Tom Dreisbach

In the 1980s, Laurie Levenson was an assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting a case in federal court in Los Angeles.

In that case, the defendant decided to go "pro se" and represent himself.

When it came time for the defendant to testify, the judge did not allow him to just give a speech in his own defense. Instead, the judge instructed the defendant to play both parts: attorney and witness.

"The defendant asked himself the question," Levenson recalled recently, "goes up on the witness stand, and then says, 'Can you repeat the question?'"

A veteran officer with the U.S. Capitol Police was arrested Friday for allegedly encouraging a suspect in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to hide evidence of their involvement in the attack. He is facing two counts of obstruction of justice, and has been placed on administrative leave while the case is ongoing.

The officer, Michael Angelo Riley, has worked for the Capitol Police for nearly 25 years, the department told NPR, and most recently served as a technician with the K-9 unit.

Attorney John Pierce had been representing so many defendants charged in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot that he'd lost exact count.

"I believe it's around 18," he told NPR in a recent interview, adding, "Don't hold me to it."

The Justice Department recently put that number at 17, though that figure often changes. Pierce, a controversial lawyer with pro-Trump politics, has taken on more defendants related to the Capitol breach than any other attorney.

The president of the country's largest LGBTQ advocacy organization is fighting to hold on to his job, even as the group launches an internal investigation into his alleged role in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's sexual harassment and retaliation scandal.

The New York Attorney General's sexual harassment investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo has raised criticisms of a prominent LGBTQ advocate, who is accused of participating in efforts to discredit the governor's alleged victims.

That advocate, Alphonso David, the president of Human Rights Campaign, is now facing demands that he resign.

CTU Security billed itself as a kind of one-stop shop for providing security to VIPs, training in using handguns and rifles, and access to military-style equipment, including armored vehicles and bomb disposal suits. Its name — an acronym for Counter Terrorist Unit — suggested the company, which is based in the Miami suburb of Doral, Fla., could bring elite-level competence to any situation.

In 2019, Alan Hostetter posted a 20-minute "sunset gong meditation" on his YouTube channel.

In the video, he stands on a Southern California cliffside in a white tunic, wearing a turquoise bandana over long hair and a full salt-and-pepper beard. He speaks of "peace and tranquility," over an image of himself hitting a gong in front of a golden sun.

Less than a year later, he was fantasizing aloud about the Founding Fathers hanging California Gov. Gavin Newsom and stating that traitors to the country "need to be executed as an example."

Attorneys Michael van der Veen and Bruce Castor defended former President Donald Trump at his Senate impeachment trial over allegedly inciting the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection.

The U.S. Capitol Police have close to 2,000 uniformed officers, more than the Atlanta Police Department.

The agency's annual budget is around half a billion dollars, which is larger than the budget for the entire Detroit Police Department.

The Department of Justice released on Wednesday a group of videos depicting the alleged assault on Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick and other members of law enforcement during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The videos have been cited as evidence in the assault and conspiracy cases against two men - Julian Khater, 32, of State College, Penn., and George Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, W. Va.

On a recent episode of his livestreamed show, the 22-year-old extremist Nick Fuentes repeated a formula that has won him a following with some of the youngest members of the far right. He went on an extended, violent and misogynistic rant, only to turn to the camera and add with a smirk, "Just joking!"

In this case, from the April 22 edition of Fuentes' show, America First, a viewer wrote in to ask Fuentes for advice on how to "punish" his wife for "getting out of line."

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Editor's Note: This story includes explicit language.

In June 2018, a member of the Proud Boys punched a counterprotester in the jaw, shoved him into the pavement in Portland, Ore., and sent him to the hospital with a serious concussion.

The counterprotester had used a metal baton to strike first, and the Proud Boys leader, Ethan Nordean, claimed self-defense. In the end, Nordean, a former bodybuilder, faced no legal consequences for knocking out the man.

In the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a popular narrative has emerged: that because rioters did not fire guns that day, they were not really "armed."

For nearly a year, UCLA students said, they raised the alarm about one of their classmates.

On Twitter, classmate Christian Secor attacked women and minorities, they said, and embraced the ideology of a far-right extremist. On campus, he pushed a student Republicans group toward extreme positions against all immigration. And on the video streaming site DLive, Secor took on the handle "Scuffed Elliot Rodger" — an apparent reference to the misogynist gunman who killed six people in Isla Vista, Calif., in 2014.

The impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump hinges on the question of whether he incited insurrectionists to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6.

To make their case, the House impeachment managers have argued: Just listen to the rioters.

"Their own statements before, during and after the attack make clear the attack was done for Donald Trump, at his instructions and to fulfill his wishes," said Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, on Thursday.

Updated October 15, 2021 at 4:00 PM ET

Editor's note: This story was first published on Feb. 9, 2021. It is regularly updated, and includes explicit language.

As a violent mob descended on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, lawmakers and aides hid wherever they could, waiting for the military and police to arrive. But many of those who stormed the Capitol were military veterans themselves, who had once sworn to protect the Constitution. In fact, an NPR analysis has found that nearly 1 in 5 people charged over their alleged involvement in the attack on the U.S. Capitol appear to have a military history.

The United States Capitol Police have identified the woman who was shot and killed by one of their officers during the pro-Trump rioting on Wednesday as Ashli E. Babbitt, an Air Force veteran from the San Diego area.

She was among the rioters who stormed the Capitol building.

Babbitt, 35, was one of four people who died during Wednesday's chaotic events, according to Washington's Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). MPD Police Chief Robert Contee said the three others who died experienced unspecified "medical emergencies."

Early on in the coronavirus pandemic, as governments scrambled to find rapid and reliable coronavirus tests, three states ended up turning to a small public company that just months earlier had no major customers and was losing millions of dollars.

A member of Congress, who has led efforts to investigate alleged coronavirus scams, is calling for the federal government to crack down on an unproven treatment for COVID-19. Widespread sales of that purported treatment - a drug known as thymosin alpha-1 - were first identified by an NPR investigation earlier this month.

A major political donor, who just two years ago was forced out of his position as finance chair of the Republican National Committee, has contributed millions of dollars this election cycle to Republican candidates and political action committees aligned with the party.

Just as the coronavirus pandemic began its rapid and deadly spread across the United States, a well-known doctor named Dominique Fradin-Read told thousands of viewers tuning into an Instagram Live video that she had an answer: "one of the best ways to prevent and fight COVID-19."

Whether the coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna succeeds or not, executives at the small biotech company have already made tens of millions of dollars by cashing in their stock. An NPR examination of official company disclosures has revealed additional irregularities and potential warning signs.

"On a scale of one to 10, one being less concerned and 10 being the most concerned," said Daniel Taylor, an associate professor of accounting at the Wharton School, "this is an 11."

Louis DeJoy, depending on whom you talk to, is either a Republican political operative beholden to President Trump, or a savvy businessman who's the right person to fix what's broken at the U.S. Postal Service. When senators question him this week, they will want to know which narrative is closer to the truth — and whether he is suited to head the service at this time.

The government agency responsible for policing Wall Street brought the fewest number of insider trading cases in decades, according to the most recent available data.

That decline came just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The Securities and Exchange Commission now warns that the pandemic has created wild swings in the market and more opportunities for insider trading.

NPR reviewed data from the 1980s through last year and found that under the Trump administration, the SEC brought just 32 insider trading enforcement actions in 2019, the lowest number since 1996.

The federal government has repeatedly warned Americans about scammers trying to sell dietary supplements as a remedy for COVID-19 when medical experts say supplements are neither safe nor effective for treating the disease.

But if consumers type "coronavirus supplement" or "COVID supplement" into the search bar at Amazon.com, not only does the online retailer auto-complete the search, it serves up pages and pages of supplements without any warning about the scientific evidence.

Dr. Lauren Jenkins says her medical training has always taught her to think of the worst-case scenario. And one day this past March, that's exactly where her mind went.

It was early into the coronavirus pandemic. Jenkins, a 37-year-old obstetrician-gynecologist who practices at a hospital in Philadelphia, was cooking for her husband and their nearly three-year-old twins, Pierce and Ashton.

That's when she got a call from a colleague. An anesthesiologist she had worked with during a long surgery about one week earlier had tested positive for the coronavirus.

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In late March, the California company RootMD started advertising "at-home Covid-19 exposure and immunity tests" for consumers worried about the coronavirus. For $249, the company said it would mail out a test kit — including a "lancet" that buyers could use to prick their finger and collect a blood sample. Then, the company promised, consumers could mail that sample back to "certified MD immunologists" to test for antibodies to the coronavirus, and get results within 48 hours.

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