwithstanding his resignation of said office before he was impeached." The Senate, however, failed to muster a two-thirds majority to convict him. 

More recently, Congress decided not to undertake impeachment proceedings against officials who have left office. 

By Caroline Linton

Texas woman who took private plane to Trump rally says she deserves a pardon

A woman who took a private plane from Texas to Washington D.C. to attend President Trump's rally on January 6, and later live-streamed herself illegally entering the U.S. Capitol says she deserves a pardon. 

"I think we all deserve a pardon. I'm facing a prison sentence. I think I do not deserve that and from what I understand, every person is going to be arrested that was there, so I think everyone deserves a pardon, so I would ask the President of the United States to give me a pardon," Jennifer Leigh Ryan, also known as Jenna Ryan, told CBS Dallas / Fort Worth.

Ryan, who is a realtor and conservative radio host, has been charged with "knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority," and "disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds."

"I just want people to know I'm a normal person, that I listen to my president who told me to go to the Capitol. That I was displaying my patriotism while I was there and I was just protesting and I wasn't trying to do anything violent and I didn't realize there was actually violence," Ryan said. 

Five people died during, or as a result of, the Capitol siege.

Ryan apologized to "all of the families that are affected by any of the negative environment," and added that she is not the "villain that a lot of people would make me out to be, or people think I am, because I was a Trump supporter at the Capitol."

By Audrey McNamara

Democratic lawmakers "deeply disturbed" by reports of law enforcement connected to Capitol siege

Democratic members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform said they are "deeply disturbed" by reports of law enforcement officers who participated in the Capitol siege on January 6. They have called for police departments to "identify and take appropriate action" against any officers involved. 

"As numerous police officers and law enforcement agencies from around the country mobilize to defend our state and national institutions and values, we are deeply disturbed by reports that a small number of law enforcement officers participated directly in this despicable act of violence against the U.S. Government, thereby placing innocent people and their fellow officers at risk," the lawmakers said in a letter sent to the Major Cities Chiefs Association on Saturday. 

The letter notes five law enforcement officers who allegedly participated in the Capitol attack, including two from Virginia who have since been charged with federal crimes. According to a criminal complaint, one officer posted on social media that "CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem and not some random small business ... The right IN ONE DAY took the f***** U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us." 

The Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties currently has "several ongoing investigations into law enforcement agencies that have been revealed to have extremists in their ranks," according to the letter. Committee members wrote that the Capitol attack proved "the need for immediate action."

"While everyone who participated in the insurrection at the Capitol must be brought to justice, the participation of certain law enforcement personnel, who are entrusted to protect American lives and values, is particularly disturbing and warrants swift investigation."

By Audrey McNamara

Federal prisons on lockdown in run-up to inauguration

All federal prisons in the United States have been placed on lockdown, with officials aiming to quell any potential violence that could arise behind bars as law enforcement prepares for potentially violent protests across the country.

The lockdown at more than 120 federal Bureau of Prisons facilities took effect at 12 a.m. Saturday, according to an email to employees from the president of the union representing federal correctional officers.

"In light of current events occurring around the country, and out of an abundance of caution, the decision has been made to secure all institutions," the Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.

During a lockdown, inmates are kept in their cells most of the day and visiting is canceled.

The lockdown decision is precautionary, no specific information led to it and it is not in response to any significant events occurring inside facilities, the bureau said.

To avoid backlash from inmates, the lockdown was not announced until after they were locked in their cells Friday evening.

By The Associated Press

Denver's Capitol Hill businesses are boarding up

Businesses around Capitol Hill in Denver aren't taking any chances leading up to Inauguration Day after last week's protest at the state Capitol. Many are boarding up windows while staying open just to be safe, CBS Denver reports.

For some businesses, this isn't the first time. One restaurant, City, O' City, has put plywood up and taken it down a few times over the last eight months.

"We can't wait for this to be over," said Juan Flores, a manager at the restaurant. "We're definitely in the center of the city where everything happens, so we're just well-prepared for things to be different. We take it day by day."

Down the street, Capitol Hill Books, just un-boarded itsr windows after eight months of having them blocked off due to protests in the city.

"Oh boy, this last year," owner Holly Brooks said. "Everybody thought we were closed, no matter how many open signs we posted on those boards, they thought we were closed."

With reports of armed protests at all 50 state capitols, Denver businesses say the best plan of action is to be prepared.


Sacramento sees large coordinated effort to keep Capitol safe

The Capitol building is Sacramento, California, is surrounded by fencing and there is an abundance of officers standing guard, CBS Sacramento reports.

The California Highway Patrol is the lead in the effort and the National Guard is assisting. The Sacramento Police Department is in charge of keeping the rest of downtown safe.

The department has already initiated a mutual aid request. The Woodland Police Department is helping with protection.

