Pro-Trump Mob Storms Capitol

Vanessa Martocci and Meena Lane

President Donald Trump has been trying to overturn the 2020 election results (by claiming voter fraud) since the day former Vice President Joe Biden was elected to become the forty-sixth president of the United States. On Wednesday, January 6th, President Trump hosted a rally in the nation’s capital. Many of those in attendance were mask-less. When the rally ended, supporters of Trump dispersed throughout the city of Washington D.C. This came to a dangerous head when they began to surround and storm the Capitol Building carrying flags and wearing symbols of white supremacist groups. Confederate flags, a Camp Auschwitz sweatshirt, noose and gallows, and Kekistan flags (Nazi-era flag) are just a few of the symbols that were seen. Those inside of the Capitol were evacuated to safety and given gas masks. The proceedings verifying Joe Biden’s victory (counting Electoral College votes) were interrupted by this insurrection. The mob began to breach the Capitol. They broke windows, doors, and pushed past security. These Trump supporters destroyed media equipment, like cameras, and threatened and taunted journalists. When inside, government property was vandalized, the supporters of the president roamed freely, sat in Congress chambers, and stole government property. Adam Johnson went as far as stealing Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi’s lectern. Washington D.C. mayor, Muriel Bowser, put a six PM curfew in place. The police, FBI, and CIA were prepared to take charge if the curfew was not met. Six o’clock came and people still had not cleared out. Law enforcement had a weak response and did not match the intensity of the president’s supporters.

Eventually, the Capitol Building was cleared and proceedings resumed as Washington remained in a state of emergency. People burned, destroyed, and disrespected government property. These people are not facing consequences even remotely close to those seen at Black Lives Matter protests. It is difficult to even compare this insurrection to a protest and here is why: those that fought for equality this past summer were activists and were merely trying to make their voices heard in a peaceful manner. (The small percentage of these protests documented by the media were violent yet there were more that were peaceful than there were violent). The president’s supporters that invaded the Capitol are domestic terrorists. By definition, the FBI states domestic terrorism is, “Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature”. That is exactly what happened on Wednesday.  The people involved in this riot were the same people preaching “law and order” and “protest peacefully” when these activists were marching in the street. These are the same people that claim to be patriotic, yet, they were using the American flag in unpatriotic ways, like holding the flag backward or upside down, and wearing the flag as a piece of apparel (explained in §8). Now, these Trump supporters are the people causing the most destruction with no definitive punishments.

Many are calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment, which states in Section 4 of the 25th amendment, “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”. Articles of impeachment have been introduced as well. Should Trump be impeached by the House of Representatives, and the Senate convicts him, the president would be removed from office immediately. Congress could further the punishment by barring them from holding further office. Various social media platforms, including but not limited to, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Twitch, and even platforms like Google, have banned Trump. Many government officials have resigned and many who have previously supported him no longer do. Ultimately, January 6, 2021, will go down in history as a shameful day in American history.