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President Trump flanked by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley (third from right) and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten (right), May 9, 2020. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty

The Joint Chiefs of Staff condemned last week’s deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol in a letter on Tuesday, calling the invasion "a direct assault on the U.S. Congress, the Capitol building, and our Constitutional process."

Why it matters: The JCS, chaired by Gen. Mark Milley, is comprised of the Defense Department's most senior military officers. The condemnation is seen as a meaningful shift, given they typically avoid taking political positions. President Trump has lost a number of allies since the Jan. 6 riot.

What they’re saying: "The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection," the letter states.

  • "As Service Members, we must embody the values and ideals of the Nation. We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values, and oath; it is against the law."
  • The letter also makes clear that President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated and "become our 46th Commander in Chief" on Jan. 20.
  • "To our men and women deployed and at home, safeguarding our country—stay ready, keep your eyes on the horizon, and remain focused on the mission."

Read the letter:

What to watch: The FBI has opened files into more than 170 people and made charges in over 70 cases as it investigates the siege on the Capitol.

Go deeper

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as FBI director

FBI Director Christopher Wray at a virtual DOJ news briefing on Oct. 28. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as director of the FBI and has "confidence in the job he is doing," White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed in a tweet Thursday.

The big picture: Wray, who was nominated by former President Trump in 2017 after he fired former FBI Director James Comey, came under heavy criticism from Trump and his allies over the past year.

Pew: Over 80% of Asian adults say violence against them is increasing

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

More than 80% of Asian adults say that violence against them is increasing, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

The big picture: The survey, conducted April 5-11, comes after the recent shootings in Atlanta in which eight people, including six Asian women were killed, as well as a yearlong spike in hate incidents against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.