After a two-hour wind-up by President Donald J. Trump Wednesday, thousands of Trump followers, including Proud Boys and QAnon sycophants, marched to Capitol Hill and stormed the Capitol building while lawmakers were debating whether or not to certify Electoral College results.
Capitol Police were easily overwhelmed by the huge crowd that broke into and surged though the one of the nation’s most revered buildings breaking window, kicking down doors, and destroying property. Members of Congress were wisked away to their offices when by Capitol Police when it became apparent rioters could not be held back. They described the scene as chaotic and frightening.
Rioters forced their way into the Senate Chamber where one of them sat down in Vice President Pence’s chair and took a few selfies. For them it was a jubilant and triumphant time. For the rest of the nation it was terrorism on display. At some point during the scuffle with Capitol Police one woman was shot. She was rushed to the hospital where she later died.
In the history of America there has only one other time when such an attack took place, and that was during the War of 1812. The instigator at that time was King George of England. The instigator this time was King Donald of Trump land.
Millions of Americans watched as the assault on the Capitol unfolded with a curiously tempered response by federal authorities. This attempted attempted coup, ordered by a President unwilling to give up control of the government after a clear loss, received demonstrably less push-back by law enforcement officials than any protest in recent memory that did not have Trump’s support.
Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC sent officers to attempt to restore order, but the Capitol Building, like the White House, is a federal property, on federal land, under federal jurisdiction, and supposedly protected by federal law. But when the coup is being carried out by armed insurrectionists acting at the behest of the commander-in-chief, who else has the authority to call federal forces into play?
Vice President Mike Pence– who does NOT have the authority– finally decided after consulting with other members of Congress that enough was enough and called in the National Guard.
Many unanswered questions remain, like why more law enforcement personnel were not mobilized between the time Trump sent his minions to disrupt the vote on certifying the electoral college results and the time rioters arrived at the Capitol steps. More importantly, though is the President’s inciting his followers to commit federal crimes: breaking and entering federal property, destruction of federal property, entering into a federal building with weapons, and the worst of all, engaging in a federal crime that results in death. The only thing worse than this traitorous behavior would be failing to prosecute all those who took part. And the president should not be immune.
Since Trump will not be prosecuted for inciting the people to riot– “presidential immunity” and all– he should at the very least be forced to resign. Immediately. And failing his resignation, the 25th Aendment should be invoked to have him removed from office. Immediately.
Enemies of the state are not entitled to favored treatment of any kind. Prosecute everyone who can be identified through the footage shot by news cameras and individual cell phones, just as any terrorist would be prosecuted under federal law.