As the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) continues its probe into the U.S. Capitol riots, more evidence suggests the assault on the federal building was a coordinated plot.
According to The Washington Post, FBI agents across the United States working to navigate through the disturbing events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol are being tasked with determining the true intent of those who traveled to Washington, D.C.
While the "Save America" rally and siege on the Capitol have been widely referred to as protests and riots, the bureau is now making it very clear how the Jan. 6 chaos is, in fact, distinctly different from other acts of civil unrest.
While a typical political rally is defined as a First Amendment rights-protected gathering of "like-minded people," investigators argue that it differs greatly from "organizing an armed assault on the seat of American government." In determining which rallygoers fall into one of the two specific categories, investigators have uncovered evidence that points to more coordinated plans of assault on the U.S. Capitol.
The task now is to distinguish which people belong in each category, and who played key roles in committing or coordinating the violence.
With many believing that President Joe Biden would be a peril for the United States, Trump supporters made detailed plans weeks in advance to prepare for their siege on the Capitol. One example is the investigation into Jessica Marie Watkins, the Ohio woman who formed her own far-right militia for the insurrection.
According to prosecutors' court documents, Watkins began planning shortly after the presidential election suggesting the possibility of America being over with Biden being in office.
"If he is, our way of life as we know it is over. Our Republic would be over. Then it is our duty as Americans to fight, kill and die for our rights. . . . If Biden gets the steal, none of us have a chance in my mind. We already have our neck in the noose. They just haven't kicked the chair yet."
The publication also reports that law enforcement officials have also speculated about the reason for the pipe bombs which "may have been a deliberate distraction meant to siphon law-enforcement away from the Capitol building at the crucial moment."
Another example focuses on the Proud Boys and leaders of other right-wing organizations. Based on footage from the insurrection, along with court filings, investigators have managed to uncover how many different factions were organized as opposed to simply convening outside of the Capitol.
Video and court filings, for instance, describe how several groups of men that include alleged members of the Proud Boys appear to engage in concerted action, converging on the West Front of the Capitol just before 1 p.m., near the Peace Monument at First Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Different factions of the crowd appear to coalesce, move forward and chant under the direction of different leaders before charging at startled police staffing a pedestrian gate, all in the matter of a few minutes.
As of Saturday, Jan. 30, the U.S. Department of Justice has arrested and charged more than 170 individuals in connection with the Capitol riots.