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Schumer says Democrats will probe extremist groups after Capitol attack

Schumer says Democrats will probe extremist groups after Capitol attack
© Greg Nash

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCapitol insurrection fallout: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? Schumer calls for DOJ watchdog to probe alleged Trump effort to oust acting AG Student loan forgiveness would be windfall for dentists, doctors and lawyers MORE (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that Senate Democrats will launch probes stemming from the Jan. 6 Capitol attack after they take back control of the chamber on Jan. 20. 

Schumer sent a letter to his caucus, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill, outlining plans for investigating both the mob violence and related issues and vowing "vigorous oversight." 

"Our caucus will make sure that the events are fully investigated and every necessary security measure is in place for the upcoming Inauguration and the days leading up to it," Schumer wrote in the letter. 

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The Senate is getting briefed on the inauguration Tuesday amid growing security concerns about President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenDC residents jumped at opportunity to pay for meals for National Guardsmen Joe Biden might bring 'unity' – to the Middle East Biden shouldn't let defeating cancer take a backseat to COVID MORE's swearing-in ceremony. Schumer, in his letter, also said Democrats will use the Judiciary Committee, once they take over the majority, to probe extremist groups.  

"Incoming-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Durbin and I have already announced that the committee, as one of its first acts under Democratic control, will closely examine the rise of violent extremist groups, white supremacists and violent fringe conspiracy theorists who are intent on undermining and overthrowing the government as we saw at the Capitol on January 6th," Schumer wrote, referring to Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinCapitol insurrection fallout: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? Sunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus Overnight Health Care — Fauci: Lack of facts 'likely' cost lives in coronavirus fight | CDC changes COVID-19 vaccine guidance to allow rare mixing of Pfizer, Moderna shots | Senate chaos threatens to slow Biden's agenda MORE (D-Ill.).  

Bipartisan leadership on the Rules Committee and Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee have also pledged to probe the security failure that led to rioters being able to breach the Capitol.  

Schumer's letter comes almost a week after a mob breached the Capitol as Vice President Pence and congressional leaders were counting the Electoral College vote, forcing lawmakers to go into hiding and suspending the proceedings for hours.  

Members of extremist groups have been identified as being part of the rioters and law enforcement officials have warned about the potential for additional attacks at the Capitol and across the country. 

Speaking to reporters in New York on Tuesday, Schumer said he wanted participants in the Capitol Hill riot to be included on the FBI's no-fly list. He said he had discussed the issue with FBI Director Christopher Wray. 

"These insurrectionists many of whom are known to be at large should not be able to hop on a flight," Schumer said. "The insurrectionists who breached the U.S. Capitol fall under the definition of threats to the homeland."