Ten days after the U.S. Capitol attack by a pro-Trump mob, more details are being made public with each passing day. The more we know, the more the violent intentions of some within the mob have become apparent.
This was not just a mob caught up in the moment rallying on the U.S. Capitol.
Donald Trump was the first to note the Jan. 6 rally tweeting on Dec. 19, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
Many Trump supporters were soon posting comments referring to “Occupying” the Capitol and forcing Congress to overturn the Electoral College vote for Joe Biden as president.
Then the Jan. 6 event turned into a pro-Trump insurrection that overwhelmed U.S. Capitol security forces for a good part of the day.
Some local pro-Trump supporters were in attendance at the Jan. 6 Trump rally on the Capitol Mall.
A former local Republican legislator, who attended the Trump rally, posted photos of being at the rally. He said in a Jan. 7 radio interview that the insurrection effort on the U.S. Capitol was the result of antifa infiltrators in the crowd.
FBI Assistant Director Steven D’Antuona said Jan. 8 there is no evidence that Antifa activists were involved in the violent riots in and around the U.S. Capitol last week, according to various media reports.
House Minority Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told President Trump Monday morning in a phone call “It’s not Antifa, it’s MAGA. I know. I was there,” according to a CNN report.
Another local individual who attended the Trump rally also posted photos of the protest and commented on Facebook, “Well I did scale the Capitol wall … I was waay (cq) beyond the steps. … I was beyond the top steps.”
By Friday, both individuals had removed any posts and photos concerning the Jan. 6 events from their Facebook accounts. And the news report on their adventures had been removed from a local radio website.
This week as more individuals from the riots in and around the Capitol were arrested and federal investigations continued, more information is becoming public on the ramifications of Jan. 6’s events.
Various videos shot during the riot show men with zip ties and military gear roaming the Capitol building. Other video shows small groups moving within the Capitol-building crowd using military tactics and signals.
Now Washington, D.C., and 50 state capitols across the country are preparing for protest events this weekend and through the Presidential Inauguration next week. Law enforcement officials are warning of the prospect of extremists appearing at multiple rallies and creating violence.
Also, some members of Congress are now fearful for their lives and that of their families due to voice and email threats they have received in the past week, according to media reports. South Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., told PBS he had received threats against his life from pro-Trump supporters if he voted for the impeachment of the president. He did not vote to impeach.
Threatening extremism and violence in support of any political candidate — conservative or liberal — is inexcusable and illegal. Such individuals should and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
America is — first and foremost — a country of law and order with the foundation of the U.S. Constitution.
This editorial is the opinion of the West Central Tribune Editorial Board, consisting of publisher Steve Ammermann and editor Kelly Boldan.