Capitol PD's outgoing Chief is calling out House and Senate security officials ... claiming they turned a deaf ear to his requests for backup in the days before the attempted coup.
Steven Sund -- who was severely criticized, and resigned after the Capitol riot -- is naming names on his way out the door. He told the Washington Post he was concerned about President Trump's planned rally on January 6, and voiced those concerns to the Sergeants at Arms for the Senate and for the House of Representatives.
Sund says he asked them to approve putting National Guard troops on standby in the days leading up to the Trump protest -- but says he was rejected each time. The reason? Sund claims the Sergeants told him it would be bad "optics" to fortify the Capitol that way ahead of the election verification vote.
Worth noting, both Sgts at Arms have since resigned their posts, just as Sund did after Congressional leaders -- including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- criticized the police response to the insurrectionists.
Despite being told the National Guard was off the table -- soldiers were finally called in late Wednesday -- Sund still did not have all hands on deck from his own force. Capitol PD sources told TMZ ... only 500 officers, out of 2,200, were on duty Wednesday.
11:47 AM PT -- Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie just explained the decision, saying, "I have spent the last few weeks evaluating everything from this past year and looking ahead."
"We are all very disappointed with the way our season went and eager to turn things around, not just for next season but also for the future of the franchise."
Lurie continued, "Coach Pederson and I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss what that collective vision would look like moving forward. After taking some time to reflect on these conversations, I believe it is in both of our best interests to part ways."
Surprising news out of Philadelphia ... Doug Pederson is now OUT as head coach -- this just 3 years after he won the franchise its first-ever Super Bowl.
The Eagles made the move Monday, according to multiple reports ... after Pederson's squad turned in a disappointing 4-11-1 record in the 2020 season.
Some had picked Philly to win the NFC East before the year began ... but poor play from the offense and injuries doomed them -- and the Birds ended up finishing in dead last in the worst division in football.
It's all pretty shocking, considering Pederson had started his career in Philadelphia with a bang.
In just his second season with the team back in 2017, he went 13-3 and ended up beating Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII.
But, key coaching departures, failed draft picks and deteriorating play from Carson Wentz all helped lead to Pederson's firing Monday.
Pederson shouldn't be jobless for long, though ... in fact, some have speculated because of his ties to Jets general manager Joe Douglas, he could be a strong candidate for New York's head coaching vacancy.
Originally published -- 11:24 AM PT
Speaker Pelosi appeared on "60 Minutes" Sunday to talk about the deadly insurrection last week, and got emotional -- appearing to hold back tears -- as she blamed President Trump for what she calls a "terrible violation" of the legislative branch of the U.S. government.
Pelosi also got worked up -- in a much different way -- when Lesley Stahl asked her about AOC complaining she and other Democratic honchos are excluding the younger generation of representatives from leadership roles.
Her response is telling ... and Stahl clearly noticed.
As we've reported ... it seems some of the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol had far worse intentions than just walking around and putting their feet up on desks -- like Richard Barnett did in Pelosi's office -- so it's understandable why she's shaken up and wants Trump to pay for it. As AOC herself said, the insurrectionists may well have murdered half the members of Congress if they had their way.
Pelosi issued an ultimatum Sunday to Vice President Mike Pence, vowing to move forward with impeaching Trump if the VP doesn't invoke the 25th amendment to remove him from office STAT.
A Black attorney claims he was racially profiled in court because he was wearing street clothes ... and while this video of his arrest seems to support that, he was just convicted for the whole thing.
38-year-old Jaaye Person-Lynn was sentenced last week to one-year probation after being convicted of obstructing or delaying a peace officer for this San Bernardino courtroom altercation in 2019.
Long story short ... Person-Lynn says he dropped into court on his day off without a suit on, because he needed to change a hearing date for a client and thought he could do it quickly with the clerk. The Sheriff's deputies inside the courtroom, however, stiff-armed him.
Check out the footage -- it starts without audio, but you can see Person-Lynn enter the courtroom and walk past the bar as he tries to make his way to the clerk. A couple deputies flag him down and point back to the spectator section, where they meet him face-to-face.
That's where the audio kicks in ... you hear the female deputy ask who he is and what he wants. Person-Lynn tells her he wants to talk to the clerk, and eventually identifies himself as an attorney. Two deputies then escorted Person-Lynn out, and tried getting the case number for his client. Person-Lynn says he's going after them, legally, for racially for profiling him ... and then it really hit the fan.
