Last night, Wall Street Journal reporters Rebecca Ballhaus, Joe Palazzolo and Andrew Restuccia wrote that there "were weeks of rhetoric and encouragement from the president and a circle of close allies" that led to the terrorist attack on the Capitol Wednesday. "Lawmakers in both parties have faulted the rhetoric by the president and his allies, saying it helped set a course for the riot at the Capitol on Wednesday, which left five people dead. Beginning hours after the polls closed on Nov. 3, the president, his family members and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, claimed the vote was marred by fake ballots and election fraud. They were joined by lawyers L. Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, who blamed Mr. Trump’s loss on international conspiracies... The president repeatedly touted a planned pro-Trump protest to his 88 million Twitter followers. 'Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,' Mr. Trump wrote on Dec. 19. 'Be there, will be wild!' Mr. Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., warned those who didn’t back the pro-Trump efforts during a speech at the rally Wednesday: 'We’re coming for you.' From Election Day through Wednesday, the president’s family members, lawyers and a group of allies had posted more than 200 times about election fraud on Twitter, according to a Storyful analysis for the Wall Street Journal. Those posts were retweeted nearly 3.5 million times and liked more than 9 million times, the analysis found. Ms. Powell sent the most tweets about election fraud--116-- followed by Mr. Giuliani, who sent 32."
An Ipsos poll released by Reuters this morning shows that 57% of Americans want Trump removed from office immediately because of his role in the insurrection. Just 12% say they supported the rioters. Some of those rioters are now on the FBI's most wanted list. Others have been rounded up and arrested, including the Republican state Rep from West Virginia.
The Houston Chronicle called on Ted Cruz to resign, just as the major papers in Missouri demanded of Josh Hawley. "[T]hose terrorists wouldn’t have been at the Capitol if you hadn’t staged this absurd challenge," wrote the editorial board of The Chronicle. "We’re done with drama, opportunism, cynical scheming that has now cost American lives... Resign and deliver Texas from the shame of calling you our senator."
Virginia state Senator Amanda Chase-- aka, Trump in heels-- is the first Republican woman to ever run for governor of Virginia. If she gets her party's nomination, she would be the perfect foil for Lee Carter, best of the Democratic Party candidates. She represents SD-11, a district beginning to trend purple, primarily in Chesterfield County. Cuccinelli (R) beat McAuliffe (D) for governor there, 52-38% in 2013, Trump won the district with 53% in 2016, Gillespie (R) beat Northam (D) 53-46% in 2017, but Kaine (D) edged Stewart (R) for the U.S. Senate in 2018, 50-49%. In 2019 Chase was elected to the state Senate over Democrat Amanda Pohl 44,245 (54.5%) to 36,734 (45.3%). Chase, having worked for both Ken Cuccinelli and Dave Brat, has been a very out-spoken right-wing fanatic. She is so far right that in 2019, she announced that she would no longer caucus with the Republicans and she remains affiliated with the GOP, more a straight-up Nazi than a Republican. In fact, while still calling herself a Republican, she's running for governor as an independent with backing from Q-Anon, her ideological brethren.
She's made a spectacle of herself in the state Senate by insisting on carrying a handgun in a holster while presenting bills and for cursing at Capitol police officers when they were trying to do their jobs. She's best known for having made statements about rape victims being to blame for their own rapes, being an hysterical defender of symbols of the Confederacy and claiming Trump only lost in Virginia (by just over 10 points) because Biden stole the election.
This week she took time off from her gubernatorial campaign and from her duties as a state senate to drive up to DC to help storm the U.S. Capitol. She was one of the rioters, who she called "patriots," although she also claimed that the Capitol was actually stormed by Antifa. On January 8, Facebook suspended her account for incitement to violence. One of over a dozen Republican state legislators who partook in the riot, Chase hasn't been arrested for her role yet. Both Democrats and Republicans are working towards expelling for from the state Senate, labelling her "an insurrectionist."
Virginia's Democratic Senate caucus released a statement noting that Chase "unequivocally committed insurrection. She galvanized domestic terrorists who violated the United States Capitol on Wednesday afternoon through riots, destruction, and desecration, joining them on their march to Capitol Hill."
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, a fundraising and organizing group for state Democrats, called for lawmakers who attended to resign or be expelled. DLCC president Jessica Post said in a statement that Republicans had "cheered on the rioters."
Stami Williams, a spokesperson for the Republican State Leadership Committee, a fundraising and organizing group for Republicans, said anyone who participated in illegal activity and breached the Capitol should be prosecuted.
"The RSLC strongly condemns acts of violence, illegal entry, and destruction, including those for which West Virginia Delegate Derrick Evans has been charged," Williams said in a statement.
Besides Chase and Evans, other GOP state legislative rioters included:
Rep. Justin Hill (MO)
Sen. Doug Mastriano (PA)
Rep. Matt Maddock (MI)
Rep. David Eastman (AK)
Rep. Mark Finchem (AZ)
Rep. Chris Miller (IL)
Outgoing Rep. Anthony Kern (AZ)
Outgoing Rep. Vernon Jones (GA)
Former Rep. Rick Saccone (PA)
Perhaps more disturbing than Republican sociopaths in state legislatures trying to demolish democracy-- that's who they are, after all, and who their voters are-- were all the police officers who were involved. "Two Seattle officers were placed on administrative leave after the Seattle Police Department found out that they were believed to have attended the protests in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday," reported KIRO.
