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A man who carried a Confederate flag in the Capitol was arrested.

A man who was pictured holding a Confederate battle flag inside the U.S. Capitol last week during the riot was arrested in Delaware on Thursday, two law enforcement officials said. The man, Kevin Seefried, was wanted by the FBI, who had asked the public for help in identifying him and had widely circulated a dispatch plastered with images from him.

In a newsletter, the agency said it was seeking help in identifying people “who had made an illegal entry” into the Capitol, and asked the public to refer to Photo No.30 when providing advice on the whereabouts of the man with the Confederate flag, now identified by The New York Times as Mr. Seefried.

The FBI had received more than 126,000 photo and video tips earlier this week, as officers also cleaned manifestos from airline passengers and videos of air travelers to and from Washington for potential suspects. The chief federal prosecutor in Washington said this week that he expected the number of people charged with crimes related to the Capitol Riot to reach hundreds.

Federal agents made new arrests in New York, Maryland, Texas and Florida on Wednesday, including a firefighter in the town of Sanford, near Orlando.

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Confederate battle flag in the Capitol: a “ jarring ” first in US history

A Muslim American student said he held back tears when he saw the image of a Trump supporter carrying the Confederate battle flag on Wednesday through the halls of the Capitol.

A black Senate aide who for years confidently walked the halls of Congress said his sense of security collapsed when he saw the photo.

And a black historian said she immediately thought of James Byrd, the black man from Texas who was dragged to death by white supremacists in a van in 1998.

Historian Mary Frances Berry, professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, said she felt “disgusted” and remembered “wanting to scream.”

“To see it spread out right in front of your face, in the United States Capitol, in the heart of government, was just outrageous,” she said.

Amid the images and videos that emerged from Wednesday’s outburst, the sight of a man casually carrying the Confederate battle flag outside the Senate was a vivid reminder of the persistence of white supremacism more than 150 years later. the end of the civil war.

Months after statues of Confederate leaders and racist figures were removed or demolished around the world, an unidentified man in bluejeans and a black sweatshirt carried the emblem of racism across the hallway of the Ohio clock, in front of a portrait of Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, an abolitionist. .

The emblem has already appeared in the Capitol.

The Mississippi flag, which once featured the Confederate symbol prominently, hung in the Capitol until June 2020, when it was replaced after a vote by the state legislature to remove the emblem.

But Wednesday was the first time someone managed to get the flag into the building as an act of insurgency, historians say.

The man carrying the flag faced less stringent security than that faced by Confederate soldiers who failed to enter the Union forts guarding the Capitol during the Battle of Fort Stevens on July 11-12 1864, said William Blair, professor emeritus of history at Penn State and the former director of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at the university.

“The Confederate flag penetrated deeper into Washington on January 6, 2021 than it did during the Civil War,” he said.

The spectacle, Professor Blair said, was “shocking and disheartening.”

“There is so much confusion about the people who fly this flag,” he said. “But even if they try to separate slavery from it – which you can’t – how do you justify waving the flag of a confederation that has tried to tear the country apart, then do you call it a patriot?”

Representative Colin Allred, a black Democrat from Texas, said his wife texted him while he was in the House to see if he was safe and sent him a picture of the man with the flag .

The photo was confirmation, he said, that those who stormed the Capitol were “deeply linked” to white supremacism.

“It’s something that will stay with me,” Mr. Allred said. “They put up a noose and scaffolding on Capitol Hill. This event must be a wake-up call. “

Josh Delaney, deputy legislative director of Senator Elizabeth Warren, said he was at home watching the riot unfold on television when the photo appeared on screen.

“It was as if time had stood still,” he says. “My stomach has fallen. I don’t know if I stopped breathing, but it was a shock. I can only imagine that is what it must be like to be really in shock.

Mr. Delaney, who wrote in the Boston Globe about the sight of the flag, is black and grew up in Georgia, where the flag was a painful but unremarkable reminder of where it was unwelcome.

He said he had never expected to see the flag in the Capitol, where he worked for more than six years.

“I always felt like this was the safest place I could be if something happened,” said Mr Delaney, 31. “To shatter this illusion, I don’t know if I’ll have that same feeling again.

