Overnight Defense

Defense & National Security — Jan. 6 panel eyes evidence of ‘premeditated activity’


A member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol said the panel has found evidence of “concerted planning and premeditated activity.” 

We’ll detail what investigators are sharing so far. Plus: New missile shipments from the United Kingdom to Ukraine are drawing Russia’s ire, and the Navy has identified the fighter pilot killed in an accident over the weekend.

This is Defense & National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. For The Hill, I’m Ellen Mitchell. Subscribe here.

Raskin: ‘Concerted planning’ found in riot probe

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol has found evidence of “concerted planning and premeditated activity,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said Tuesday ahead of the panel’s first public hearing this week.

The congressional investigators have conducted more than 1,000 interviews and obtained upward of 125,000 documents during their investigation. 

The Maryland Democrat, a member of the Jan. 6 panel, told Washington Post Live that the panel’s hearing on Thursday will “tell the story of a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election and block the transfer of power.” 

“So this is an extraordinary and unprecedented event in our history,” he added.

  • Pressed on if the committee has found that a conspiracy was underway to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election — noting that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a fellow panel member, and a federal judge have used the same language — Raskin said, “Yes, the committee has found evidence of concerted planning and premeditated activity.” 
  • “The idea that all of this was just a rowdy demonstration that spontaneously got a little bit out of control is absurd. You don’t almost knock over the U.S. government by accident,” he added. 

Going public: The Jan. 6 committee last week said Thursday’s hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., will “present previously unseen material documenting January 6th, receive witness testimony, preview additional hearings, and provide the American people a summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.”

The prime-time hearing marks the first time the investigation, which has largely been conducted behind the scenes, will be presented to the public. The panel has not yet released a witness list for the evening.

Other instances: The idea of former President Trump and his allies potentially engaging in a “conspiracy” has come up in legal proceedings related to Jan. 6. 

In March, U.S. District Judge David Carter wrote in a decision that Trump and his legal adviser John Eastman “more likely than not” committed multiple federal crimes when carrying out efforts to stop Congress from certifying President Biden’s 2020 election win. 

In the 44-page decision, Carter mentioned a “conspiracy,” pointing to a memo Eastman wrote that recommended then-Vice President Mike Pence reject electors on Jan. 6. 

Read the full story here

Also from The Hill:  

UK sending long-range missiles to Ukraine 

The United Kingdom has announced that it will send long-range missiles to Ukraine, joining the U.S. in bolstering the country’s defensive systems despite threats from Russia that it would target those types of weapons. 

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace issued a press release announcing the shipment of multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS), which can strike targets with high precision up to 50 miles away. 

  • “The UK stands with Ukraine in this fight and is taking a leading role in supplying its heroic troops with the vital weapons they need to defend their country from unprovoked invasion,” Wallace said in a statement. “If the international community continues its support, I believe Ukraine can win.” 
  • MLRS are similar to the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) the U.S. recently shipped to Ukraine as part of a $700 million weapons package. 

New strikes in Ukraine: Russia hit the surrounding area of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, with missile strikes on Sunday, targeting tanks and armored vehicles that were supplied by the security alliance NATO. 

UK not backing down: The U.K. shrugged off the threat. In the press release, the defense ministry noted they would also train Ukrainians on how to use the rocket systems. 

Wallace said with Russian forces continuing to shell cities in Ukraine, MLRS would give them the ability to launch counterattacks. 

Read the full story here.

Putin warns of retaliatory strikes on new targets

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow would “draw conclusions” if the U.S. supplies long-range missiles to Ukraine, adding that he would set his eyes on new targets that have not been attacked. 

“If it now comes to rockets and they are supplied, we will draw conclusions from that and employ our weapons that we have in sufficient quantities to strike those facilities that we are not attacking so far,” Putin stated on the Rossiya-1 TV channel, according to Russian state news agency Tass. 

“In my view, all this fuss over additional deliveries of armaments generally pursues the sole objective of stretching out the armed conflict as long as possible,” Putin added. 

  • His warning comes in response to the Biden administration’s decision to send advanced rocket systems as part of a $700 million weapons package to Ukraine.
  • The High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) can fire many of the same types of rockets as the Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), which can hit targets 300 kilometers away. The HIMARS allows Ukrainians to more precisely strike targets from a greater distance inside Ukraine.

Read more here.

Navy identifies fighter pilot killed in California crash 

The Navy has identified the fighter pilot who died after his jet crashed near Trona, Calif., late last week. 

In a statement, the service identified the pilot as Lt. Richard Bullock, who was assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 113 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.   

Bullock was flying a routine training mission when the aircraft went down in a remote, unpopulated area.

  • The Navy initially said on Friday that an F/A-18E Super Hornet jet crashed near the Mojave Desert area around 2:30 p.m. that day, though the pilot’s identity was not released until the service notified the next of kin.
  • No civilians were harmed as a result, and the incident is currently under investigation. The scene of the crash was secured by Navy and local officials while recovery efforts were ongoing, the statement added. 

Read the full story here.


  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will travel to Singapore and Bangkok, Thailand. to take part in the International Institute for Strategic Studies 19th “Shangri-La Dialogue.”
  • The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies will host a virtual discussion on “Orbital Vigilance: The Need for Enhanced Space-Based Missile Warning and Tracking” at 9:30 a.m.
  • The Pentagon will hold its LGBTQ+ Pride ceremony with Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks at 9:30 a.m., per the Pentagon. 
  •  The Atlantic Council will hold a virtual talk on “A New Transatlantic Relationship for the Middle East and North Africa” at noon.
  •  Government Executive Media Group will host a virtual discussion on “Accelerating Special Operations Modernization” at 1 p.m.  


  • A Veterans’ Affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Cybersecurity and Risk Management at VA: Addressing Ongoing Challenges and Moving Forward” at 10 a.m.


  • The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on “Full Committee Hearing: Rising Threats: Ransomware Attacks and Ransom Payments Enabled by Cryptocurrency” at 10 a.m.
  • The Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on “Examining the ‘Metastasizing’ Domestic Terrorism Threat After the Buffalo Attack” at 10 a.m.
  • The Appropriations defense subcommittee will hold a hearing on “The President’s Fiscal Year 2023 funding request and budget justification for the National Guard and Reserve,” with testimony from the heads of the National Guard Bureau, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Forces Reserve and Air Force Reserve, at 10 a.m.


That’s it for today. Check out The Hill’s Defense and National Security pages for the latest coverage. See you tomorrow!


Tags Jamie Raskin Jan. 6 Capitol riot Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 House committee russian invasion of ukraine Ukraine aid ukraine war
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