“You know, you can go to Capitol Hill, you can go to the White House,” said one Oath Keeper on the October 29 call. “If they [DC police] are going to allow, you know, a mob to just, you know, basically storm buildings, they’re basically abrogating responsibilities.”
Apparently, lazy reactionaries just substitute names and dates and persist because they’re predisposed to violence.
The far-right, anti-government militia members on the call were all but convinced that “weaponized” antifa or even Black Lives Matter militants were plotting a coordinated attack on Washington, D.C., on election night to prevent Donald Trump’s inevitable victory—and would maybe even storm the Capitol.
One of the participants in that call was Jessica Watkins, 38, a U.S. Army veteran and bartender from Ohio. Back then, she was discussing which improvised weapons would be most suitable to defend the nation’s capital from an angry mob.
Instead, Trump lost the election. The rumored attack from the “radical left” never materialized. And on January 6, Watkins joined the angry mob in D.C., allegedly participating in the deadly insurrection at the Capitol.
Watkins was indicted last week, along with fellow Oath Keepers Thomas Caldwell and Donovan Crowl, on conspiracy charges linked to the attack on the Capitol. They are among a very small but growing group of defendants who’ve been charged with conspiracy in addition to other counts like obstructing government proceeding and unauthorized entry. In the indictment, federal prosecutors provide evidence—namely communications—that they say shows that Watkins, Caldwell, and Crowl premeditated the attack on the Capitol, which left five dead, including one Capitol Police officer. None of the defendants have entered pleas in their cases.
Through these and other statements, President Trump spent the weeks preceding his rally doing everything in his power to persuade attendees that their votes—and the election itself—were going to be stolen away in the Joint Session of Congress. That is, unless they somehow stopped it by making plans to “fight like hell” and “fight to the death” against this “act of war” by “Radical Left Democrats” and the “weak and ineffective RINO section of the Republican Party. ”By this point, it was clear that President Trump was comfortable urging, approving, and even celebrating violence. During a debate on September 29, for instance, he told the Proud Boys—a violent extremist group with ties to white nationalism—to “stand back and stand by.” On October 30, when a caravan of his supporters in Texas attacked a bus full of Biden campaign workers, nearly running it off the road, President Trump tweeted a stylized video of the caravan and captioned it, “I LOVE TEXAS!” Days later, he declared that “these patriots”—who could easily have killed a busload of innocent campaign staff—“did nothing wrong.
A President is subject to impeachment, conviction, and disqualification from future federal office holding if he commits high crimes and misdemeanors. President Trump’s incitement of insurrection meets that standard. His conduct endangered the foundation of our government
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) February 3, 2021
— Spiro Agnew’s Ghost (@SpiroAgnewGhost) February 3, 2021
Federal officials have estimated that roughly 800 people stormed into the Capitol, and so far, more than 135 individuals have been charged. Prosecutors, The Post’s Devlin Barrett and Spencer S. Hsu reported, are privately debating whether they should decline to charge those who are known only to have committed unlawful entry and were not engaged in violent or destructive behavior. Maybe, but there must be thorough investigation and forceful prosecution that send the message that such vile political violence will not be tolerated.The FBI investigation, the most extensive since the probe of the 9/11 attack, has found evidence detailing coordination of an assault by members of extremist groups, but how extensive is still unknown. Also to be determined is whether any member of Congress helped to directly facilitate the assault, other than by fomenting it with false and irresponsible statements about election fraud.
The sign of false equivalence:
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) February 3, 2021
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) February 3, 2021
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) February 3, 2021
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) February 3, 2021
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) February 2, 2021