In the last blog, we looked at The Big Lie about widespread voter fraud that President Trump continued to push in the months leading up to the election and in the following weeks after it. We considered how this lie was successful enough to persuade 72% of Republican voters even after the election. We also discussed why the claim of widespread voter fraud lacks any viable evidence to support it. Trump used all the legal processes available to him, and still no widespread fraud has been found. The hard truth for many Trump supporters to swallow is that the election was not actually stolen. Donald J. Trump lost the election.
The problem is that a high percentage of pro-Trump supporters have spent months feeding on The Big Lie, and Trump is not alone to blame. Quite the contrary. The reason the lie of widespread election fraud was so successful was that it was publicly promoted by many leading Republican Congressmen and Senators as well as far right news networks that consistently traffic in conspiracy theories. While some Congressional Republicans did not accept the lie, thankfully, and spent their energies debunking it, it was only a small handful of them and not enough to make a difference in persuading their base. The zealous rhetoric that “the election was stolen” had already spread like wildfire among Trump supporters.
Plans to Protest
Millions of Trump supporters disagreed with the election results as the polls indicated. Among them were a sizable portion of extremists and other fringe groups, prone to conspiracy theories, who took to heart President’s Trump’s election fraud claims and wanted to do something about it. After all, in their minds Trump should be president; not Biden.
The call to “Stop the Steal,” combined with other dark and toxic narratives, compelled thousands of pro-Trump supporters to make plans to gather at the Save America Rally not far from Capitol the second week of January. In a tweet on December 19th, President Trump urged his supporters to join him in DC on January 6th. “Be there, will be wild!” A week later, on December 26th at 8:00 am, he amped up his rhetoric in a tweet writing, “If a Democrat Presidential Candidate had an Election Rigged and Stolen, with proof of such acts at a level never seen before, the Democrat Senators would consider it an act of war, and fight to the death. Mitch and the Republicans do NOTHING! just want to let it pass. NO FIGHT!” Fourteen minutes later, he tweeted again saying, “The “Justice” Department and the FBI have done nothing about the 2020 Presidential Voter Fraud, the biggest SCAM in our nation’s history, despite overwhelming evidence. They should be ashamed. History will remember. Never give up. See everyone in D.C. on January 6th.” On the very next day, December 27th, he tweeted again, “See you in Washington, DC, on January 6th. Don’t miss it. Information to follow.” A few days later, on December 30th, he also tweeted, JANUARY 6TH. SEE YOU IN DC!” With over 88 million Twitter followers at the time, his audience was far reaching among those who supported and voted for him.
In each of the above tweets, President Trump signaled a call to action for his most ardent supporters to meet him at the Capitol on January 6th. But was he merely calling for them to peacefully protest? Or was he intending for them to do something much more aggressive, even violent? Was his statement about a rigged and stolen election taken as “an act of war” just an exaggeration, a simple figure of speech? Tragically, the events that would soon enfold just one week later strongly suggest that his statement was anything but figurative.
And while some supporters came that week to protest the election results peacefully, others had something very different in mind. Of course, they had been primed for this moment for quite some time (see my last blog article).
A Routine Procedure: Counting the Electoral College Votes
On Wednesday, January 6th of this year, US Congressmen and Senators came together in their separate chambers to finalize the election process by performing the last steps first outlined in Article 2, Section 1 of The Constitution of the United States but later updated in the Twelfth Amendment, which is the procedure Congress now adheres to. In the Amendment, each state’s electoral votes are to be brought into the Senate Chamber and be counted by the President of the Senate (the Vice President of the United States, at the time Mike Pence). This is a routine procedure done every four years, two months following the November presidential election (the Tuesday following the first Monday in January) to count the electoral votes that each state had already certified.
But everything that happened that day was not a routine procedure. In fact, it was highly unusual.
Save America Rally
As the Senate gathered to count the electoral votes under the direction of Mike Pence, the Save the America Rally was well underway at the Ellipse just south of the White House. President Trump and other national figures spoke at the rally in order to persuade voters to do something about the election results. Here’s a few noteworthy remarks at the event (WARNING: They are offensive, false, and aggressive in nature):
- Donald Trump Jr.: “If you’re going to be the zero and not the hero, we’re coming for you and we’re going to have a good time doing it.”