Jaaye Person-Lynn was kicked out of court & ARRESTED when officers didn't believe he was a lawyer. He was treated w/ implicit bias too often experienced by Black attorneys. Why is it so hard for some ppl to believe that Black ppl can be lawyers or doctors? https://t.co/K1RFlc4rg1— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 11, 2021 @AttorneyCrump
You can hear a Taser going off as a deputy tells the lawyer not to threaten him. Person-Lynn was arrested and booked into the county jail right then and there. He eventually went to trial over this ... and got convicted and got sentenced Friday.
He's vowing to appeal, maintaining race was a factor and that deputies used excessive force -- which he claims caused injuries to his arms.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump commented on the story Monday, writing ... "He was treated w/ implicit bias too often experienced by Black attorneys. Why is it so hard for some ppl to believe that Black ppl can be lawyers or doctors?"
First Lady Melania Trump's first public reaction to the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol is to call for peace and unity -- but her remarks might feel a tad ... too little, too late.
FLOTUS published a statement Monday on the White House's website titled, "Our Path Forward." She starts out by talking about COVID and eventually builds to the siege a few graphs in ... after sending condolences to people who died during the attempted coup -- including Ashli Babbit, Officer Brian Sicknick and others.
Finally, Melania says this ... "I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week." Rather than go straight into condemning the violence and illegal actions of the rioters, she first shames folks for "salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me."
After prefacing her comments and then saying the country must heal in a civil manner ... MT, at last, gets to these crucial words ... "Make no mistake about it, I absolutely condemn the violence that has occurred on our Nation’s Capitol. Violence is never acceptable."
She goes on to explain she values the right of free speech, adding with that in mind ... folks should pause and look at things from all perspectives. Melania then says she implores for people to stop the violence and to come together as Americans.
Melania also uses her letter as a farewell, saying that it's been an honor to serve as First Lady -- and that she's grateful for those who supported her and Donald these past 4 years.
One of the most notorious insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol with zip ties in his hand has now been arrested ... he's also been ID'd, and hails from Tennessee.
The FBI arrested 30-year-old Eric Munchel Sunday in Nashville -- this after confirming his identity on social media and elsewhere as the man who infiltrated the Senate chamber with a handful of plastic zip ties, wearing tactical gear. Charges have yet to be announced.
Social media sleuths tracked him down fast and pointed out he worked at a bar in Nashville. He's also apparently a big supporter of the Back the Blue cause ... there are several photos of him with a black and blue American flag on his now-deactivated Facebook page.
Oh, and he's also a big gun nut too ... there are photos of him with shotguns, handguns and semi-automatics. It also appears he's participated in local demonstrations in Nashville, decrying the COVID shutdowns at different points in 2020, and wearing bulletproof vests.
Speaking of weapons, the FBI reportedly recovered several weapons from Munchel during his arrest -- no word yet on whether any of the zip ties in question were recovered. Munchel was booked at Metro Nashville jail Sunday afternoon and is now being processed.
He was one of the rioters that the feds really wanted -- as there are operating theories he and others had plans to take U.S. lawmakers hostage (or worse) if given the opportunity. AOC made it clear Sunday ... the goal of these rioters may have been to kill members of Congress.
Munchel is the latest in a string of arrests this weekend -- and something tells us he won't be the last.
The moment the Trump mob was strong-arming its way into the Capitol can now be seen from a new, frightening view -- where a fallen police officer getting pummeled on the ground.
Check out this gruesome clip of insurrectionists breaking into an opening on a side entrance to the building, which was being guarded by a line of cops in tactical gear ... one of whom ended up laid out on the ground, face first ... right at the feet of rioters.
The crowd showed him no mercy ... immediately trampling him, bludgeoning him with objects and projectiles, dragging him down the steps they were storming -- pretty much having their way with his limp body as his colleagues tried pulling him away.
There's even an overhead shot of the scene, and it's absolutely surreal. You hear someone off-camera yell, "Get that motherf***** out of there! Take him out!"
Now, there've been rumors this officer might've been the one who was killed -- Officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries he sustained during the siege -- but that has NOT been confirmed. Some social media users say this officer is actually with Metro D.C., not Capitol Police, but again ... we haven't been able to confirm.
In any case, it's a clear indicator the mob wasn't taking any prisoners ... and were out for blood.
There was a frightening call to arms this past week ... "When the ballot box is gone, there is only the cartridge box. You have made bullets expensive. But luckily for you, ropes are reusable."
Thing is ... this was the day before the insurrection, and 2,800 miles from the Capitol.
Last Tuesday, the day before the attempted coup on Capitol Hill, there was a scheduled meeting in Northern California of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors. The meeting was supposed to be all virtual, because the pandemic in California has spiraled out of control.
