I want to talk about this Intercept article making claims about the Jan 6 investigation.


I believe RIGHT NOW, it significantly overstates what it shows.
Let's start with the source. Aside from experts, the story relies on a single named source--a recently retired senior FBI person.
Was this person part of the investigation and quit out of concerns? Or was this person one of the people who advanced his career by firing those who investigated Trump people, which is THE LEAST damning explanation for why the FBI missed this terrorist attack?
The main claim this source makes involves a question of WHAT and HOW. The HOW appears to be via Emergency PRTTs, something explicitly permitted under DOJ guidelines.(I'll come back to the hybrid bit.)
The WHAT is, at a minimum, cell phone data showing who was present.
There's not enough in this piece to tell us whether we need to worry or not, for reasons that some of us have been discussing publicly since the attack. One of which is that the Capitol is REALLY wired up. Tons of cell locations INSIDE the Capitol.
As I said earlier, I have the utmost respect for Mike German, but I think this is one case where (absent more specific information) this claim MAY be entirely wrong.

That's bc every single person who did not have a work reason to be in the Capitol that day committed a crime.
There DO appear to be some exotic data collection methods (but those are public). As I already unpacked once, this Proud Boys conspiracy affidavit shows several of the methods (and what is likely meant by mapping people together).

Most basic: Known defendant (likely IDed from pics), mapped to subscriber records, then shown to be at Capitol on the day.
A step more exotic. They don't seem to have placed Cory Konold's phone itself at the Capitol (unclear why), but they did place Felicia Konold's phone, and then got a record of her calling him.
Here's the most exotic of this bunch. They seem not to have contacted Chrestman's CELL location that day. But they did catch him using Google services (though it's unclear if this is bulk).

ALL of these, though, appear to be probable cause based of known IDs.
The other way they may be using this (and this is not the best example of this, but not a bad one) appears to be PUBLIC Facebook video postings from within the Capitol, then obtaining the UID and user off that.

None of those are that concerning to me -- many are the equivalent of getting surveillance video from local stores, and some appears to be finding known IDs in a pool of IDs who were at the Capitol.

Against, most people who entered bldg on Jan 6 committed a crime.
The one scenario that DOES match Mike German's problematic case is in warrants obtained more widely in an attempt to find the person who left the bombs at the RNC/DNC.
We've already seen one instance of this (trying to remember who). But a more likely tie than CP or Congress was voting rights and/or prominent people like Stone.
So ... MAYBE this is really alarming.

But right now, they seem to have one main source who may not be entirely reliable. And given the politics behind the attack I'd look for far than that one source.

But what we've seen is interesting but not that alarming.

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More from @emptywheel

24 Feb
The FBI seems to be focusing (appropriately) on the organized gangs and the violence from 1/6. But here's how one KY couple came to be arrested 50 days after the event after being reported to FBI on 1/7.

1/7 tip: Lori bragged on FB she was one of first 100 in

1/8 tip: Lori claimed cops let her in, but showed me selfies inconsistent with that

1/8 LE interview: Lori claimed they were let in and cops didn't ask them to leave Image
1/13 TV, using Lori's vids: The doors were open. I'd do it all
over again!

1/14 TV, using Lori's vids shows alarms going off

1/15, FBI interview: Lori claims, on second thought, that there WERE alarms going off, she agrees to share selfie Image
Read 4 tweets
23 Feb
Shifted to detention hearing for Jessica Watkins. Baset laying out how the Oath Keepers aided and abetted destruction, which is their weakest hand for detention.

Judge Mehta is questioning whether imprisonment is not long enough to qualify as terror trigger.

[Fixed prosecutor]
Mehta is noting that govt arg this week is different than it was last week for Watkins' co-conspirator Thomas Caldwell.
Mehta: This is my second one of these cases. I would like to understand from the govt, because this isn't going to just be applying to Ms. Watkins, it'll be applying to remaining co-defendants and various in others.
Read 7 tweets
23 Feb
Amy Klobuchar starts by getting everyone to agree that this was a planned assault by white supremacist and other extremist groups which could have been worse (3 questions).

Sund claims that CBP had received warning the night before, but also claims he JUST learned that.

It has been publicly reported though.
Sund says they took additional steps to provide more hard gear. Not clear that hard gear got to them.
Read 29 tweets
23 Feb
Also in this, some Republican boys laughing gleefuly and taking personal credit for tanking Neera Tanden's confirmation.
In it, Cancun Cruz suggests that this was predictable. And the boys chortle about how good it is that Texas' grid is not regulated.
"One of the reasons people move here is cost of living. Our energy prices are much lower than other parts of the country," says Cancun Cruz, whose constituents are paying 5-digit energy bills now.
Read 5 tweets
22 Feb
The details of this story -- and the understanding of the legal charges against Jan 6 insurrectionists inadequate -- are too vague to sustain outrage about it.
Just as an example, I love Mike German, but without knowing how FBI is using the data or how granular the data is, you actually CAN'T make this claim, bc every non-Congressional employee IN the Capitol were breaking the law.
I also think ANY recent senior FBI retiree should be asked if he was one of the people who politicized DOJ and led FBI to not investigate any Trump associates. Some are.

It's hard to find a universe of people who would have knowledge of this investigation but not conflicts.
Read 5 tweets
22 Feb
You can watch Merrick Garland hearing at either of these links:


Durbin says DOJ under Barr became the Trump Department of Justice, an arm of the White House.
Incidentally, SJC added Padilla and Ossoff, dropped Ernst and Crapo and added Tom Cotton.

And Kamala Harris seems to have a new job somewhere.
Read 104 tweets

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