- US Representative Mo Brooks: “Today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”
- Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (Trump lawyer): “Let’s have trial by combat.”
- President Trump: “The media will not show the magnitude of this crowd. Even when I turned on today and looked and I saw thousands of people today, but you don’t see hundreds of thousands of people behind you cause they don’t want to show that. We have hundreds of thousands of people here today [fact-check: there were thousands; not hundreds of thousands]…They came from all over the world actually. They came from all over our country…It would be really great if we could be covered fairly by the media. The media is the biggest problem we have as far as I’m concerned. Single biggest problem. The fake news and the big tech. Big tech is now coming into their own. We beat em four years ago. We surprised em; we took em by surprise, and this year they rigged an election. They rigged it like they’ve never rigged an election before…I’m honest, I just-again I want to thank you. It’s just a great honor to have this kind of crowd. To be before you, and hundreds of thousands of American patriots who are committed to the honesty of our elections and the integrity of our glorious Republic. All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Democrats…and stolen by the fake news media. That’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing. We will never give up; we will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. We will not take it anymore…And to use a favorite term that you people really came up with, we will “Stop the Steal.” Today, I will lay out just some of the evidence proving that we won this election and we won it by a landslide. This was not a close election…Does anybody believe that Joe had 80 million votes? He had 80 million computer votes [referring to the Dominion machines conspiracy]. It’s a disgrace; there’s never been anything like that. You can take third world countries, take a look. Take third world countries; their elections are more honest than what we’ve been going through in this country [comparing America’s voting system to a 3rd world is quite a claim]. It’s a disgrace. Even when you look at last night, they’re all running around like chickens with their heads cut off with boxes. Nobody knows what the hell is going on. There’s never been anything like this. We will not let them silence your voices. We’re not going to let it happen…You’ll never take back our country with weakness…This is a time for strength; the radical left knows exactly what they’re doing…Make no mistake, this election was stolen….And we fight, we fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore….”
- Click here for all the false claims Trump made at the Save America Rally.
- Click here for the entire footage of speeches at the Save the America Rally (poor quality).
- Click here for a second source of the entire footage of speeches at the Save America Rally (better quality).
Sobering truth: By the time Trump finished his hour long speech (around 1:10), a violent mob had already surrounded the Capitol building, were fighting with Capitol Police outside the building and attempting to force their way through the Capitol, with the intent of harming US Congress members as later evidence suggested.
Just who participated in the Capitol siege on January 6th and why does it matter? To these questions I will turn, and then wrap up providing a detailed list of events and personalities that participated in the violent assault on the US Capitol and the people there to protect it. Video footage of different scenes during the assault are included below.
White Supremacists on the Rise
It’s no surprise if you’ve been paying attention the last four years that since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, white supremacists and white fascists have felt emboldened, even empowered. Why? What is it about Trump’s policies or personality that has drawn these groups to rally around him?
- Birther Conspiracy: Prior to his run for presidency, back in 2011, Trump was a leading public figure in promoting the birther conspiracy about then President Barack Obama. He claimed that former President Obama was not born in the United States, which is a constitutional requirement to become president. Obama was in fact born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His birth certificate was eventually released to the public in order to put a stop to the lie because of just how rampant the birther conspiracy had spread. The birther claim went hand in hand with another erroneous claim that Obama was a radicalized Muslim who supported violent terrorism. Unfortunately, both claims nurtured a political environment in America that was hostile toward American Muslims. The fact is that, while former President Obama respects people of all faiths, including Muslims, President Obama is an African American and a Christian.
- Presidential Run Announcement: Listen to the first 20 minutes of Trump’s first 2016 presidential run announcement. He shares a deeply degrading and hostile view of Mexican immigrants, Muslims and other nationalities of color. His language and rhetoric was couched under the guise of American nationalism, and as is the tendency in many historic nationalistic movements, hostility and violent aggression toward minority groups is all too often a signature badge.
- Neo-Nazis: During his presidential campaign in 2016, Neo-Nazi groups gave their public support of Trump. Hear why.
- Campaign Rally Violence: In his 2016 campaign rallies, Trump endorsed violence multiple times, including violence toward people of color. For example, at his North Carolina rally, he praised an older white man who had punched a black man at the rally. At a Kentucky rally, pro-Trump men and boys pushed a black woman repeatedly, one punching her in the face as she attempted to leave the rally, receiving public applause from Trump. While both of these people were there to protest, this should not be cause for promoting violence in general, nor race-related violence in particular.
