Timing Matters: Impeach, Convict, Remove NOW [UPDATE-1]

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. Updates will appear at the bottom of this post. /~Rayne]

Photos taken during the insurrectionist Capitol Building breach on Wednesday showed a lot of riot tourism — “Look at me, Mom!” kind of behavior which causes reparable damage while irritating observers. The jerk sitting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s chair with his feet on her desk is a perfect example.

But some photos showed participants who weren’t flashy, who weren’t taking selfies. They appeared intent on some objective and they were well equipped, wholly unlike the bare-chested, tattooed Qultist clown Jake Angeli.

Angeli was attention whoring.

This guy was not:

(Believe this is a cropped photo from Getty Images, shared here under Fair Use.)

Malcolm Nance noted this same person was carrying an “olive colored Blackhawk Sherpa pistol holster with a Glock 26 or 43 subcompact pistol w/hogue rubber grips, mace & Flex-cuffs” which is far from the average riot tourist’s gear. There has been speculation it’s not a Glock but a holstered taser, though the consensus appears to be that it’s a weapon.

The photo shows someone intent on doing more than a little light vandalism. They are equipped to kidnap, detain, and possibly hurt or kill someone.

They need to be identified, their situation fully investigated, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

This isn’t something which should be blown off lightly; this person was in the Senate chamber where two of the next three in line of presidential succession — VP Mike Pence and Sen. Chuck Grassley — had been only moments before, in the same building with third-in-line, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

There were others as well who may not have been quite as well equipped but carrying some gear like plastic zip restraints, suggesting they, too, were intent on seizing members of Congress and staff.

Until an investigation is completed, we don’t know if we haven’t just looked upon an aborted kidnapping and/or assassination attempt.

We don’t know yet how the “mobile bomb factoryfound by law enforcement figured into this picture:

… The chief also confirmed that police recovered two pipe bombs at the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee offices. A cooler that contained molotov cocktails also was found on U.S. Capitol grounds, the chief said. Bowser said officials will review video and issue lookout alerts for people who breached the U.S. Capitol, adding that they “need to be held accountable for the carnage.”

Federal agents also are investigating a pickup truck found outside the RNC, according to two people familiar with the investigation.

The truck, parked across the street from the party offices and near the entrance to a Metro station, contained rifles and shotguns, a great deal of ammunition, and other unspecified material, these people said. Federal agents are still trying to determine if that vehicle and its contents are connected to the suspected pipe bombs found earlier, the people said. …

This could have been extremely ugly had riot members been able to occupy and control the Capitol Building through the night.

Trump should not be allowed to pardon these people if he and his associates and family had anything to do with this — like Rudy Giuliani’s incitement calling for “trial by combat” on stage before Trump supporters that day.

The only way to ensure there is no pardon granted by Trump before an investigation is complete is to remove Trump from office.


GOP members of Congress: You need to take this seriously and consider where you and members of your cohort stand. There may be those among them who are complicit, who may have no problem with eliminating their fellow members who aren’t as Trumpist as they are. Until a full investigation is completed there’s no way to know, and no way to protect themselves from a possible second attack-masked-by-riot.

And there’s a second event in the offing. It’s right there in all the chatter online about the January 6 mob.

Impeach, convict, remove Trump NOW, because it’s critical to protecting the continuity of our government under the Constitution about which you swore an oath to defend.

It’s also your skin in the game.

Consider how this scenario looks to others and whether the damage would have been limited to Democratic members of Congress alone.

Next time Congress and the VP might not be so lucky. Remove luck from the equation by removing the source of incitement NOW.

~  ~ ~

UPDATE-1 — 5:10 PM ET —

The Washington Post released video showing the lead up to and the shooting of rioter Ashli Babbit. At least one member of Congress, Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY-18), is visible at the beginning of the video before they are removed to a secure location and the rioters breach the door.

Impeachment still has traction if slow. Another set of articles of impeachment have been released, this time charging Incitement to Insurrection instead of Abuse of Power. Sorry, I don’t have time right now to type out a transcript, sharing a tweet with screen shots for now.

Pence entered the White House but apparently didn’t speak to Trump, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski is the first GOP senator to demand Trump resign, questioning her own future with the GOP.

One can only hope the news dump zone is kind to us.

101 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Swear to gods all of Congress suffers from cognitive dissonance and/or PTSD right now. They’ve so bought into the infallibility of their institution they don’t recognize how goddamned close they came to being wiped off the map on Wednesday.

  2. P J Evans says:

    The ones with the LEO-type zipties? they were going for hostages at the very least. Possibly in the “give us what we want, or we start killing them” type of plan. Not randoms, like the rest.

    Emailed Pelosi and said that we need impeachment NOW, not next week. And named a couple of House members who are potentially involved in setting this up.
    Saw a quote from Clyburn that they found an office where his staff was working and were harassing them. It wasn’t one that had his name on it, so he wants to know how they knew.

