For a brief couple of hours Wednesday morning I felt a sense of relief for the first time in nearly a year. After a long night of watching ballot counts in Georgia, both Democrats won runoff contests against incumbent Republicans, wresting control of the U.S. Senate away from Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
That glimmer of accountability made breathing come easier, like a weight was removed from my chest. For the second time since November finally we were seeing a rebuke of this dreadful brand of Trump Republicanism. Hope was coming to chase away the darkness of the last four years.
With control of the House and Senate, President-elect Joe Biden would get a fair chance to correct the isolationist and hate-filled direction in which Donald Trump had steered America.
This ebullient feeling lasted till noon, as Trump was ginning up his violent band of loyalists at a “Save America” rally in DC near the White House. The president, Rudy Giuliani, Don Jr. and brother Eric, among others, all took turns pushing the fraudulent agenda of a rigged election and that the sitting president’s second term was being stolen. Mind you no proof has yet to be produced, nor has any court found merit in the administration’s arguments.
Trump then sent his incensed mob on a tactical mission to overtake the U.S. Capitol, where Vice President Mike Pence was presiding over a joint session of Congress. The Electoral College vote totals were being recorded to certify Joe Biden’s election as the next President of the United States.
This was Trump’s last chance to prevent his election defeat from being finalized. He wanted it stopped or at the very least see the ceremonial process disrupted to lend a hand to the minority of legislators who planned objecting to the election results.
Shortly after 1PM, inflamed by the president’s call to arms, Trump loyalists turned terrorists, pushed through superficial perimeter barricades and stormed the Capitol, overwhelming the underprepared U.S. Capitol Police. Trump’s insurrectionist brigade scaled the Capitol’s walls, broke windows and about 90 minutes later entered the building, pushing officers back into the entryways and streamed past metal detectors into our nation’s seat of power.
Wearing face paint, masks, costumes, horns, combat gear and proudly waving Confederate flags next to Trump 2020 flags, this rag-tag band of seditionists made its way down the halls of Congress chanting, “Fight for Trump” and “Hang Mike Pence.”
Both chambers were evacuated under armed protection and members were escorted to safety as Trump’s hooligan terrorists entered the Senate chamber and looted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Terrified staffers were forced to shelter in place, barricading doors, turning off lights and hiding under tables, like in active shooter situations.
Later, improvised explosive devices were found at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee, and a support vehicle was discovered in proximity to the riot containing Molotov cocktails and firearms.
It took until just after 5:30PM for Capitol Police, aided by DC Metropolitan Police and the National Guard, to re-secure the building. In the carnage police shot one woman dead, three other insurgents died of medical issues during the siege, and one Capitol Police officer succumbed to his injuries the following day.
Proceedings resumed around 8PM. Even after this violent coup attempt was suppressed, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) pressed forward with their bogus contest to the election results. Half of the other senators who intended to join this grandstanding effort of pointless subservience to Pres. Trump’s ego reneged after the insurrection.
At 3:41AM, Pence honorably served his ceremonial role by announcing Biden’s 306 to 232 victory over Trump and Congress confirmed the Electoral College result.
Sadly this uprising wasn’t any great surprise. Trump’s divisive rhetoric and outright lies for years were echoed by enablers and right wing media, which fueled a disenfranchised subsection of America itching for a second Civil War.
Staff forced Trump to release two recorded videos as the violence at the Capitol worsened, impressing upon him that he likely would be removed from office if efforts were not made on his part to quell this act of domestic terrorism. Both statements were deficient, with the second reminiscent of a hostage video, where Trump appeared forced to read a canned statement for the camera like a captured enemy combatant.
Five people are dead because of Donald Trump. Injuries were sustained to 14 police officers. Some 70-plus assailants were arrested on-scene, and dozens more have since been apprehended.
A federal murder investigation was opened to find those responsible for the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, 42, who was lethally struck in the head with a fire extinguisher while heroically doing his job.
Several White House officials resigned in the wake of this melee, along with former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, cabinet secretaries Elaine Chao from Transportation and Betsy DeVos from Education, due to Trump’s inciting of violence. Subsequently the Capitol Police chief, and Sergeant-at-Arms for both the House and Senate stepped down.
Democrats and Republicans are calling for Trump’s removal from office, as he is considered unstable and capable of greater harm to the country. This gets tricky with 10 days remaining in his term. Invoking the 25th Amendment is on the table, but requires a majority of Trump’s cabinet along with Pence signing off, which is unlikely. Speaker Pelosi is fast-tracking a second impeachment of Trump as he refuses to resign.
There is blood on the president’s hands and our Capitol was desecrated. It is not equitable that Trump simply skulks away. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have shuttered the president’s accounts, which silences him by and large.
Yet chatter in the dark corners of the Web are urging further civil unrest in Washington designed to disrupt Biden’s inauguration. Seditious chatter of “We took the Capitol once before, we can take it again” is circulating.
As former Clinton and Obama aide John Podesta stated, “If you’re too dangerous to be on Twitter, then you’re too dangerous to be in charge of the nuclear codes.”