- Unite the Right Rally: On August 15, 2017, when asked to criticize white supremacist and fascist groups for their part in a violent clash between them and antifascist groups in Charlottesville at the Unite the Right rally, President Trump called both groups of people “very fine people,” which he got a lot of flack for. His ongoing unwillingness to criticize or call out white supremacists became a hallmark of his presidency.
- Black Lives Matter Protests: During the Black Lives Matter protests in May, June and July following the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Brionna Taylor, Trump’s attempt at empathy was disingenuous at best. Listen to the way he talked about their murders (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3).
- Law and Order Speech: In his “Law and Order” speech on June 1, 2020, following George Floyd’s murder, in a time when African Americans and other people of color needed to hear their president empathize with them in their ongoing experience with police brutality, Trump spent significantly more time talking about the punitive actions he was taking against violent rioters. Granted the violence that happened (often happening in the late evenings after the peaceful protests had ended) needed to be addressed and stopped, his priority was on quelling the violence and not on empathizing with the main purpose of the protests to begin with. This priority alone sent a signal to white supremacists and nationalists that Trump was harder on black crime than on white crime.
- Black Crime versus White Crime: On August 31, 2020, Trump suggested Kyle Rittenhouse (a 17 year old young white man) was justified in killing two people who had been protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29 year old black man, who was shot multiple times by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse had traveled to Kenosha from Antioch, Illinois to “protect” the local businesses from violent rioters. He was carrying an AR-15 style rifle. For white supremacists, Trump’s statement about Rittenhouse was very clear: Trump is much softer on white crime than black crime, and black protesters are more culpable of crimes in protests than white “protectors” who openly carry guns.
- Systemic Racism (Trump): Over the summer and fall of 2020, President Trump continually rejected the reality that systemic racism continues to exist within our criminal justice system (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3).
- Systemic Racism (Trump Officials): Many officials within the Trump administration also denied the possibility of systemic (or structural) racism within our criminal justice system.
- Second Birther Claim: On August 13, 2020, President Trump gave oxygen to another birther claim that then Senator Kamala Harris was not born in the United States. In truth, Harris is an African American and Asian American woman who was born in Oakland, California. She is also Christian.
- Presidential Debate with Joe Biden: On September 29, 2020, in his first presidential debate with Joe Biden, President Trump was asked by moderator Chris Wallace to condemn white supremacy. His response was, “Proud boys, stand back and stand by,” a clear indication that he knew who the group was and that he thought they would pay attention to him. The Proud Boys are known for having white supremacists in their ranks. His statement begs the question, why call this particular group by name and tell them to stand back and stand by? In the coming days, The Proud Boys started using Trump’s statement as their new slogan; it was clear they took pride in him calling them by name. Trump’s statement was also a signal to other far-right extremist groups that they had Trump’s support. Merchandise sellers had shirts made with the words “Stand back and stand by” and began selling them on Amazon. It should be no surprise that after Trump responded to Chris Wallace at the first presidential debate, he did not condemn white supremacy, the very thing he was asked to do. While he eventually gave a statement condemning white supremacy within the following weeks, he didn’t do it when it mattered the most-when millions of Americans (including millions of his own base) were watching the debate live on television. On that day, he chose to stall.
- All of the above was more fuel that enabled and emboldened white supremacists and white nationalists.
- This is a short list.
Sobering Truth: On the day of the Capitol siege, individuals with Nazi paraphernalia and a man carrying a Confederate flag were seen inside the Capitol building. The alt-right group Proud Boys was also “one of the most prominent groups to storm the Capitol” that day. Coincidence?
Another group of people who were involved in the assault on the Capitol were QAnon members. For those who don’t know, QAnon is cult community that believes a “cabal of Satan worshipping pedophiles are plotting against Mr. Trump while operating a global sex trafficking ring.” QAnon members also claim that present and former Democratic presidents, politicians within the Democratic Party, liberal Hollywood actors and high ranking US officials are members of the cabal. They further believe that “Trump was recruited by top military generals to run for president in 2016 in order to break up” the cabal of pedophiles, end its control of politics and news media and “bring its members to justice.”
