The mob Donald Trump sent to sack the Capitol on Jan. 6 intended to assassinate Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others, admissions by some of those captured as well as photographs, videos, texts and tweets show.
The attackers came with a gallows and noose, ready to seize Pence, Pelosi and other lawmakers, police and journalists, among others. "Murder the Media" was scratched on a door. Nonetheless, Trump's handpicked latecomers now running the Pentagon pooh-poohed the insurrection, calling it mere "First Amendment Protests" in an official timeline of law enforcement and military inaction that day.
Once the mob overwhelmed police and broke into the Capitol, pro-Trump lawyer L. Lin Wood exercised his First Amendment right to protest with an inflammatory tweet on the insurrectionist Parler website calling for the murder of the vice president:
"Get the firing squads ready. Pence goes FIRST."
Had Trump's mob proved competent to capture and murder our lawmakers, it would have given Trump cover to suspend habeas corpus. That would have allowed him to lock up his perceived enemies while ignoring their right of access to the courts, lawyers or anyone else.
Our Constitution at Article I Section 9 provides that "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."
While President Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus because America was under attack by the Confederacy, Trump perverts that necessity by having his own goons attack, creating a pretext to jail his enemies and seize dictatorial power.
Trump's Coup Effort Goes On
While Trump's coup has not succeeded so far, his effort to overthrow our government clearly is not over. Law enforcement agencies are asking for public help to prevent armed insurrections, especially on Jan. 15, 17 and 20, the latter Inauguration Day in Washington.
UPDATE: After this article was posted ABC News revealed that an FBI bulletin alerted law enforcement to armed actions planned "at all 50 state capitols" between Jan. 16 and Jan. 20.
Zealots infected with Trump's delusional belief that he won the November election in a landslide and the presidency is being stolen harbor crazy ideas. Some describe Joe Biden and other top Democrats as baby-raping cannibals. Others call Republicans traitors, as with the angry mob that surrounded Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at Washington's Reagan National Airport.
Others assert that Democrats, whom they call socialists and communists, plan to destroy the Bill of Rights and deliberately force millions of people into joblessness. Crazed posts like this are all over extreme rightwing websites:
"Trump is done. America is on life-support. Stop living in fantasy land. The world shall fall to communism unless each of us stands up RIGHT FUCKING NOW!"
Insurrectionists also are planning their next attack on our government. They're not doing it in secret, but telling journalists and writing on Internet webpages and forums right out in the open that they want a second Civil War.
As Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Julia Terruso tweeted, quoting a man on his way to the Jan. 6 rally: "We wait for Civil War. It will be next. You have to prepare for the worst, and the worst will come because the left is pushing it."
In remarks riling up the insurgents on Wednesday, Trump, Don Jr., Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., Rudolph Giuliani and Ginny Thomas, who is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, all violated the federal law against seditious conspiracy. It provides:
"If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both."
As soon as Biden is sworn in Trump loses his immunity from prosecution for this and other crimes which I described in an earlier article.
People can be heard on videos shouting "bring us Pelosi" and calling her vile names. Rioter Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr. arrived in Washington with what he called "a shit ton of 5.56 armor-piercing ammo" and other weapons, an FBI affidavit shows.
A Bullet for Pelosi
Meredith texted that "putting a bullet" in Pelosi's head was one part of his criminal plans. In classic Trumpian style, Meredith also texted an uncle that he was just kidding.
A public repository of links to siege videos has been started at Google docs. While it has only one video at this writing, it is more than an hour-long and filled with scenes of attacks on and threats against police.
Sadly, the siege is being excused, justified or outright dismissed as an insurrection by a majority of House Republicans and a significant number of minority of Senate Republicans. Brooks, wearing camo at the Wednesday "Save America Rally" urged the mob to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's November election victory. For that Brooks should be expelled by the House.
"Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass," Brooks told the crowd before it marched off, incongruously, toward the Capitol to a Village People anthem.
There are indications that people with deep knowledge of the many unmarked rooms and hideaways in the Capitol helped the invaders. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., said, "I have an unmarked office that you have got to know exactly where it is," and yet invaders did and broke in.
"They didn't go to where my name was. They went where I usually hang out," Clyburn said. "That to me indicates that something untoward may have been going on."
Given surveys showing Trump enjoys wide and deep support among police, it would be criminal, but not surprising, if the coup conspirators included Capitol Police officers.
Police officers, firefighters, state lawmakers and combat veterans were among the Trump mob that laid siege to the Capitol.