That didn't sit well with a couple of supervisors, including newly-elected Patrick Jones, and a bunch of residents who wanted inside the official chambers. The Supervisor let dozens of angry residents inside, most of whom were angry over COVID restrictions, but there were threats ... plenty of threats, like, "Civil war is brewing."
Timothy Fairfield is the man who talked about the cartridge box. He added, "Flee now while you can, because the days of your tyranny are drawing to a close and the legitimacy of this government is waning."
Carlos Zapata, who has reportedly been a member of California State Militia and appears on Alex Jones' "InfoWars," is active in Shasta County and thinking of running for office. After the coup attempt in D.C., he told the L.A. Times, "Without the threat of physical violence, our words are empty ... By calling for violence, am I saying, 'Hey, let's go kill people?' Absolutely not, and I never have ... But I am saying that we're at the point now where we have to consider the threat of violence to protect ourselves."
Zapata had some choice words about the Capitol riots ... "People say, Oh, man, those people at the Capitol, they were violent. That's un-American ... I'm like, the most American thing they could have done is burned that f***** down."
Zapata is on video from last August at a Supervisor's meeting, threatening war and a rebellion.
As for Supervisor Jones, he called the attempted coup in D.C. "unfortunate."
BTW ... there's a movement in the conservative, rural Northern California counties to split from California and create a new state -- the name would be Jefferson.
Miya Ponsetto's October DUI (the second such arrest in 4 months) was filmed by bystanders ... and yes, it's about as wild as we've come to expect, ending with this rant to cops: "There are gang members killing people right now and you're arresting a girl?"
TMZ has obtained video of Miya's arrest Oct. 3 in Ventura County -- for which she was charged with DUI, resisting arrest and obstructing/delaying a peace officer or EMT -- and the accusations against her seem pretty solid ... because she was absolutely out of control.
An eyewitness tells us ... the drama started when Miya and her mom, Nicole, stopped on the side of a road ... screaming and cussing at each other while outside of their Range Rover.
The witness says she tried seeing if they needed help, but Miya got back in the car and demanded her mom do the same ... at which point, the witness says they recklessly drove off. The witness called the cops and tailed them, fearing Miya might've been intoxicated by the way she was driving. Eventually, they all pulled into a gas station.
The 22-year-old woman caught on camera allegedly physically attacking a 14-year-old Black teen and falsely accusing him of stealing her phone was arrested in California.— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 8, 2021 @CBSThisMorning
In an exclusive interview, Miya Ponsetto and her lawyer spoke with @GayleKing hours before she was arrested. pic.twitter.com/ezaGkcWZ8j
That's where things hit the fan, especially when cops showed up. They attempted to detain Miya, who threw a fit the entire time ... demanding to see a warrant, demanding to know what she'd done wrong, insulting the officers, squirming around to avoid cuffs ... everything.
You can watch for yourself and make up your own mind -- but her actions here are certainly in line with other behavior of hers on camera ... be it at the Arlo Hotel or with Gayle King.
Cops say they eventually were able to get a reading on her blood alcohol level -- .14, nearly twice the legal limit.
Remember, this is Miya's second arrest -- she was hit with the first DUI in Malibu (where she was also allegedly combative) back in May and pled no contest, so she was on probation. Getting arrested and charged with DUI could be enough for her to do jail time ... not to mention her NYC case. BTW ... there's also a pending case where she was charged with being drunk in public at the Peninsula hotel in Bev Hills.
Of course, Miya's now on the East Coast, where she faces a slew of charges for attacking Keyon Harrold's 14-year-old son and accusing him of stealing her phone. She was in Court Saturday for arraignment but did not enter a plea. She was then released from custody.
It's interesting ... the New York D.A. never mentioned the 14-year-old victim was Black. His parents and their lawyer, Ben Crump, were hoping that issue would be front and center.
President Trump's call for unity after the failed coup hasn't found its way to the suburbs just yet ... this Ohio homeowner missed the memo, and he's got a new way to irk neighbors.
Check out these yard signs sitting outside a home in a Cleveland suburb ... we're told the signage went up Thursday in response to the deadly siege on the Capitol.
The brainchild behind the signs is taking applications for new friends, with some very specific criteria ... and he could use spelling lessons after trying to call out what he sees as hypocrisy from folks who are disgusted by what went down in D.C.
We're told folks in the neighborhood are pissed over the yard signs ... these are just the latest examples of what's been displayed in this yard during Trump's presidency. You can see some of his prior greatest hits.
Trump's since condemned the attack on the Capitol, saying he's outraged by the "violence, lawlessness and mayhem" and calling for "healing and reconciliation" ... but some supporters don't seem to be getting on board yet.