Q is a prophetic personality within the QAnon cult, who is believed to be a high ranking intelligence official. Q shares posts on imageboards that give various predictions connected to former President Trump. One such prediction is an event (or events) referred to as “The Storm,” when they believe “Trump’s foes will be punished in mass executions.” Among those who will be punished are the cabal of Satan worshipping pedophiles.
President Trump has reposted tweets of QAnon supporters. While it’s not clear if he actually believes or adheres to the conspiracy, he has admitted his appreciation that they like him and referred to them as “patriots.”
Over the last few months, former QAnon supporters have talked about what drew them to the cult conspiracy and why they finally left. What drew them in? For many, the claims of Q and the support of the online QAnon community had once brought a sense of certainty and understanding about global and national events that had otherwise led them feeling disconnected, fearful and anxious. Like most conspiracy theories, QAnon connects many troubling and seemingly unrelated events with “evidence” that does not meet the standard criteria for factual evidence (in other words, verified proof). Intuition rather than facts is the normal path of discernment for QAnon followers. Their beliefs and assumptions make perfect sense to them even when confronted by someone asking them for proof. Why did they leave? Hear their stories to find out (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4, Source 5, Source 6).
Sobering Truth: Many QAnon followers believed the Capitol riot and siege was a precursor for The Storm. Among those who stormed the Capitol was a QAnon supporter who has been widely publicized recently for video footage of him in the Senate chamber after the pro-Trump supporters broke through the Capitol building. He is an avid Trump supporter. He can be seen with his painted face and a horned hat leading a group of Trump supporters in prayer asking for God’s blessing on America. While he prayed, he was standing next to the seat that Mike Pence had been sitting in earlier that day before Pence was rushed out of the chamber for safety. Other Q followers were also seen inside and outside the Capitol building sporting clothing with Q on them.
While not everyone who raided the Capitol on January 6 was a known QAnon follower, this conspiracy cult is more widespread than we’d like to think. In fact, there is a known Q follower in the US House of Representatives (second video footage ). She previously advocated storming the Capitol back in 2019, promoted the theory that the Parkland shooting was a false flag operation, and that a plane did not crash into the Pentagon on 9-11.
Another feature of the Capitol riot and the Trump era has been a rise in violent nationalist groups. While nationalism is not inherently violent, nationalistic movements around the world have often been prone to violence, including recent ones within the United States. Sometimes they include white nationalists and sometimes they simply operate from an aggressive nationalistic ideology. But more often than not, at least within the United States, they are joined at the hip. While not all Trump supporters are white nationalists, white nationalists by and large are Trump supporters.
Aggressive expressions of nationalism often have religious ideology and frenzy attached to them. Reclaiming the nation “back to God,” not through loving or peaceful demonstrations, but rather through violent action. In other words, take overs. Present day American nationalists, or individuals with hyper nationalistic ideologies, sometimes point back to the American Revolution as their example–where the American colonials fought against the oppressive leadership of the British monarch and his army.
Throughout our country’s history, various Christian churches and their ideologies use the Bible to justify violence, war and violent takeovers. For justification, they have looked to passages in the Bible where God is depicted as commanding ancient Israel to go into the ancient region of Canaan and take over the land and the people, even commanding the slaughter of men, women and children in that entire region. American Christian slave owners used these same Bible passages, in addition to Old Testament passages that seem to permit slavery, as a grounds for buying and selling African slaves. The entire transatlantic slave trade was justified on the basis of Biblical examples. In fact, Christian southern farmers and politicians held this view for generations in our nation’s history.
Sobering Truth: The rhetoric of the pro-Trump extremists at the Capitol was nothing shy of aggressive nationalistic ideologies at play.
It should be stated that while aggressive forms of nationalism have unfortunately gotten tied up with Christianity in American and European history, many Christians throughout world history have raised serious question to using the Canaan mandate to slaughter (i.e. commit genocide) all the Canaanite tribal groups as a model for Christian living today. Some, including this author, will go as far as to say that all violence has no place in Christian theology and practice. Jesus’ command to love and pray for our enemies is a stark contrast to the Canaan mandate or any violent forms of nationalism today.
Is Trump culpable for the Capitol Assault?