Last night, a team of Politico reporters started very, very tepidly scratching around the surface of what is sure to turn into a major congressional investigation: what was law enforcement's role in the mayhem? "A growing number of House Democrats," they wrote, "say they’re concerned that tactical decisions by some Capitol Police officers worsened Wednesday’s riots and have raised the possibility that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol might have had outside help... [V]ideos have also surfaced showing a small number of officers pulling down barricades for the rioters and, in another instance, stopping for a photo with one of them. Some of those incidents were raised on a 3.5-hour caucus call by House Democrats on Friday, demanding an investigation not only into the decisions by the Capitol Police leadership but by some rank-and-file officers caught on camera. But the lawmakers also raised general concerns that the rioters had some sort of outside help not necessarily attributable to the Capitol’s police corps."
Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) told his colleagues he thought the riots were “an inside job,” according to two lawmakers on the call.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) mentioned that looters had found their way to his unmarked, third floor office and stole his iPad. He questioned how they could locate that office but not his clearly marked ceremonial office in Statuary Hall. Later, another Democrat on the call, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) specifically raised the question of possible collusion among some Capitol Police officers, according to several people listening.
In that vein, House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) told a radio station that Democrats didn’t know yet if the failures by Capitol Police were the result of “poor planning or whether it was because there was certain kinds of infiltration.”
...Some of the most acute concerns have been raised by members of color, many of whom have already faced an increase in personal threats during the Trump era and had raised early warnings that the Trump supporters’ planned Jan. 6 demonstration could turn violent. Those members also expressed outrage at the disparity in treatment of pro-Trump rioters, many of whom were allowed to walk free from the Capitol even after ransacking congressional leaders’ offices, and at the crackdown on demonstrators protesting racial inequality over the summer.
“If the ‘protesters’ were Black they would have been shot with rubber bullets, tear gassed, and killed,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chair of the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday.
“Police do not take white, right-wing protesters as seriously and they don't treat them as a threat in the way they treat African Americans, Latinos and other groups,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) said in an interview. “And I think we saw the consequence of that this week.”
Since Wednesday’s attack, many Democrats have publicly and privately raised alarms about the ease with which rioters were able to not only enter the building but also quickly find their targets in a complex that is difficult for even members of Congress to navigate.
“Somebody must get to the bottom of how they, with such efficiency and such alacrity, moved themselves in mobs into [Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s] office. Into the whip’s third-floor office,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA), one of the dozen or so Democrats who was locked inside the House chamber as rioters attempted to break in.
...“I saw those videos,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) told reporters Friday. “You had people fighting their hearts out and getting hit over the head with a lead pipe … and you had people taking selfies with these terrorists. So there are all of these different levels and we will be examining all of the footage.”
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) chair of the House committee that oversees Capitol security matters, similarly noted that at least some officers may have “taken selfies with these seditionists or even let them in.”
“We need to thoroughly investigate that,” she said.
Last summer, The Guardian reported about an FBI report that shows how white supremacists and militias have infiltrated police across the U.S. "In a timely new analysis, Michael German, a former FBI special agent who has written extensively on the ways that US law enforcement have failed to respond to far-right domestic terror threats, concludes that US law enforcement officials have been tied to racist militant activities in more than a dozen states since 2000, and hundreds of police officers have been caught posting racist and bigoted social media content. The report notes that over the years, police links to militias and white supremacist groups have been uncovered in states including Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. Police in Sacramento, California, in 2018 worked with neo-Nazis to pursue charges against anti-racist activists, including some who had been stabbed, according to records. And just this summer, German writes, an Orange county sheriff’s deputy and a Chicago policeman were caught wearing far-right militia logos; an Olympia, Washington, officer was photographed posing with a militia group; and Philadelphia police officers were filmed standing by while armed mobs attacked protesters and journalists... Few police agencies have explicit policies against affiliating with white supremacist groups. If police officers are disciplined, the measures often lead to protracted litigation."
Meanwhile <>Parler activists and Q-Anon psychopaths are calling for more violence</> on January 19 and 20th, Trumpists " feel emboldened and are vowing to return to Washington" for the inauguration.
“Many of Us will return on January 19, 2021, carrying Our weapons, in support of Our nation's resolve, towhich [sic] the world will never forget!!! We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match,” wrote a popular Parler user who frequently posts about QAnon, and is being tracked by the Anti-Defamation League.
Parler, Telegram chat rooms and the platform TheDonald.win were all used to plan and coordinate the Jan. 6 rally that turned into a riot. Posters explicitly stated their intentions to “occupy” the Capitol. QAnon conspiracy theorists and people associated with militia groups had a visible presence in Wednesday’s crowd.
“Round 2 on January 20th. This time no mercy. I don’t even care about keeping Trump in power. I care about war,” an anonymous person posted on the platform TheDonald.win, which is filled with comments posted by people who lauded those who rioted Wednesday as “heroes.”
...“There is growing concern that violent extremists are emboldened by the breach of the Capitol, which means the clock is ticking on taking down the most influential incites of violence before they act again,” said Frank Figliuzzi, former FBI assistant director and NBC News national security analyst.
Federal and local law enforcement have made dozens of arrests so far in connection with Wednesday's Capitol breach and for violations of the curfew that followed.
This morning, AOC wrote that "The violent attempted coup in the U.S. Capitol didn’t just appear out of thin air. It was incited. It was orchestrated. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and dozens of Republicans in Congress put our republic in great danger. Each and every one of them have broken their oaths of office. Now they must be removed from power. We will not simply ‘move on’ from this moment. We are demanding accountability... Josh Hawley baselessly attacked our elections, fist-pumped insurrectionists, then raised money for his campaign during the chaos. Ted Cruz’s craven, self-serving actions also contributed to the attempted coup-- and the five deaths that occurred during it, including the death of a Capitol Police officer. And Cruz also raised money off of the riot, sending a text message hours into the attack that lauded Cruz for 'leading the fight.'"