An Indigenous man who's being prosecuted for a Mount Rushmore protest believes he's been grossly over-charged ... but the white insurrectionists at the Capitol won't get the same treatment.
Nick Tilsen tells TMZ ... what we all witnessed in Washington D.C. was the "epitome of white supremacy and white privilege in society." He adds that he doesn't expect many of the culprits will be slapped with the same legal consequences he's faced since last summer.
If you don't know ... Nick's the President of NDN Collective, which protested President Trump's July 3 visit to Mt. Rushmore after calling for the national monument to be closed and the land returned to the Lakota people.
Nick was one of 20 Land Defenders arrested and facing criminal charges ... but his are steep. Nick's accused of taking a shield from a National Guard soldier and threatening to use it against the Guard.
He's been charged with second-degree robbery, grand theft in the alternative and 2 counts of simple assault against law enforcement. He could get 16 years in prison if convicted.
In contrast, one notable Capitol rioter -- who's been identified as Aaron Mostofsky, the son of a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge -- was photographed inside the building Wednesday holding a Capitol Police shield ... seemingly with no qualms about it.
Aaron was later interviewed and claimed he found the shield on the ground. As of now, there's no record of him even getting arrested ... much less charged.
Nick wants to point out ... he's not in favor of people of any race, orientation or religion being met with over-prosecution for expressing their right to protest. In fact, he supports the opposite.
However, Tilsen believes the big difference between what went down on Jan. 6 and his Rushmore incident is one was a riot and one was an organized movement for change. Plus, he thinks most rioters are getting off easy because of their skin color.
4:41 PM PT -- This case is clearly not going to have any racial implication, despite the victim's family feeling race had everything to do with her actions. The D.A. never uttered the words that the 14-year-old boy was black. This underscores the prosecutor's decision not to charge Miya with a hate crime.
There's also this ... prosecutors briefly detail another incident in which Miya allegedly damaged an apartment door somewhere in NYC BEFORE her run-in with the Harrolds.
4:04 PM PT -- She's due back in court in the Big Apple on March 29 -- and don't forget, she's got a couple court dates lined up later this month as well here in Cali for two other pending cases.
Miya Ponsetto -- aka SoHo 'Karen' -- isn't going to court kicking and screaming the way she allegedly has when getting arrested ... this time cops made sure it wouldn't happen, with the help of a couple restraints.
Here's Miya being led out of an NYC police precinct in lower Manhattan Saturday by a couple of detectives who are escorting her to a waiting vehicle, which is set to take her to Manhattan Criminal Court ... where she's expected to be arraigned on a slew of charges.
Check out Miya ... she's obviously handcuffed, but her feet are shackled as well. She's also got a face mask on, a beanie, black leggings and Birkenstocks ... similar to what she wore when she attacked 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. at the Arlo Hotel in SoHo, falsely claiming he stole her iPhone.
As for her feet being bound ... it's interesting. Miya's got a documented history of allegedly resisting arrest -- in fact, cops say she did exactly that when they picked her up most recently and extradited her to NYC. Time after time, she appears to put up a fight.
Miya's been rung up on a ton of charges -- including attempted robbery, grand larceny, acting in a manner injurious to a child and two counts of attempted assault -- but she hasn't been charged with a hate crime, which is telling.
Keyon Jr.'s parents and their attorney, Ben Crump, made it clear this week on 'TMZ Live' ... there are two justice systems in this country, and that Black people often get the short end of the stick when authorities pursue justice on their behalf. They want her charged with a hate crime.
As for Saturday's scheduled arraignment ... we're hearing she should appear before a judge sometime this evening. No word yet on whether Miya plans to enter a plea.
Originally Published -- 1:16 PM PT
5:20 PM PT -- The deadline has come and gone for Parler to get its act together to Apple's standards -- because the tech company has officially wiped it from their app store until they can submit a plan that Apple considers up to snuff. If Trump didn't download it before today ... he's outta luck.
President Trump might have to resort to opening a MySpace account to be "online" -- because the guy can't get bandwidth anywhere else right now ... not even on Shopify.
DT has been banned from a handful of social media apps and social networking websites well beyond Twitter and Facebook/Instagram -- which booted him earlier this week after they say he used their platforms to incite a violent insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.
Since then ... even more companies have taken steps to keep their pages Trump-free, including some you never thought the Prez might use, be it posting or consuming.
Among those that've blocked/restricted Trump and/or Trump content -- Pinterest (for #StoptheSteal items), Shopify (for MAGA and other related merch), Twitch (no more Trump live streams), Snapchat (gone is Trump's account), Reddit (the r/The_Donald thread is dead) and even TikTok (which Trump was trying to ban himself, ironically enough).