Raheel Tauyyab, a junior at the University of Virginia, said he learned of the flag from a professor who was monitoring news of the riot on his computer during a virtual class Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Tauyyab, 20, an American Muslim who said his goal was to someday work on Capitol Hill, said he couldn’t forget the traumatized look on his teacher’s face.

“I won’t lie: I shed a tear,” he said. “It was really painful to see something like this happen.”

Reverend Robert W. Lee IV, a great-great-great-great-grand-nephew of General Robert E. Lee who supported the large-scale removal of his ancestor’s statues, said he had struggled with what ‘he planned to tell the worshipers. Sunday at his non-denominational church, Unifour Church in Newton, North Carolina

He said he couldn’t get the sight of the flag “desecrating” the Capitol out of his mind.

“It shook me deeply in a way other images haven’t seen in the past four years,” he says. Since Wednesday, he said, he has sat down at his computer and struggled to find the right words.

“It hit me like something that, right now, as someone who is supposed to know what to say as a member of the clergy, I have nothing,” he said. “I have nothing on this.”

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The White House hints at a deal that would remove the names of Confederate leaders from military bases.

Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, has privately hinted that President Trump will drop his objection to removing the names of Confederate leaders from military bases, which threatens to derail the annual military policy bill , if the Democrats agreed to repeal an important legal shield. for social media businesses.

Mr Trump has threatened to veto legislation, which allows pay increases for US troops, if it contains the base name change requirement, which has attracted bipartisan support in the House and Senate .

In several conversations, Representative Adam Smith from Washington, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, asked Mr. Meadows what might persuade Mr. Trump to sign the measure with the name change requirement intact, according to people. close to discussions.

Mr Meadows, according to people, said adding a repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, considered the most consistent law governing Internet speech, would help.

Such a deal would amount to a radical last-minute overhaul of the communications law, and a Democratic congressional aide, speaking on condition of anonymity to disclose internal discussions, said many party lawmakers saw it as a non-starter.

But the offer reflected the White House’s desire to secure distant victories high on the agenda in the final days of Mr. Trump’s presidency. And that further complicated what could turn out to be an uphill battle on Capitol Hill over the issue of Confederate base names.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment on the conversations. A spokesperson for Mr Smith also declined to comment, citing an informal policy of not disclosing details of these negotiations.

Mr. Trump and his closest allies in Congress have campaigned for a revocation of Section 230, which shields social media companies from liability for content posted by users to their sites.

The Ministry of Justice has drafted a legislative proposal to reform the law. And Mr. Trump signed an executive order several months ago to limit some of the provisions of Section 230.

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Trump’s Confederate Base veto threat jeopardizes defense bill

WASHINGTON – When key lawmakers overseeing the Department of Defense met privately this week to discuss a year-end effort to pass the annual military policy bill, Republican Senator James M Inhofe issued an ultimatum: If they wanted the measure to pass this year, they would need to remove his obligation to remove the names of Confederate leaders from military bases.

The provision received broad support from members of both parties and senior military officials when it passed the House and Senate this year, amid a nationwide outcry for racial justice, including the removal of historical symbols of oppression. But it infuriated President Trump, who threatened to veto it, and Mr. Inhofe, the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, privately promised the president that he would make him disappear before it became necessary.

Mr Inhofe’s comments on Monday evening, which were described by two people familiar with the private discussion, gave a glimpse of an impending fight over the issue that could scold the entire defense bill in the last days of the Trump administration. Lawmakers began formal negotiations on Wednesday to reconcile versions of the legislation from the two chambers.

In the months leading up to the election, Mr. Inhofe had publicly warned that the bill could not become law if it included the provision, given Mr. Trump’s opposition. His comments this week reflect how, even as his presidency comes to an end, Mr. Trump has continued to cast a cloud over the fate of critical legislation that allows pay increases for US troops – all because of ‘a problem he almost completely found himself on. alone.

They also raised the prospect of a messy legislative confrontation over whether to defend Confederate symbols. The defense bill was passed by both houses with veto-proof majorities, but Congress was never able to muster the votes to overturn one of Mr. Trump’s eight vetoes during his tenure.

Still, many Democrats are spoiling themselves for a fight to maintain the provision, and a number of Republicans have made it clear they want to preserve it as well.

