By Hazel Trice Edney
The U. S. Capitol in the heart of Washington D.C. was hit with a violent domestic terrorist attack on Jan. 6 as thousands of vastly White American citizens, right wing groups and Trump supporters stormed the building.
Capitol Police barricaded doors and drew guns to stave off the terrorists.
After it was over, four people were dead; members of Congress and their staffs were terrorized, and dozens of crucial unanswered questions remain. Among those questions:
• Why were there not more security officers on duty since this rally was openly planned?
• Why weren’t police, Secret Service, FBI, ATF among other security agencies on the ground in preparation for this insurrection as hundreds of them were in attendance during protests by Black Lives Matter?
• Is it because these masses of insurrections were White that they did not receive the same treatment as Black Lives Matter protestors and they were not expected to do the damage that they did?
• Were any members of these law enforcement groups accomplices in sync and in cooperation with the terrorists?
• In addition to Trump himself, were there any members of Congress who were accomplices in sync and in cooperation with the terrorists.
• What part did Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites play in failing to flag the plans for this terrorist attack; including the failure to end Trump’s use of Twitter and social media to help encourage and organize it?
• What about those members of Congress who had remained silent for the past two months as Trump railed, claiming to have been the rightful winner of the election.
• Will there be a Congressional investigation to answer these questions and will there be more arrests?
The insurrectionists had been invited to D.C. and sent to the Capitol by President Donald Trump and his lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani who, at a rally Wednesday morning, encouraged the crowd to go forward and “Let’s have trial by combat!”
Carrying Trump flags, U. S. flags, Confederate flags and other paraphernalia; wearing MAGA (Make America Great Again) hats, the crowds stormed the building during a joint meeting of Congress. The crowd overwhelmed armed Capitol Police officers to gain entry to the building. They broke windows, knocked down doors, climbed inside and outside walls. Pipe bombs were found at the Republican and Democratic headquarters. Four people were killed during the Mayhem. At this writing, their names had not been released. According to reports, 52 people were arrested.”
The intent was to stop lawmakers from certifying the presidential and vice presidential elections of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris. The attack did not work. After members of Congress hid on floors under their desks and Congressional leaders were whisked away to secure bunkers, hundreds of police and National Guard troops in riot gear were finally able to clear the building.
In the early morning of Jan. 7, the Congress voted to certify the Biden-Harris election. Inauguration is set for January 20th. Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding over the joint session of Congress, affirmed the Congressional vote. Historians say nothing close to this physical attack on the Capitol had occurred in more than 200 years when British forces stormed and burned the Capitol in 1814.
Members of Congress, Trump’s cabinet and the media are now discussing how to prevent continued attacks in this regard; including the possible invoking of Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, which states in part, “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”
In the midst of the attack Trump, in a Tweet, told the terrorists to respect police and said, “We are the party of law and order.” Ultimately, he tweeted, “Go home, we love you. You’re very special.”
Twitter ultimately blocked Trump’s tweets on Wednesday, but not until after the damage was done. On the morning after he tweeted through a staffer’s account that will go down in history as an ultimate insult. After Capitol Police barricaded doors and drew guns to protect members of Congress from the terrorists that he sent; after, for weeks, calling Jan. 6 a “day of reckoning,” Trump tweeted through someone else’s account, there will be a “peaceful transfer of power.”