While millions of Americans believe the evidence clearly and strongly suggests that former President Trump incited the violent riot and assault on the US Capitol, there are still many Americans who believe he is innocent. Why? For some supporters, Trump can do no harm; end of story and discussion. Whether for religious reasons or policy reasons, they will assert that Trump may be careless with his words at times but he would not incite a riot. Some condemn the violence that happened on January 6th and claim that the riot was started by an outside group, like “Antifa.” There are others who rightly state that Trump told his supporters at the rally to march down to the Capitol “peacefully and patriotically” to make their voices heard. “You see,” they say, Trump was not inciting a riot. He told them to march peacefully.
A couple things in response to this: This would not be the first time that Trump said something in a scripted speech or news conference when it was obvious he was only saying it because it was on a teleprompter or that it was the expected thing to say, not because it was what he actually believed. In other words, Trump was saying what he should say, even though everything else he had said prior in the speech, and everything he said after, suggested otherwise. If you listen to that short phrase in context, within the entirety of his speech, it sounds more like an aside, rather than something significant. A nice filler to put him in the clear.
For over an hour, Trump riled up the crowd into an aggravated frenzy about the election. Peacefully protesting is not what many of them had in mind, as the events of the day later revealed. If Trump had meant for the march to be peaceful, then why did violence ensue? And why, after learning about the violent riot happening both outside and inside the Capitol building, didn’t he immediately stop it. Millions of Trump supporters are at his beck and call when he sends out a tweet (in fact over 88 million of them). He could have sent out a tweet ordering them to stop what they were doing and condemned the violence. But he didn’t. He also could have called in the National Guard and federal law enforcement, but he didn’t. Instead, it was Vice President Mike Pence, Capitol Police Chief Sund and D.C. Mayor Bowser who were responsible for calling in the National Guard. Unfortunately, by the time the Guard was deployed to secure the Capitol, the mob’s violent assault against the Capitol Police was well underway.
Not only this, but the mob itself claimed that they were simply following the orders of the president. When stopped by Capitol Police in the halls of the Capitol, they told the police they were doing what the President told them to do (listen for yourself). To make this point even more clear, when Trump finally told the mob to go home (via a video tweet) three hours of violent assaults against the police had already occurred and the lives of every person in Congress was already in jeopardy. And interestingly enough, the crowd got the message and did what he said–they left. Listen to what the infamous QAnon follower with the painted face and horned hat (one of the pro-Trump supporters that got into the Senate chamber) said after being asked why he suddenly left the Capitol building three hours after the attack. He told a reporter that “Donald Trump asked everyone to go home.” When the reporter asked him why, he responded saying, “Because dude we won the f***ing day. We f***ing won. We won by sending a message to the Senators and the Congressmen, we won by sending a message to Pence, ok, that if they don’t do as their oath to do, if they don’t uphold the Constitution, then we will remove them from office one way or another.”
Let’s be clear: Only after 125 Capitol Policers had been beaten, dragged, pummeled, and injured profusely, and only after Congress was safely escorted to a hiding spot (some just barely escaping the angry mob who stormed the halls of Congress, including Mike Pence), did Trump do something about it. And make no mistake; Trump didn’t do it out of the goodness of his heart or on his own accord. Deeply disturbed by the president’s lack of action in the midst of the Capitol assault, members of Congress posted urgent tweets about the assault and implored President Trump to tell the rioters to leave (Source 1, Source 2). His own White House aides were “disgusted and disappointed” by Trump’s behavior. In fact, senior White Officials claimed that Trump had been “confused as to why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was” at the prospect of rioters trying to push through the Capitol Police force to get into the Capitol. In addition to these voices urging the president, an “expletive-laden phone call” between Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also occurred, in which McCarthy forcefully told Trump to call off the rioters. Trump eventually complied.
At 2:38 pm:
An hour and a half after the initial violence (around 1:00 pm) outside the Capitol, and about 20 minutes after the mob breached the Capitol building (around 2:15 pm), Trump finally said something publicly about the riot. He sent out a tweet saying, “Please support Capitol Police and Law enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
At 3:13 pm:
Over two hours after the initial violence, he tweeted again saying, “I’m asking everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence. Remember WE are the party of Law & Order- respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
At 4:17 pm:
Over three hours after the initial violence began in front of the Capitol building, Trump finally tweeted a minute-long video in which he tells the crowd to go home. But before telling them this, he first repeats his false claim that the election had been stolen (the very thing motivating the riot to begin with). Then, he closes the video saying, “We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.” At no point in this 1 minute video does Trump ever condemn the violence or correct their interpretation of his speech.