“I don’t think we should stray from our values ​​and what we stand for,” said Rep. Anthony G. Brown, Democrat of Maryland and military veteran who drafted the House measure. “I don’t think we should close our eyes to what would be seen by many as the perpetuation of a racist symbol in a name, just because it threatens to veto the Defense Permission Act . “

President Nancy Pelosi of California said Wednesday evening that keeping the provision in the final bill was vital.

“It is imperative that the conference report includes provisions to ensure this key priority,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Our foundations must reflect our highest ideals as Americans.”

The two leading Democrats in the armed forces groups, Representative Adam Smith of Washington, the Speaker of the House, and Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the leading Senate member, are both institutionalists who have bragged about ‘have adopted a bipartisan defense. bills every year, even if it means making compromises that disappointed the base of their party.

But Mr Reed said in a brief interview that he believes Congress should pass the legislation with the removal of Confederate base names included – and force Mr Trump to make a veto decision.

It is highly unusual for a provision that was passed by both the House and the Senate to be dropped during final negotiations on the bill, and Mr Reed said he did not think anyone, including Mr. Inhofe, would be able to do things unilaterally.

“I think we should pass the bill,” Reed said Tuesday. “Hopefully the president will reconsider. It was a bipartisan effort. The committee adopted it by vote with very few objections. Then, on the floor, the bill passed with over 80 votes and the House bill has essentially equivalent language. It was a bipartisan effort in both houses and must be recognized and supported. “

West Virginia Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito said the language reflected the clear will of the majority in Congress.

“If he’s passed the two houses, let him in,” Ms. Capito said. “I would say most Americans would agree with that.”

A congressional aide who followed the negotiations said there were a number of issues that lawmakers had yet to address. But the clash on military bases is the most important, raising the prospect that the defense bill could be delayed for the first time in 60 years.

Representative Mac Thornberry of Texas, the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, worried aloud about the possibility on Tuesday ahead of a speech at the Heritage Foundation.

“It would be a shame for either of us to have a role to play for No.60,” Thornberry told reporters. “The question is, will the politics above us allow it?”

The basic name change language was crafted this summer amid nationwide protests against racism in police departments, which fueled calls across the country to demolish historical representations of racism. As part of their annual defense policy bills, the House and Senate each passed measures requiring the Pentagon to remove Confederate names from military assets.

Both versions received broad bipartisan support. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, told the Wall Street Journal in July that he would not block the effort to rename the bases, and in an interview with a Louisville radio station, he said that he had “no problem” with renaming the bases to “people who did not rebel against the country” General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Senior Military Advisor to Mr. Trump, told lawmakers the same month that he supported a “close review” of name change efforts.

Rep. Don Bacon, Republican of Nebraska, who drafted the House measure with Mr. Brown, said in a statement that “changing the names of these bases is fair.”

“While I do not want this issue to jeopardize this must-have legislation, I sincerely hope that Congress and the White House will show leadership on this issue,” said Bacon. “I’m not dogmatic about the process or the exact timing, but we have to fix this and stay on the right side of the story.”

Senator Todd Young of Indiana, who is a member of Mr. McConnell’s leadership team, said it was imperative that Congress adopt the military policy measure.

“My preference is to move forward with a bipartisan compromise,” said Young. “We cannot not authorize our national defense programs.”

But Mr Inhofe has always opposed the provision, arguing that the decision on whether or not to rename the bases should be left to local communities and states, rather than mandated by Congress. In July, Mr. Inhofe was overheard over the loudspeaker at a Washington restaurant, assuring Mr. Trump that the provision would not be part of the final defense bill.

“Are we going to keep Robert E. Lee’s name?” Mr. Trump asked Mr. Inhofe.

Mr. Inhofe replied: “Trust me. I’m going to get there.

Asked Tuesday about the details of the negotiations, Mr. Inhofe declined to discuss private conversations. A spokesperson for Mr Smith also declined to comment, citing an informal policy of not disclosing details of their negotiations.

Several House Democrats, including those with military background, have privately signaled that they would be prepared to oppose the entire bill if it were removed.

Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia and his party’s former running mate, said there was “absolutely no way back.”

“I believe that if we put this bill on the president’s desk, he is not going to veto it,” Kaine said. “It’s a big bluff. We are not backing down.

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Police chief who supported charges against lawmaker in Confederate statue case fired

The Portsmouth, Va., Police chief was sacked on Monday, the same day the criminal charges she had brought against 19 people – including a state senator – for damaging a Confederate monument during a demonstration in June were dropped.

