The nation stood frozen in shock this week as a large group of Donald Trump supporters attempted a daytime coup of the U.S. Capitol while Congress was in session. The incident has left four dead, which prompted President Joe Biden to speak out against the violent mob of thugs.
The harrowing scene unfolded on Wednesday (Jan. 6) as Washington played host to the group of protestors who have held fast to false claims purported by Trump and right-wing conspiracy outlets along with their respective pundits that the election was stolen from the former businessman and outgoing president.
While most news outlets are using words such as sedition, coup, or insurrection, what occurred on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol was simply a violent mob of right-wing thugs and domestic terrorists hellbent on destruction and egged on by their failing leader in Trump. The fact that conservative pundits struggled to condemn the acts, and with some in that space seemingly applauding the actions, the country’s already wide divide across political lines has grown.
As several members of the so-called Proud Boys and others who have essentially declared war on liberals at the rally, Trump himself gave a speech where he suggested the mob “take our country back” and that was supported by violent language from Trump’s attorney, Rudy Guiliani. Sen. Josh Hawley, one of many who back Trump’s false election claims, will forever be immortalized in an image of him walking across the Capitol grounds with his fist raised in solidarity.
The other images that have begun to appear in the aftermath of the so-called uprising are startling, some showing members and staff in both chambers cowering in fear. One striking video that has made rounds is that of a lone Black U.S. Capitol Police officer attempting to fend off the surging crowd walking through the building, retreating as the crowd pressed into him.
All of this took place as Vice President Mike Pence was in the Senate chamber to certify the electoral college results that officially make Joe Biden president. That session was interrupted due to the fracas, but debates continued much later as both Democrat and Republican congresspersons and senators debated the finer points of the GOP-led objection to the certification.
As the chambers of Congress reopened, there were some brave Republicans who condemned the actions of the president but using soft terms and not exactly speaking as pointedly as they would if this came from the other side. For all of the Black Lives Matter movement’s presence on the minds of their critics, that group nor its supporters have never been so emboldened to storm the Capitol. That group would have not gotten the red carpet rollout these folks did.
On Thursday (Jan. 7), President Biden rightfully called the group a “mob of thugs” during a speech ahead of announcing Merrick Garland as his nominee Attorney General, after stating his granddaughter shared a photo of the protestors running amok in the building.
“She said, ‘Pop, this isn’t fair. No one can tell me if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,'” Biden said of the exchange with his granddaughter. “We all know that’s true. And it is unacceptable. Totally unacceptable.”
The nation, severely fractured and with many responding to the soft and nearly gentle treatment from the law enforcement officers on the ground, will need plenty of time to process this heinous and failed uprising. Four people, two women, and two men are needlessly dead and that blood is on the hands of Sen. Hawley, Sen. Ted Cruz, and most certainly, Donald Trump
Twitter has continued to actively discuss the terroristic acts of the mob and we have those reactions below.
About those off duty military and cops flashing their badges at the #CapitolRiots ... that’s a MAJOR no no. As a prosecutor I had a badge and we were forbidden to use unless we were on duty or assisting in a case... never for access or intimidation. Track that too, @FBI!— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) January 7, 2021
Trump's #CapitolRiots must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and these people all left paper trails a mile wide, perhaps thinking that when the dictator said I'll go with you, he actuality meant it. https://t.co/VggBiaqlBA— Grant Stern (@grantstern) January 7, 2021
Best one liner of the pandemic— Piarais Mac Alastair (@piarais91) January 7, 2021
"Due to travel restrictions, this year the United States had to organise a coup at home" #CapitolRiots
Update: 68 suspected terrorists arrested; 60 males and 8 females, only one of the suspects is actually from D.C.— Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) January 7, 2021
Police and FBI hunting for more suspects, pledge to arrest everyone. #CapitolBuilding #CapitolHill #CapitolRiots
⚠️POTENTIALLY WORST MASS SPREADER EVENT—This #CapitolRiots could be worse than Sturgis—indoors, almost no masks, no distance, lot of shouting—worst of all scenarios.— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) January 7, 2021
➡️I dread the #COVID epidemic curves in 2-3 weeks after these MAGA rioters return home.
Can anyone identify these two?— BebopSpaceCowgirl 🌈💖💚❤️💙💜 (@jomareewade) January 7, 2021
Looks like they got themselves a souvenir - and max. 10 years in prison according to Trump's vandalism law?
Two vandals holding part of Nancy Pelosi's name plate, 2:46-2:51 in the video#CapitolRiots #TrumpCoupAttempt https://t.co/MTbYpBAC1u pic.twitter.com/MORTZjRJwh
Wow. Highly recommend taking 7 minutes away from watching Congress. The British news media perfectly captured today close-up. May all US media request to re-air this. It’s already packaged, impactful and brings clarity to the day. @ReliableSources pic.twitter.com/OcTnGdDSKF— Jason Kint (@jason_kint) January 7, 2021
Raise your hand if you demand Congress hold Trump accountable for the #CapitolRiots by making him the first President in history to be impeached twice. ✋— Chip Franklin InsideTheBeltway.com (@chipfranklin) January 7, 2021