Remember, Twitter pulled the plug permanently on Trump's Twitter account -- his go-to platform the past several years -- citing further potential calls to violence, directly or indirectly ... this after Trump's 12-hour suspension expired, and he tweeted to his "patriots" yet again.
We believe the risks of allowing President Trump to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great, so we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks. pic.twitter.com/JkyGOTYB1Z— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) January 7, 2021 @fbnewsroom
There is one place Trump could possibly turn to in order to get his voice on the Internet again -- Parler (a social networking site/app that caters to the extreme right) is still open for business ... but it too is at risk of getting blacklisted on mainstream app stores.
Google already nixed it entirely -- meaning you can't download it anymore if you're an Android user -- but Apple hasn't done so yet. On Friday, they gave Parler a 24-hour deadline to provide stricter guidelines about regulating posts ... but, it's still available as of now.
Originally Published -- 2:47 PM PT
The insurrectionists at the Capitol were out to harm and possibly kill Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the video that has just surfaced makes this all pretty much undeniable.
New video has surfaced from Wednesday's attempted coup, and in one clip you hear a loud, chant ... "Hang Mike Pence, Hang Mike Pence ..." Of course, Pence had made it clear just hours earlier ... he was going to certify Biden's victory.
The mob had the tools to make their chant a reality ... a full-on gallows scaffold, with a hanging noose attached.
And then, there's this video ... the mob going after Nancy Pelosi with a vengeance, trying to hunt her down in the Capitol, calling her a "bitch," a "traitor," and then they used the c-word. You hear a few mobsters order at Capitol cops, "Tell Pelosi we're coming for that bitch. Tell f***ing Pelosi we're coming for her."
Remember ... they found Pelosi's office in the Capitol maze in a New York minute, and that's one of the pieces of the puzzle the FBI is looking at ... the feds believe this could have been an inside job, where people who work at the building helped the rioters.
Of course, there's also the shot of the guy in tactical gear holding what appears to be a bunch of zip ties in hand. He actually made it onto the Senate floor, and seemed intent on using those things, given the opportunity.
And, there were bombs, guns, etc ... all the stuff killers use to execute their plan.
It is increasingly looking like the entire Congress and the Vice President were in mortal danger.
Shots of Capitol police officers letting pro-Trump rioters easily pass their line and facilitate the storming of the Capitol appears to be a practice that's been in place from sea to shining sea since at least December ... because something similar happened in Oregon.
Republican State Representative Mike Nearman was caught on surveillance video -- which was just released -- opening a side door to the Oregon State Capitol ... and then letting a sea of Trumpers in by allowing the door to slowly close behind, and never looking back.
This happened Dec. 21 during a special legislative session regarding COVID restrictions in the State, where pro-Trump demonstrators had gathered outside to protest shutdowns ... while literally banging on the glass doors trying to break their way in (just like at the U.S. Capitol).
Well, thanks to Rep. Nearman ... he made their breach a whole lot easier, because the guy literally pops open the door to the outside and casually passes the waiting mob -- which then proceed to storm inside. They were quickly met by cops and security, who pushed them back, but it looks like at least a few guys were able to get inside, if only for a bit.
The legislative session continued uninterrupted, and after a few invaders were arrested. Still ... things could've quickly turned left here. As for Nearman, he's been mum thus far about this -- refusing to respond to questions about it.
With a smoking gun as clear as this -- not to mention what we saw with our eyes just a few days ago in D.C. -- it's obvious that some people in power want to unleash mayhem.
TMZ broke the story ... we've learned the FBI believes Wednesday's insurrection could have been an inside job with the help of some Capitol cops and other building staffers.
Donald Trump is getting booted all over the place in the wake of his role in the Capitol insurrection ... the latest is that Wagner College has taken back his honorary degree.
The College announced Friday night it's rescinded the degree it bestowed on Trump back in 2004.
The Board of Trustees didn't say why the change of heart, but other than the folks on the International Space Station, everyone else knows exactly why.
Trump gave the graduation speech in 2004, with then-fiancee Melania by his side. The honor coincided with the first season of "The Apprentice," which was a big hit at the time.
It's the second degree that has been yanked from Trump's portfolio. Lehigh University in Pennsylvania revoked Trump's honorary degree a few days ago. He received it in 1988.
The Prez of the University called the riot a "violent assault on the foundations of our democracy," and they clearly felt Trump incited it.
And, as you know, Trump's been banned from his social megaphone -- aka Twitter.
That's what happens when you whip a crowd into a frenzy to attack democracy.