Former boss Angela Greene told an NBC affiliate that she was fired by the city’s acting director. Ms Greene’s dismissal was confirmed by city spokeswoman Dana Woodson, who declined to comment further on the matter. Ms. Greene, 46, joined the department in August 2016 and became chef in June 2019.

The charges the Police Department filed against the 19 people stemmed from a June 10 episode in which protesters vandalized a Confederate monument on the corner of the courtyard and high streets of downtown Portsmouth, a community of 94,000 residents across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk, and home to several major US Navy facilities. Police did not intervene until one of the protesters was injured hours later, according to court documents.

In August, a Portsmouth police officer, Sgt. Kevin McGee, has filed felony charges against all 19 people, including State Senator L. Louise Lucas and NAACP Portsmouth leaders, related to the damage the protesters caused to the monument.

On Monday, a judge accepted a request from the Commonwealth Prosecutor’s Office in Portsmouth to dismiss all charges against the defendants. Commonwealth lawyer Stephanie Morales noted in the request that police inaction during the June 10 episode most likely led protesters to believe that the monument had indeed been abandoned by the city and that the Protesters had acted with reasonable belief that the city’s law enforcement officials had given implicit approval to their actions.

Ms Morales also noted that it was not clear whether the monument belonged to the city of Portsmouth or to the sons of Confederate veterans. Messages left for the sons of Confederate veterans on Tuesday were not immediately returned.

“There is no adequate evidence that the alleged actions of those indicted in these cases reach the level of destruction of property or conspiracy,” said Ms. Morales’ request for removal. He noted that police had not been able to determine the cost of damage to the monument.

Asked about the dismissal of the charges, a spokeswoman for the Portsmouth Police Department said: ‘We fully respect the judicial process.

In a statement, Senator Lucas, who was among those charged with destruction of property and conspiracy, said: ‘The Portsmouth Police Department has made fun of the criminal justice system by laying obscure felony charges against me and other citizens of Portsmouth and in doing so they have created an outrageous national embarrassment for our city.

“They operated under the secrecy of the city manager and the city prosecutor and made many mistakes in their unsuccessful efforts to criminalize the justice system against us,” she added.

The June 10 episode was part of a wave of protests across the country against the continued presence of Confederate monuments in public spaces. The actions took place after the May 25 death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed by police in Minneapolis.

The Portsmouth Confederate Monument, a granite obelisk just over 35 feet high surrounded by four statues depicting Confederate artillery, infantry, navy and cavalry, was removed in late August – just after charges were brought against the protesters. Its current location was unclear.

In an interview, Ms Morales said she was surprised to see the charges filed. It was highly unusual for individual police officers to lay such charges independently of the Commonwealth Prosecutor’s Office after such a long period of time, she said.

“Some officers may have wanted me to step down as prosecutor in these cases, because of my work and my advocacy for police accountability and restorative justice,” said Morales.

The unusual conduct of the police department continued, she said, when her office received a memo that Chief Greene had written on August 24, in which Ms Morales concluded that the protesters themselves thought they were not acting with criminal intent.

Chief Greene continued to support the prosecution and held a press conference to defend the felony charges, with Sergeant McGee standing behind her, according to Ms Morales.

“The very clear statement she made that the protesters did not believe they were acting with criminal intent is in direct contradiction to sanctioning criminal charges against these same protesters,” Morales added.

Efforts to reach Sergeant McGee through the police department on Tuesday were not immediately successful.

Thomas K. Plofchan Jr., a lawyer representing Ms Greene, said in an interview Tuesday that his client did his job at the highest level of competence on June 10, but was put on administrative leave in early September in retaliation for the des felony charges are filed. Mr Plofchan said Ms Greene was still trying to work out any issues the city may have had with her and keep her job, but was instead fired at 8:30 a.m. on Monday.

“When Ms. Greene asked why she was fired, she was told they didn’t have to give a reason because she was an employee at will,” Mr. Plofchan said. “We have a highly educated African-American police chief doing his job, and politics are getting in the way.”

Mr Plofchan also rebuffed the idea that it was unusual for a police officer to bring felony charges directly to a magistrate for property crimes and not to consult with the Commonwealth Prosecutor’s Office first, saying that it was common practice.

Ms Greene, he said, was “appointed and made to be the scapegoat in this situation”.