USA: Storming of the Capitol: FBI arrests those suspected of being involved

Ten months before the presidential election, the political mood is heated. The Capitol attack is not over. There are more arrests and Biden warns urgently about Trump.

On the third anniversary of the storming of the US Capitol, the FBI arrested three more suspected participants in the violent protests in Florida. The fugitives were caught at a ranch in Groveland in the southeastern state and taken into custody, the FBI in Tampa said on Saturday (local time). The two men and a woman are scheduled to appear in court in Florida on Monday. They are accused of offenses in connection with the storming of the US Parliament building on January 6, 2021.

Biden warns about Trump

On the anniversary, President Joe Biden warned urgently against another presidency by Republican Donald Trump. “This is the first national election since the insurrection of January 6th, when a dagger was put at the throat of American democracy,” said the Democrat on Friday (local time) during a campaign appearance in the state of Pennsylvania. At the beginning of the election year, everyone must be aware that democracy and freedom in the country are up for vote. He called Trump a “loser” and “election denier in chief” and accused him of using Nazi language.

The political mood in the USA is heated. The upcoming presidential election at the beginning of November is the first since the dramatic upheavals surrounding the 2020 election, which ended in an unprecedented outbreak of violence. As things stand, there will be a possible rematch of the race between Biden and former President Trump in 2024. This is fueling fears that chaos and violence could break out again.

The long shadow of January 6th

On January 6, 2021, Trump supporters stormed the parliament building in the capital Washington. Congress met there to formally confirm Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. As a result of the riots, five people died. Trump had previously incited his supporters in a speech with the unsubstantiated claim that the election victory had been stolen from him through massive fraud. Since then he has repeated this statement countless times and is using it again this time in the election campaign.

On Friday, Trump said at a campaign rally in the state of Iowa, where the first Republican presidential primary takes place on January 15: “We have won twice, and we will win a third time.” This election is the last chance to save America. “The battle begins January 15th in Iowa and Joe Biden’s banana republic ends November 5th, 2024.”

Anyone who wants to become a presidential candidate for the Republicans or Democrats must first prevail in internal party votes. The presidential election will take place on November 5th.

The president in campaign mode

Biden accused Trump of trying to rewrite the facts of January 6 and “steal history in the same way he tried to steal the election.” In his first major campaign appearance of the year, the Democrat was unusually aggressive and devoted large parts of the speech to his potential rival.

The US President expressed concern about the possible consequences of Trump’s rhetoric. “Trump and his supporters not only advocate political violence, they laugh at it,” he lamented. That’s sick. “He calls those who oppose him ‘vermin’. He talks about poisoning the blood of Americans, echoing the very language used in Nazi Germany.” Trump is ready to seize power. There is no doubt “who Trump is and what he is up to.” Political violence is never acceptable in the USA, said Biden. “Never, never, never.”

The Trump narrative catches many people

There is considerable disagreement in the USA about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The “stolen election” narrative that Trump and his supporters have been spreading for three years is catching on with a surprisingly large portion of the population: According to a recent survey, around a third of adults in the country believe that Biden was not legitimately elected at the time. A quarter suspect the FBI was behind the storming of the Capitol – a claim also spread by right-wing populist media that law enforcement authorities have repeatedly denied.

Because of the attack on the US Capitol, Trump currently has to worry about his participation in primaries in several states. In Colorado and Maine he was initially excluded from the vote there – on the grounds that his role in the outbreak of violence had disqualified him from running for president. However, Trump objected and turned to the US Supreme Court to resolve the politically sensitive issue. The Republican will also have to answer in several criminal proceedings in the coming months for his behavior surrounding the 2020 election.

Increased threats against public officials

At the start of the tense election year, US Attorney General Merrick Garland complained about increasing threats against officials and democratic institutions in the country. There is a “deeply disturbing increase in threats” against FBI agents, federal judges, presidential candidates, members of Congress, military personnel and election workers, Garland said on Friday. Just in the past few days, several bomb threats have been received against courthouses across the country. And the day before, investigators arrested a person who threatened to kill a member of Congress and his children. “This is just a small snapshot of a larger trend,” Garland said. “These threats of violence are unacceptable.”