Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday that treating antifa and white supremacy equally is insulting to the Capitol police officers who were injured or killed during the Jan. 6 riot.
“I join my Republican colleagues unequivocally in condemning left-wing violence but let’s stop pretending that the threat of antifa is equivalent to the white supremacist threat. Vandalizing a federal courthouse in Portland is a crime,” Durbin said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.
Durbin said although those who vandalized the courthouse “should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” it’s not equal to the Jan. 6 riot or “mass shootings targeting minority communities.”
“This false equivalency is an insult to the brave police officers who were injured or lost their lives on January 6th, as well as dozens of others who have been murdered in white supremacist attacks,” Durbin said.
Rioters broke into the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 during a protest which turned into a deadly riot against the Electoral College’s certification of the presidential election results. Authorities said five people died during the riot. (RELATED: DC Police Chief: Capitol Riot ‘Was Scarier’ For Officers Than Their Service In Iraq)
Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died on Jan. 7 after being “injured while physically engaging with protestors,” according to a statement from the United States Capitol Police.
FBI Director Christopher Wray is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, marking his first public testimony after the riot, according to NPR. Congressional members are investigating the security failures that permitted the riot and are looking to find out the FBI’s strategies on combating far-right extremism threats.
Former United States Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund said during a Feb. 23 Senate hearing that the FBI’s warning of violence was sent to their intelligence division using the Joint Terrorism Task Force, The Washington Post reported. Sund, former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving or the former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael C. Stenger, all testified that the warning wasn’t sent to them.
Acting Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department Robert Contee said at the Feb. 23 hearing that the D.C. police department also received the FBI’s warning, the Post reported. Contee said the warning was delivered not as a priority calling for an urgent response, but as an undistinguished email.
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