"We were asked for aid in two areas for riot control and for building security," said Sergeant Victoria Danzl.

With eyes on the capitol ahead of potential violence and civil unrest, the CHP is now placing all uniformed officers on tactical alert.


Roads around Minnesota State Capitol closed off

Officials this weekend are concerned about armed protesters at the Minnesota State Capitol. Security measures are already being put in place, and roads around the Capitol in St. Paul are now closed off, CBS Minnesota reports

Federal buildings like courthouses, and even elected leaders' homes, are also being protected.   

The Department of Public Safety said Minnesota State Patrol troopers will be visible and available to respond this weekend, as will National Guard soldiers, after they were activated Wednesday.

"You are safe. You are in good hands. And the planning leading up to the events over the next many days has been extensive. All hands are on deck," St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said.

Both the FBI and Department of Homeland Security have made it clear to Minnesota officials there's no immediate credible threat in the state. The State Patrol, however, urges a "see something, say something" mentality.

"I have the highest level of confidence in our police chief and in our law enforcement leaders who are working together that we will meet the challenges of this moment," St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said.


Armed capitol rallies "will continue" as planned, Boogaloo group member says

A group that has been planning since November to have armed rallies in Washington, D.C., as well as state capitols, intends to carry out its events Sunday, despite an unprecedented effort to secure the Capitol.

The FBI warned law enforcement this week about a group calling for its supporters to come to Washington, D.C., and state capitols armed at their "personal discretion."

That particular call for armed protesters dates back to a November 24 posting on a website called Tree of Liberty, an online forum for members of the extremist anti-government Boogaloo movement. The online flyer posted that day noted that the "Armed march on Capitol Hill and all state capitolswas planned for January 17 and was intended to be peaceful, but encouraged participants to "come armed at your personal discretion." In a follow-up posted four days after rioters breached the Capitol — including some who prosecutors now say were intent on harming the Vice-President and other elected officials — the group wrote that its protest was in "pending status given the events that have taken place." 

But in an email to CBS News Friday, an administrator for the website wrote that the group now intends to carry on as planned. CBS News had reached out to an email address listed on the Tree of Liberty website as being the group's press contact.

"The 1/17 events will continue, and safeguards are in place to assure that nothing violent happens concerning the Boogaloo Boys. I cannot speak on behalf of the Proud Boys or MAGA people, and we made it clear that we'd rather not see them there," the press contact, who did not identify themselves, said.

Read more here.

By Graham Kates

House arrest plan for invader of Pelosi's office halted

A federal judge in Washington has halted a plan to release and put on house arrest the Arkansas man photographed sitting at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during last week's riot at the Capitol. Richard Barnett will instead be brought to D.C. immediately for proceedings in his case, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ordered Friday night.

Howell's ruling came hours after U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Wiedemann in Arkansas set a $5,000 bond for Barnett and ordered that a GPS monitor track his location. Wiedemann also prohibited Barnett from using the internet or having contact with anyone else who participated in the violence.

"If (Barnett) will travel across the country and engage in this level of criminal behavior because he believes that he is right and it is the Electoral College that is wrong, what would deter him?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Harris said. 

Richard Barnett
Richard Barnett sits inside the office of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he protests inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty

Barnett is charged with unlawfully entering a restricted area with a lethal weapon — a stun gun. He is also charged with disorderly conduct and theft of public property. 

He surrendered voluntarily to FBI agents at the Benton County Sheriff's Office in Bentonville, Arkansas, on January 8 and has remained in the Washington County jail since then. He faces up to 11 1/2 months in prison if convicted. 

By The Associated Press

New details emerge about mob coming close to Pence

New details are coming to light about how close a violent mob got to Vice President Mike Pence during the deadly siege on the Capitol last Wednesday, CBS News congressional correspondent Nikole Killion reports.  

When rioters stormed the Capitol, Pence waited about 14 minutes in the Senate chamber after the initial security breach, giving the angry intruders time to get closer to his location, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Some called him a traitor and chanted for him to be hanged.

The rioters were less than 100 feet from where the vice president and his family were hiding before the Secret Service evacuated them to safety.


Facebook blocks creation of new events near White House and Capitol building

Facebook announced on Friday that it is no longer allowing people to create new events near the White House, U.S. Capitol or any state capitol buildings until after Inauguration Day. 

Facebook will also review all inauguration-related events and remove ones that violate site policies, and block events created in the U.S. by accounts and pages based outside of the U.S.

"We're monitoring for signals of violence or other threats both in Washington, D.C. and across all 50 states," Facebook said in a statement. "... as we did in the weeks after the presidential election, we are promoting accurate information about the election and the violence at the Capitol instead of content that our systems predict may be less accurate, delegitimizes the election or portrays the rioters as victims." 

Read more here

By Li Cohen
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