New details continue to emerge after the insurrection that took place at the US Capitol last week. On January 6, 2021, the world watched in horror as our democracy came under attack.
Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to challenge election results after Trump spent the past month rallying their support on Twitter. The last time the Capitol was breached was during the War of 1812 when British forces invaded. What made this attack more sinister was the fact that it was carried out by American citizens in an attempt to prevent the certification of election votes from taking place.
Organizers across different groups were spurred into action by President Trump’s December 23rd tweet where he directed his supporters to attend what he called “a big protest in D.C. on January 6th.” He said, “Be there, will be wild!” Trump’s rhetoric came to a head when his supporters overran and occupied the Capitol building in a violent confrontation that left one police officer and 4 others dead. Oren Segal, Vice president of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism called Wednesday’s attack a “logical conclusion to extremism and hate going unchecked.”
At first, all we saw on TV was a group of a couple hundred Trump supporters waving Confederate and Trump flags scaling walls and attempting to break through doors and windows. The angry mob at the Capitol was so inflamed by the support of their President that they live-streamed themselves throughout the entire event. Inside reports and leaked video footage reveal just how terrifying the event was.
On TheDonald forum there are posters discussing how easy it would be to overwhelm 2,000 police officers. Floorplans of the Capitol were disseminated along with directions to find the tunnels and arrest the worst traitors. A Reuters photographer heard rioters talking about finding and hanging Vice President Mike Pence for being a traitor. Authorities later discovered a vehicle with a large number of firearms and explosives inside.
Federal investigators continue to track down suspects from last week’s attack. Aaron Mostofsky, son of a New York City judge has been arrested on federal charges after stealing a riot shield and bulletproof vest. Richard Barnett, seen in photos with his foot on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, was also arrested and charged for entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent entry, and theft of public property. Jake Angeli, the QAnon conspiracy theorist made famous for his horns and fur has also been charged after comparing his actions to those of Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr.
Eric Gavelek Munchel, also known as the zip tie guy was arrested on Sunday and is being held without bond. Derrick Evans, a Republican State Representative from West Virginia was arrested by federal authorities Friday and has since resigned after he posted a live stream video of himself yelling “bring the tear gas” and asking where the Proud Boys are. Adam Johnson, photographed stealing a lectern and later attempting to sell it on Ebay for over $82,000 was arrested but later released on bail.
On Friday, Twitter banned Trump’s account due to the risk of further incitement to violence but his supporters have started to flock towards platforms such as MeWe and Parler which has since been removed from Amazon’s servers. The FBI has warned that armed protests are being planned across the nation at all 50 capitals leading up to the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20th.
Written by: Kelly Stewart