Senate Democrats unveil resolution denouncing Capitol assault


Washington — A group of Senate Democrats on Tuesday rolled out a resolution denouncing the January 6 violent riots at the United States Capitol and calling on the FBI and U.S. intelligence community to conduct a review of the domestic terrorist threat posed by extremist groups.

The resolution from the Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, walks through the events of January 6, when a mob “launched a planned, coordinated and deadly terrorist attack” on the Capitol in an attempt to halt Congress’s constitutionally mandated counting of states electoral votes. It is the first measure aimed at expressly condemning the deadly riots. 

While the attack prompted the evacuation of lawmakers and former Vice President Mike Pence and paused the proceedings for several hours, the House and Senate reconvened to finish the tally and reaffirm President Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

The measure expresses the “sense of the Senate on the imminent and pervasive threat of domestic terrorism, violent white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-government militias, and dangerous, fringe conspiracy theories to the democratic institutions and values of the United States.”

Noting that domestic terrorists and the spread of conspiracy theories pose a “unique insider threat,” the resolution urges the FBI and intelligence community to “immediately” launch an interagency review of the threat posed by fringe groups, including white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-government militia members and supporters of conspiracy theories.

Among the areas Democrats say should be examined are the leadership and membership of such groups within the U.S., their sources of financing and coordination with foreign actors, including foreign military and intelligence services. The resolution also calls for the investigation to look into the use of social media to recruit members, and targeting and recruitment of current and former members of the military and law enforcement.

Federal prosecutors have charged at least 172 people for their actions January 6. Of those arrested, 15 are veterans and two are in the Army Reserve. 

Congress and the U.S. Capitol Police have begun several investigations related to the assault on the Capitol, including whether any House members led reconnaissance tours before the riot and the security failures that led to the breach of the building. A trio of House committees opened a review into what the intelligence community and federal law enforcement knew about the threats of violence leading up to January 6, as well as whether there was a nexus to foreign influence or misinformation. 

As part of efforts to hold former President Donald Trump for his role in the assault, the House impeached him for incitement of insurrection last month, and the Senate is poised to begin its impeachment trial next week.

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