    ETA: They’ve arrested the guy who was in Pelosi’s office and took the piece of mail.

  3. coral says:

    Thanks for posting this Rayne. I think it’s denial. I am having a hard time myself taking in the seriousness of what just happened, and how close a call it truly was. Not sure how the most right-wing members of Congress are processing this, how many seriously want to overthrow the government. I suspect some of them do.

    Also, the road ahead. How does the Biden administration handle this? These right-wing militia types have been active and open and dangerous at least since before the McVeigh Oklahoma City bombing in the 90s.

    • Rayne says:

      Merrick Garland’s appointment as Biden’s AG may be part of the answer to the right-wing militia type problem since Garland was involved in the investigation and prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombing.

  4. Worried says:

    I have a question.

    Will the Impeachment process voting in either house include voting from co-conspirators?

    For example, Tuberville in the Senate.

    • Stacey says:

      Yeah, no shit! If we took out all of the co-conspirators even in the senate and removed them from the room while the vote is happening it’s easier to get to 2/3 of the participating members than if all 100 are present. Laurence Tribe said tonight on Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell that it’s 2/3 of those PRESENT, not the full Senate. It would sure not be fair to let the co-conspirators take place in the voting, now would it?

  5. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne. So much to process. This violent takeover made me think of the children in schools who were vulnerable and hiding from a gunman.

    Abuse breeds abuse. The MAGA team movement is built on rage, fear, intimidation and anger. Fear and anger are like a drug where people substitute a “high” for belonging and purpose. Also its purpose is to have a big profile on social media to be part of the team with the same beliefs. If a member goes against a platform, then the team pounce becoming cyber bullies to those who don’t agree with the team.

    A vicious cycle of abuse threatening people’s lives, people’s bodies, family members, work, etc. All because one doesn’t agree with Trump who motivates his followers to act violently bonding in the drug of hate.

    • Chris.EL says:

      don’t forget to include the racism, hatred of people of color, people with other (than Christian) religions, top off with the ever popular hatred of females.
      This article has some great arguments!


      … “This is why John Quincy Adams proclaimed on the floor of the House that, “I hold myself, so long as I have the breath of life in my body, amenable to impeachment by this House for everything I did during the time I held any public office.” (Michael J. Gerhardt, The Federal Impeachment Process: A Constitutional and Historical Analyses 80 (2d edition 2000) (citation omitted)) Adams’s suggestion was that any impeachable official remained subject to that process well after they left office, not just presidents but those who abused power while in office.” …

  6. vertalio says:

    Am I correct that once impeachment papers are filed further pardons by 45 are off the table?

    Asking for a friend.

      • BobCon says:

        It’s been noted by MW that pardons could be part of the grounds for obstruction of justice charges, but of course it’s complicated how that would play out and depend on who is pardoned.

    • Rick Ryan says:

      McConnell just circulated the procedures for impeachment should the House vote to on Monday. Looks like they’re gonna slow-walk it.

      Although when it does get taken up, the two new Dem Senators should be seated, making that lifetime ban from public office a bit more likely to come to pass.

      Not soon enough to get his fingers off the nuclear codes though.

  7. madwand says:

    This was a failed operation, but almost succeeded in spite of itself and the obvious help they had from insiders. The coup stalled for some reason, possibly the actions of Capital Police in spiriting members of congress downstairs somewhere, or Trump’s incompetence. They failed to get the ballot boxes, they failed to take any member of congress hostage, or kill them. They were disorganized this time. I do not think there is enough time for impeachment and the 25th is apparently dead. The insurrectionists have said they will be back on the 19th which is not a hard date by any means, they can come sooner or try to disrupt on the twentieth. Congress and security need to get serious. The most probable disruption will come at the inauguration. The second most probable is anytime in-between. People need to wake up, they got lucky this time, they may not be given the chance next time.

    • P J Evans says:

      I think they’re going for the 19th so they can disrupt the preparations for the swearing-in.
      The various organizations really need to take this stuff seriously: some of these are professionals, even if most are idjits with firearms and delusions of what they can accomplish. (And a belief that their 74 million votes somehow count more than the 81 million who voted for Biden.) They’ll keep coming back, until their leaders are all behind bars or deceased.

      • madwand says:

        Some have even been quoted on cable news that they are coming back on the 19th, one guys saying they are coming back with a million people and this time they are not going to be nice. Hyperbole perhaps and maybe they won’t come at all, but you would have to be a fool not to prepare.

        • chum'sfriend says:

          And Trump has announced that he won’t attend Biden’s inauguration. With Donald safely somewhere else, the Nazis may feel free to use heavy munitions.

          • P J Evans says:

            Going to be harder, since he has no social media accounts any more. Flynn and Powell have also been banned, and Parler has been told by Apple to get full professional moderation within four days or be removed for their store.