At 6:01 pm:
About five hours after the initial violence at the Capitol, Trump tweeted this: “These are the things and events that happen when a landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & peace. Remember this day forever!”
Consider this last tweet again. Is this the kind of message you’d expect to hear from someone who believed the protest should be peaceful, especially if that someone is the President of the United States? It’s also very curious that Trump would tweet these last four messages and not broadcast them on any other news stations (even the ones he approves of) unless he knew the mob was in fact his own supporters and that they would in fact be paying attention to his tweets.
If Trump was truly innocent and not culpable for inciting the violent riot, if he actually wanted the crowd to protest peacefully as some people have asserted, then wouldn’t he have condemned the violence clearly and unequivocally and done so at the first word of violence at the Capitol? And wouldn’t he also have called on federal law enforcement and the National Guard to quell the violence immediately?
The truth is, he did none of those things.
The violent assault on the Capitol on January 6th didn’t just happen without warning, and there wasn’t just one group involved. A collaboration of forces converged and the result was an explosive mixture aimed at overturning the election results and remove anyone from power who got in the way. This combined effort included Trump and his success at persuading Americans The Big Lie of widespread voter fraud and The Bigger Lie that the majority of news media is “corrupt,” “fake” and “the enemy of the people” (his words not mine). Add to these unfortunate successes the QAnon movement and their success at spreading their harmful conspiracy across the United States (even reaching the halls of Congress). Add to their success Trump’s enabling and emboldening of white supremacists, fascists and violent nationalists. And last but not least (and probably the most important), all of these tragic successes were only possible because of the ongoing enabling of President Trump by Congressional Republicans for the last four years. While there were a handful of Republicans that actually spoke up to him during his presidency and publicly disagreed with his conspiracies, even casting their vote for his impeachment, the vast majority sat in silence when they should have spoken up. Some did the opposite and publicly joined him in promoting a number of conspiracies. I don’t suppose that they were all lying, although I’m tempted to think so. There’s evidence some Congressional Republicans actually believe in a select number of the conspiracies Trump has advocated for, not least that the election was stolen. At the same time, there’s also evidence that some were simply toeing the party line and didn’t want to be on Trump’s bad side for fear of their base or being primaried. Because of their lack of courage, Trump has gotten away with things no president should get away with, our country is more divided than ever and we are steeped in alternate realities fueled by conspiracy theories.
Why This Matters
Simply put, truth matters. The narratives we weave together matter. Accountability matters. For my fellow Christians continuing to push the narrative that the Capitol riot was not led by pro-Trump supporters, the evidence is overwhelmingly against that narrative. If you haven’t seen any of the raw footage, I have included multiple videos below of the actual assault on the Capitol and on the people there to protect it. WARNING: IT IS DISTURBING.
A Brief Timeline of January 6th
For a written timeline giving a play by play of the events enfolding on January 6, click here. For video footage, click on the links below.
- Save America Rally: A pro-Trump Save America Rally is held in the morning of the 6th aiming at stopping and overturning the election count in the Senate that afternoon.
- Speakers at Save America Rally: A team of high profile voices speak at the event, including former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, US Representative Mo Brooks, Donald Trump Jr. and former President Donald Trump, among others (1st segment; 2nd segment source).
- Violent Mob of Trump Supporters: By the time Trump ends his speech (around 1:10), a large crowd has already gathered at the Capitol building, and some people within the crowd began fighting with Capitol police.
- Mob Outnumbers Police Outside the Capitol: Pro-Trump supporters outnumber and fight with Capitol police outside the Capitol, push over small barricades the Capitol Police had set up earlier, and make their way up to the Capitol.
- Officers Beaten by Mob: Video footage shows the pro-Trump mob fighting with Capitol police. By the time the assault on the Capitol was over, 125 Capitol police officers had been physically assaulted and at least 81 were injured by the violent mob. This count does not even include the over 60 DC Metropolitan Police who were also assaulted. One Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, succumbed to a his injuries inflicted by the mob later that day and died. Two police officers committed suicide after the day’s tragic events.
