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AP: The unfolding of ‘home-grown fascism’ in Capitol assault

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under battle flags bearing Donald Trump’s name, the Capitol’s attackers pinned a bloodied police officer in a doorway, his twisted face and screams captured on video. They mortally wounded another officer with a blunt weapon and body-slammed a third over a railing into the crowd.

“Hang Mike Pence!” the insurrectionists chanted as they pressed inside, beating police with pipes. They demanded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s whereabouts, too. They hunted any and all lawmakers: “Where are they?” Outside, makeshift gallows stood, complete with sturdy wooden steps and the noose. Guns and pipe bombs had been stashed in the vicinity.

Only days later is the extent of the danger from one of the darkest episodes in American democracy coming into focus. The sinister nature of the assault has become evident, betraying the crowd as a force determined to occupy the inner sanctums of Congress and run down leaders — Trump’s vice president and the Democratic House speaker among them.

This was not just a collection of Trump supporters with MAGA bling caught up in a wave.

That revelation came in real time to Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., who briefly took over proceedings in the House chamber as the mob closed in Wednesday and the speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, was spirited to safer quarters moments before everything went haywire.

“I saw this crowd of people banging on that glass screaming,” he told The Associated Press on Sunday. “Looking at their faces, it occurred to me, these aren’t protesters. These are people who want to do harm.”

“What I saw in front of me,” he said, “was home-grown fascism that was out of control.”

Pelosi said Sunday “the evidence is that it was a well-planned, organized group with leadership and guidance and direction. And the direction was to go get people.” She did not elaborate on that point in a ”60 Minutes” interview on CBS.

The scenes of rage, violence and agony are so vast that the whole of it may still be beyond comprehension. But with countless smartphone videos emerging from the scene, much of it from gloating insurrectionists themselves, and more lawmakers recounting the chaos that was around them, contours of the uprising are increasingly coming into relief.

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by Anonymousreply 2801/11/2021

THE STAGING

The mob got explicit marching orders from Trump and still more encouragement from the president’s men.

“Fight like hell,” Trump exhorted his partisans at the staging rally. “Let’s have trial by combat,” implored his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, whose attempt to throw out election results in trial by courtroom failed. It’s time to “start taking down names and kicking ass,” said Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama.

Criminals pardoned by Trump, among them Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, came forward at rallies on the eve of the attack to tell the crowds they were fighting a battle between good and evil and they were on the side of good. On Capitol Hill, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri gave a clenched-fist salute to the hordes outside the Capitol as he pulled up to press his challenge of the election results.

The crowd was pumped. Until a little after 2 p.m., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was at the helm for the final minutes of decorum in partnership with Pence, who was serving his ceremonial role presiding over the process.

Both men had backed Trump’s agenda and excused or ignored his provocations for four years, but now had no mechanism or will to subvert the election won by Biden. That placed them high among the insurrectionists’ targets, no different in the minds of the mob than the “socialists.”

“If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral,” McConnell told his chamber, not long before things spiraled out of control in what lawmakers call the “People’s House.”

by Anonymousreply 101/10/2021

THE ASSAULT

Thousands had swarmed the Capitol. They charged into police and metal barricades outside the building, shoving and hitting officers in their way. The assault quickly pushed through the vastly outnumbered police line; officers ran down one man and pummeled him.

In the melee outside, near the structure built for Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, a man threw a red fire extinguisher at the helmeted head of a police officer. Then he picked up a bullhorn and threw it at officers, too.

The identity of the officer could not immediately be confirmed. But Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was wounded in the chaos, died the next night; officials say he had been hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.

Shortly after 2 p.m., Capitol Police sent an alert telling workers in a House office building to head to underground transportation tunnels that criss-cross the complex. Minutes later, Pence was taken from the Senate chamber to a secret location and police announced the lockdown of the Capitol. “You may move throughout the building(s) but stay away from exterior windows and doors,” said the email blast. “If you are outside, seek cover.”

At 2:15 p.m., the Senate recessed its Electoral College debate and a voice was heard over the chamber’s audio system: “The protesters are in the building.” The doors of the House chamber were barricaded and lawmakers inside it were told they may need to duck under their chairs or relocate to cloakrooms off the House floor because the mob has breached the Capitol Rotunda.

Even before the mob reached sealed doors of the House chamber, Capitol Police pulled Pelosi away from the podium, she told “60 Minutes.”

“I said, ‘No, I want to be here,’”she said. “And they said, ‘Well, no, you have to leave.’ I said, ‘No, I’m not leaving.’ They said, ‘No, you must leave.’” So she did.

