by C.C. Campbell-Rock
The Senate hearings conducted by the House Rules Committee, Homeland Security Committee, and Judiciary Committee have failed to get to the bottom of the massive counter-terrorism failure that allowed 800 Trump supporters to wreak havoc on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Senators also have yet to find out who aided and abetted in the planning and funding of the January 6 Insurrection.
The Jan. 6 insurrection and attempted coup by Trump supporters left five dead and 140 law enforcement officers injured. How this could happen in the richest nation in the world?
There is no doubt about who set the stage for the political theater that ensued.
Anyone who watched Trump’s “Save America” rally saw him encourage followers to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell.” Donald Trump, Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and Rep. Mo Brooks, and others’ violent rhetoric also whipped up the crowd. They urged them to “Stop the Steal.” Senators and representatives were in the Capitol to certify the electoral college votes and confirm Joe Biden won the election.
What senators did learn was that a murderous mob of white supremacists, anti-government militias, lawmakers, police, retired military personnel, business owners, conspiracy theorists, and anarchists laid siege to the Capitol. They were united in their support for Donald Trump. They reportedly believed the “Big Lie,” that the election was stolen from him. Also they fancied themselves as “patriots.” They wanted to hang “traitors” such as then-Vice President Mike Pence and kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“The presence of current and former law enforcement officers, as well as military service members and veterans, has especially alarmed government officials. NPR found at least 14% of those charged had possible ties to the military or to law enforcement,” National Public Radio’s Investigative Team reported.
“Federal prosecutors say a former member of the Latin Kings gang joined the mob, as did two Virginia police officers. A man in a “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt took part, as did a Messianic Rabbi. Far-right militia members decked out in tactical gear rioted next to a county commissioner, a New York City sanitation worker, and a two-time Olympic gold medalist.”
Senators also learned that claims made by some Republican committee members, that anti-fascists (Antifa) and “fake” Trump supporters were to blame for the Insurrection, were untrue.
FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed that the rioters were white supremacists and members of several extremists groups including, Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three-Percenters and Q-Anon. Also, there was no evidence that anti-fascists took part in the Insurrections.
However, front and center in the Senate probe was who knew what and when and why didn’t the National Guard show up at the start of the siege. It took three hours and nineteen minutes after the storming of the Capitol.
The Senators questioned Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, and Senate and House Sergeants-at-Arms, Michael Stenger, and Paul D. Irving. They resigned the day after the Insurrection. Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda D. Pittman, FBI Director Christopher Wray, D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee, Maj. Gen. William Walker, Commanding General of the D.C. National Guard, and others tried to ascertain who dropped the ball.
LAWMAKERS UNMASKING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE INSURRECTION
The FBI’s Norfolk Office had reportedly emailed DC law enforcement a “situational information report”. The potential threat by white supremacists, paramilitary groups, and anarchists was known the night before the Insurrection, Wray confirmed. He also said the information was verbally shared and sent through law enforcement channels.
Testimonies form current and former officials deteriorated into finger pointing and conflicting versions of what happened. Sund said he never got the email. Wray said he didn’t read an FBI report that cited the threat of an attack on Congress until “days” after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. There were also conflicting accounts as to what time Sund asked Irving to call the Pentagon to send out the National Guard.
Related: The Insurrectionists Within
During last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, senators moved up the chain of command. They learned alot. The Acting Defense Secretary and Pentagon officials hesitated to send the National Guard because of “optics.”
When did the call go out?
Maj. Gen. Walker testified that Sund requested military support in a “voice cracking with emotion” in a 1:49 p.m. call. Walker said he immediately sent the request to the Pentagon.
The commander said military officials were concerned about the “optics” of a substantial National Guard presence at the Capitol. They received criticism for the way they treated Black Lives Matter protesters last spring and summer. They also thought such visuals could “inflame the rioters,” Walker testified.
And another military official testified that then-acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller wanted to make the decisions. He was unhappy how the National Guard was used following criticism last spring.
“The Army senior leadership” expressed “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said.
One of the military leaders who advised against deploying troops was Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, the brother of ex-Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, the Guard chief said, according to news reports.
More Testimony Required
Walker sent the request for the deployment to the Pentagon but didn’t get approval until after 5 p.m. The National Guard troops arrived at the Capitol 18 minutes later.
Senators now want to hear from Pentagon and Defense officials, including the former Defense Secretary and others military officials. They decided when to send the National Guard to help end the Insurrection.
Reports say Donald Trump gleefully watched the insurrection. While many of his supporters have been arrested and are in jail awaiting trial, Trump is being sued for inciting a riot.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) is suing Trump, Sr., Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) for violating federal civil rights laws and local incitement.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and the NAACP filed an earlier lawsuit against Trump, Giuliani, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. The suit is based on the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which allows lawsuits against government officials accused of civil rights violations.
Additionally, the Feds are now investigating Roger Stone, the ex-felon and Trump campaign adviser, who Trump pardoned, for his ties to The Proud Boys. Stone can be seen dancing in a video with Proud Boy Lea
Here’s the video of Roger Stone with Proud Boys Leaders Who May Have Planned for Capitol Attack from Justin Hendrix on Vimeo.
Here is NPR’s database of Insurrectionists who have been arrested and charged thus far: https://www.npr.org/2021/02/09/965472049/the-capitol-siege-the-arrested-and-their-stories#database