- Trump Publicly Attempts to get Mike Pence to Join the Stop the Steal Effort: In his speech, President Trump publicly puts Mike Pence on the spot by suggesting he should refuse to participate in counting the electoral votes when the Senate meets later that day. Earlier in the week, it was reported and confirmed that Trump had personally asked Pence to refuse participating in the formal ceremony when the electoral votes are counted in the Senate on January 6th. He declined Trump’s request due to his obligation to uphold his Constitutional responsibility in the Senate to count the electoral votes, which is exactly what he did later that evening after the mob had been cleared out.
- Trump Tweets about his Public Disappointment of Pence after the Rally: At 2:24 pm., nearly an hour and a half after the violence began in front of the Capitol, Trump tweets the following: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Trump’s public disappointment of Pence at the Save America Rally and this follow up Twitter post undoubtedly contributed to the death threats on Pence’s life later that day.
- Chants for Execution: Outside the Capital near one set of doors, a crowd of pro-Trump supporters are heard chanting aloud “Hang Mike Pence” repeatedly. Coincidence?
- Capitol Building Breached: Capitol windows are broken and doors are forced open at multiple locations. A police officer gets caught in a doorway as the mob tries to push through and is heard screaming aloud in pain.
- Mob Fights with Capitol Police Inside Capitol: The pro-Trump mob succeeds to get inside in the Capitol building. They fight with police stationed inside the building and manage to get past them. One brave black officer leads a crowd away from the House of Representatives Chamber, likely saving the lives of numerous Congressmen and women.
- Trump Mob Inside Senate Chamber: A crowd manages to get inside the Senate Chamber, some of them carried weapons, a number of them have on military attire, one man with large Zip ties intended for handcuffs; a few young men search through Senate desks looking for documentation and are heard saying on video “Cruz would want us to do this” (referring to Senator Ted Cruz who has enabled and promoted The Big Lie in the previous months).
- QAnon Trump Supporter at Mike Pence’s Senate Seat: A QAnon Shaman and avid Trump supporter with a painted face and a horned hat leads a prayer about taking back the Capitol for God.
- Confederate Flag Brought Into Capitol: A man walks around the Capitol halls with the Confederate Flag. For most Americans the Confederate Flag represents early American slavery of black people, racism and the southern fight to keep slavery before the Civil War and systemic racism following the war.
- Man with an Auschwitz Shirt: Another man is seen with an Auschwitz shirt on. Auschwitz, Poland, if you are unfamiliar with it, was the location of one of the Extermination Camps that Hitler set up during WW2 to kill off Jewish people.
- A Hunt for Nancy Pelosi: A group walks through an office hallway and people shout “Where’s Nancy?”
- Nancy Pelosi’s Office: Another man finds her office. A photo of him sitting at her desk, with paper work all over the floor, has been shared on social media. This photo was used by the FBI to find and arrest him.
- Noose Structure was Built on the Capitol Lawn. A noose is seen in the distance out in the field in front of the Capitol; it begs the question, what were some of them planning to do with it?
Within the days and weeks following January 6th, video footage of the Capitol riot and assault (recorded on the phones of Trump supporters) was provided to the FBI, which has led to dozens of arrests (video). Here’s a list of names (Source 1 and Source 2). The FBI is seeking assistance from the public for information leads on individuals and groups who participated in the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol.
Alarming & Sobering 14 minute Footage of Capitol Assault and Riot
A Timeline of the Security Response During the Capitol Assault
Trump’s Tweets on January 6th
A full account of Trump’s tweets throughout the day on January 6th.
Save America Rally (video and transcript)
Full footage of the entire Save the America Rally with the entire speaker line up including Donald Trump Jr., US Representative Mo Brooks, Rudy Giuliani, President Trump and others.
Entire transcript of Trump’s Speech at the Save American Rally.
New York Times documentary
“Day of Rage: How Trump supporters took the US Capitol”
New York Times documentary
How Capitol police tried–and failed–to stop Capitol attackers
Washington Post documentary
Inside the Capitol at the height of the siege
More footage here. And here. And here.
An article by NPR on Far-Right Groups involvement in the insurrection
Updated on January 5, 2022
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