At 2:44 p.m., as lawmakers inside the House chamber prepared to be evacuated, a gunshot was heard from right outside, in the Speaker’s Lobby on the other side of the barricaded doors. That’s when Ashli Babbit, wearing a Trump flag like a cape, was shot to death on camera as insurrectionists railed, her blood pooling on the white marble floor.

The Air Force veteran from California had climbed through a broken window into the Speaker’s Lobby before a police officer’s gunshot felled her.

Back in the House chamber, a woman in the balcony was seen and heard screaming. Why she was doing that only became clear later when video circulated. She was screaming a prayer.

Within about 10 minutes of the shooting, House lawmakers and staff members who had been cowering during the onslaught, terror etched into their faces, had been taken from the chamber and gallery to a secure room. The mob broke into Pelosi’s offices while members of her staff hid in one of the rooms of her suite.

“The staff went under the table barricaded the door, turned out the lights, and were silent in the dark,” she said. “Under the table for two and a half hours.”

On the Senate side, Capitol Police had circled the chamber and ordered all staff and reporters and any nearby senators into the chamber and locked it down. At one point about 200 people were inside; an officer armed with what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon stood between McConnell and the Democratic leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Authorities then ordered an evacuation and rushed everyone inside to a secure location, the Senate parliamentary staff scooping up the boxes holding the Electoral Collage certificates.

Although the Capitol’s attackers had been sent with Trump’s exhortation to fight, they appeared in some cases to be surprised that they had actually made it in.

by Anonymousreply 201/10/2021

When they breached the abandoned Senate chamber, they milled around, rummaged through papers, sat at desks and took videos and pictures. One of them climbed to the dais and yelled, “Trump won that election!” Two others were photographed carrying flex cuffs typically used for mass arrests.

But outside the chamber, the mob’s hunt was still on for lawmakers. “Where are they?” people could be heard yelling.

That question could have also applied to reinforcements — where were they?

At about 5:30 p.m., once the National Guard had arrived to supplement the overwhelmed Capitol Police force, a full-on effort began to get the attackers out.

Heavily armed officers brought in as reinforcements started using tear gas in a coordinated fashion to get people moving toward the door, then combed the halls for stragglers. As darkness fell, they pushed the mob farther out onto the plaza and lawn, using officers in riot gear in full shields and clouds of tear gas, flash-bangs and percussion grenades.

At 7:23 p.m., officials announced that people hunkered down in two nearby congressional office buildings could leave “if anyone must.”

Within the hour, the Senate had resumed its work and the House followed, returning the People’s House to the control of the people’s representatives. Lawmakers affirmed Biden’s election victory early the next morning, shell-shocked by the catastrophic failure of security.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Ca., told AP on Sunday it was as if Capitol Police “were naked” against the attackers. “It turns out it was the worst kind of non-security anybody could ever imagine.”

Said McGovern: “I was in such disbelief this could possibly happen. These domestic terrorists were in the People’s House, desecrating the People’s House, destroying the People’s House.”

by Anonymousreply 301/10/2021

Wow.

by Anonymousreply 401/10/2021

Oh they're just a bunch of thugs. Identify them, round them up, indict them and throw them in prison. Use them as an example of what happens when you try to turn the world upside down.

Most people don't want to ruin their lives in support of a loose cannon, incompetent President. There is an agenda here and it's mostly racism- with xenophobia and homophobia thrown-in.

I know these people, I grew up with them. They are factory/warehouse workers; delivery/truck drivers; Jiffy-Lube, AutoZone, Walmart... They don't read. The are repelled by intellectuals and "elites". They fear and hate anyone outside of their hillbilly ghettos. They cling to familiar notions of mom, apple pie, flag, eagle, troops, Jesus (the white and blue-eyed one).

It's a shame. I saw several walking through the Capitol expressing awe at the interiors. Many probably had never been out of Podunk, and certainly never been to Warshinton. They don't seem capable of being at home in the world, seeing it as a threatening place unwelcome to them.

by Anonymousreply 501/10/2021

R5 Some of them are smarter, more established, and more well connected than meets the eye.

by Anonymousreply 601/10/2021

r5, Hitler spent time in prison, and look how that turned out.

by Anonymousreply 701/10/2021

Tribeca69 @meingram61 · 3h Replying to @chrislhayes It was an inside job on the highest levels. The people involved include the pres and his staff, Law enforcement, ex military, state legislators and a lot of Washington insiders like Ginni Thomas who helped finance 70 buses. Follow the money.

