We all agree that what happened at the Capitol was a desecration
of our shared values. It was an attack on the seat of democracy. Those who engaged
in violence disgraced our country.
At least seven people, including one U.S. Capitol Police Officer, died
as a result of that day. Two officers
committed suicide, and hundreds were injured. May God watch over them and their
Those who broke the law must be prosecuted, and Congress needs
answers, especially about what happened to Officer Brian Sicknick.
In pursuit of the facts relating to January 6, Senator Durbin and
I have sent oversight letters to the FBI and other agencies. To date, we haven’t
received any productions. It’s difficult
to hold a hearing like this without records. The FBI must fully respond to
However, I’m pleased to see that many investigative cases are
progressing around the country. As I’ve noted before, the ultimate
responsibility for this attack rests upon the shoulders of those who unlawfully
entered the Capitol. I’ve also made clear that everyone involved must take
responsibility for their actions that day, including the former president.
Now, in the wake of January 6, we must seriously examine the threat
of domestic extremism. But, unfortunately, this threat isn’t limited to the
events of that terrible day. To fully
address it, we must examine forms of domestic extremism that span the
A narrow review of these matters would be intellectually
We’re not serious about tackling domestic extremism if we tolerate
mobs that attack some police officers but not others.
We’re not serious about tackling domestic extremism if we care
about some government buildings being attacked but not others.
We’re not serious about tackling domestic extremism if we only
focus on white supremacy movements, which isn’t the only ideology that’s
responsible for murders and violence.
Yes, white supremacy movements may be considered the most
dangerous at a given time, but it wasn’t last summer, or won’t be when the next
foreign attack is attempted. We must call it out across the board, left and
right, every time. We must focus our resources to try to see as much of it
coming as we possibly can.
It hardly registered in the media when Marshals and Secret Service
officers defended courthouses and the White House. They were called
“stormtroopers” by the Speaker of the House, like they aren’t even human
beings. Vice President Harris, when she was a Senator, supported the Minnesota Freedom
Fund, an organization that helped bail out violent rioters in Minnesota. 13 Biden staffers boasted on Twitter that
they donated to the group. According to one news report, the group paid 75,000
dollars to get one man out of jail after he was charged with attempted murder
for allegedly shooting at police during May protests.
One of the most upsetting aspects of the violence this summer has
been the targeting of innocent law enforcement officers. More than 700 officers
were injured between May 27, 2020, and June 8,2020 alone.
Officers have been assaulted, slashed, struck with hammers and
baseball bats, and blinded with lasers. Sixty Secret Service officers were
injured during a three-day siege on the White House, which caused
then-President Trump to be brought into a secure bunker. The church across the
street was lit on fire as a part of that continued left-wing assault.
More than 300 people were charged federally for their roles in those
months of violence. Eighty of those charges related to the use of arson and
explosives. At least 14,000 people were arrested in 49 cities.
At least 25 people died in violence related to the riots.
There’s been 280 arrests as a result of the January 6 attack
compared to more than 1,000 arrests as a result of riots just in Portland last
year. It’s been estimated that the insurance losses from the summer’s civil
unrest possibly exceed 2 billion dollars.
It’s been a relatively frequent sight at the summer’s violent
events to see individuals acting in coordination, holding the “A” symbol of
Antifa. An admitted Antifa adherent in Portland murdered a conservative
protestor. Antifa supporters have been charged federally for promoting riots
and using Molotov cocktails. Even after President Biden’s electoral victory, Antifa
rioters attacked the Oregon Democratic Party headquarters on Inauguration Day.
Let’s not forget about the left-wing activist who opened fire on
24 Republican congressmen and hit a Capitol Police officer, a congressional
aide, a lobbyist, and Rep. Steve Scalise at a baseball field in Alexandria,
Virginia. Rep. Scalise had
In light of these ever-present left-wing threats, I’m concerned
about “resource shifting” talk among Congressional Democrats.
Let me say this clearly: we aren’t going to defund the anarchist
extremism program or any other domestic terrorism program. It can’t be that the
FBI needs a fully funded Art Theft program but can’t afford to fight both
right-wing and left-wing extremism.
We must examine the issue of domestic terrorism broadly, to
include the left and right wing of the political spectrum. No serious oversight
activity and no serious policy decisions can be done without doing so.
As we move forward, I encourage both houses of Congress to review
not just the events of January 6, but also domestic violent extremism across
the board and the threat that it brings to our families and communities. We
need real answers on extremist involvement, on pre-planning and coordination,
and on what happened to Officer Sicknick.
In closing, I want to express my sincere thanks and appreciation
for law enforcement and in particular, the Capitol Police, for their efforts on
the job and during the terrible events of January 6. You are heroes.