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by Anonymousreply 801/10/2021

Stage was set for Jan. 6th by Trump and his allies months before.

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by Anonymousreply 901/10/2021

Wonder what’s being covered up right at this moment. White House servers etc.

by Anonymousreply 1001/10/2021

See? I keep hearing about Ginni and the buses, I even started a thread on it. Can someone find a credible source that specifically shows she paid for buses? That is huge if true.

by Anonymousreply 1101/10/2021

ROUND THEM UP

by Anonymousreply 1201/10/2021

LOCK THEM UP!

by Anonymousreply 1301/10/2021

Where's Rudy at? Some of Trump's pals have been awfully quiet.

by Anonymousreply 1401/10/2021

Ginni Thomas paid for [bold] 80 busloads of people. [/bold]

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by Anonymousreply 1501/10/2021

80 people can fit in a regular size bus X 80 buses = 6,400 people

by Anonymousreply 1601/10/2021

When Biden comes, they will have to get a special Prosecutor to just investigate this stuff.

by Anonymousreply 1701/10/2021

Sorry, R15 - that doesn't amount to a credible source. It's by someone calling himself 𝐓𝐞𝐝𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐨, and the article is classified as being part of

[quote]Community (This content is not subject to review by Daily Kos staff prior to publication.)

by Anonymousreply 1801/10/2021

I wonder if the rumor about Ginni Thomas funding 80 buses is rooted in this now deleted Charlie Kirk text? I believe Ginni Thomas is a board member of his org - Turning Point.

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by Anonymousreply 1901/10/2021

oh Jesus R15, she is a BEAST

by Anonymousreply 2001/11/2021

The "Ginni paid for busloads of insurrectionists" thing is still an unfounded rumor. The article that asserts she did had many links, none of which so much as mention her paying for buses. I just checked all of them.

The stuff she's actually done is bad enough. Let's please not be like the MAGATs, whipping one another into a frenzy with unsubstantiated claims.

by Anonymousreply 2101/11/2021

[quote] oh Jesus [R15], she is a BEAST

She is good enough for Clarence.

by Anonymousreply 2201/11/2021

It is past time to label the Republican Party a domestic terrorist organization. When 147 Republican congress members attempt to invalidate a certified election in an attempt to install their cult leader as President after he lost an election, after his supporters attacked the capitol, after their leader attempted to get states to change their election results, They are a terrorist organization and a threat to our democracy.

by Anonymousreply 2301/11/2021

Everything must be revealed and documented. Bob Woodward needs to write a reveal showing the connections between the GOP and the terrorists. People must know.

by Anonymousreply 2401/11/2021

R24 Yes!

by Anonymousreply 2501/11/2021

[quote]The stuff she's actually done is bad enough. Let's please not be like the MAGATs, whipping one another into a frenzy with unsubstantiated claims.

R21, we ought to remember that the Russian troll farms are still hard at it, making unfounded contributions to the left as well - similar to the kinds of messaging they were promoting when they masqueraded as BLM on Twitter. If they can draw large numbers of followers into repeating false claims, then they've succeeded; the point is to embarrass or discredit the left.

by Anonymousreply 2601/11/2021

R26, you make such an excellent point, and I don’t think we can be reminded if this often enough. I haven’t even considered that FACT in at least a week, and I *need* to remember that is also happening. Dangerous dangerous dangerous times we are in friends.

by Anonymousreply 2701/11/2021

R27, the other thing that's happening which I find appalling is the push to set Trump's impeachment/removal aside until after Biden's first 100 days (I saw Rep. Jim Clyburn advocating for it this afternoon on The Beat With Ari Melber - whom, I might add, I do not usually watch).

Worst. Idea. Ever.

If we wait until 100 days into Biden's 1st term, by that point the soup will have gotten stone cold; the news cycle will have completely turned over several times, the sense of urgency will have been lost, and it will be difficult to justify to anyone on either side the need to even go to the effort. It's critical to impeach Trump now NOW 𝐍𝐎𝐖! Otherwise both Republicans and the deplorable base will have gotten away with insurrection, making resisting further anti-democratic efforts much more difficult to oppose from both a practical and legal standpoint. They will have created precedent, and will do it again. Human beings tend towards inertia, and do not act with alacrity towards slower-moving threats. The window of opportunity during which we can act upon the insurrection is definitely passing.

by Anonymousreply 2801/11/2021
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