            • P J Evans says:

              He tried tweeting from the official account, and it got taken down almost instantly. Because it was the same lies that got him banned.
              Also Flynn Jr got his account banned.

  8. Duke says:

    Trumps signs three pieces of paper. Pardons all involved in insurrectionists activities, claiming free speech violations of ALL INVOLVED. PARDONS ANY INVOLVED WHO HE THINKS WOULD TURN ON HIM.

    Announcing his self pardon.
    Announce resignation.
    Simultaneously, Pence sworn in and State Capitols invaded by nut jobs.
    Pence declares marshall law.
    Theocratic autocratic temporary governance.
    All the while with a theocratic SCOTUS.

    Those are my nightmares since the 6th.

    P-P-P-lease….any and all of you tell me this is not possible. If you can’t, tell me it is not probable.

  9. dimmsdale says:

    John Scott Railton’s twitter feed depicting the two “operators” methodically searching the Senate chamber (for someone? something?) is invaluable: tentative (stress: tentative) ID’s for at least one of them, sent to the FBI. Also, the EC certificates were stored where? in an office no one could find without a map or inside information.
    Here’s the thing: the million militia march on January 16 is going to bring waves of these guys, heavily armed, and even if it’s cancelled, they’re promising to show up on Jan. 20. Given the Trump / Trumpies’ amply demonstrated nonchalance at protecting the Capitol, and the stonewalling from the Pentagon on mobilizing the National Guard in the most extreme emergency, how do we keep Pres-Elect Biden safe?
    ETA: all through this miserable presidency I’ve had at the back of my mind the thought “Well, they may do this, but they’ll never do THAT.” And stupid, stupid me, they’ve ALWAYS done “that.” It’s no longer “alarmist” to at least conceive of the worst; which is what prompts my question.

    • Raven Eye says:

      Every step closer to justice for Trump is one more dump of fuel onto the fires burning inside these [_] militia [_] racist [_] vigilante [_] terrorist [_] Oath Keeper (check all applicable) Trump loyalists. I hate to suggest this, but put yourself inside their heads for a moment and try to see the rage building as the (unnamed) conspiracy steadily tears apart the place in the world that Trump (and all the people that — literally — profit from him) has fabricated for them.

      Many of them are fully prepared to sacrifice their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to save America from people like you and me. They don’t understand or even tolerate the concepts that we discuss civilly on these pages because we are clearly the enemy — as much as King George’s Red Coats and Loyalists.

      Every option we explore here, every step that Pelosi allows, every investigation past, present, and future…They are all threats to America that are to be countered — by force and violence, if necessary.

      Close your eyes and imagine that rage. Then consider the events scheduled in D.C. over the next two weeks.

      Some people might try to rationalize that vision as a reason for not taking action against Trump. But the fires are already burning* and Trump’s rent-a-mob will not accept any solution other than the country rolling over for them. And that’s not going to happen, no matter how badly Congress wants to wimp out of taking action on impeachment. Too many on the Hill forget one of the realities of governance: Sometimes there are things that you can’t NOT do. Sad.

      To put it simply: This is scary shit.

      *A fire well laid and tended for years now

      • dimmsdale says:

        I don’t really need to “close my eyes and imagine that rage.” It’s all too clear; presumably the military is trained to secure an area like the patch being used for the inauguration, and is adept at screening out bad actors, limiting transportation into the city, confiscating firearms, and whatnot, “rage” be damned. One question I have is whether, as I mentioned, the Trumpies will permit the military, Secret Service or whomever, to act, or whether they’ll be stymied as at the Capitol–and that is a REAL concern. I imagine, but I’m not sure, that the Inauguration enables a wider protective umbrella of combat-hardened personnel than at the looting at the Capitol.

  10. Epicurus says:

    There will be no impeachment. The problem is not the Congressmen/women running that process but the 74 million people that voted for Trump. Like it or not they would be manipulated by social media and turn any such process into a witch hunt rather than allow a legitimate impeachment process. It will be just like Roy Cohn clogging the legal system only this will be a clogging of the political system. Everyone’s fixated on Trump. Fixation means you can’t move on, you are paralyzed. Trump is history. Move on to the Biden agenda, whatever that is. No one in the government, especially the military, is going to fulfill any substantial Trump order except for pardons. That’s why O’Brien is sticking around, and Pence for that matter. Pence knows a potential golden reputation enhancer when he sees it. Trump is just licking his wounds at Camp David, twitterless. They cut out his tongue.

    A couple pro football coaches say you are what your record says you are. The mob at the Capital was just a bunch of dadaists. There was no scheme to kidnap and murder because there was no kidnap or murder. This was their Warhol moment. Look, ma, I am in the Capital Building with a gun!! It won’t happen again, at least in my lifetime. If they are going to have a virtual inauguration ceremony, hold it in the White House. Take nutcake snipers out of the equation.

    • Rayne says:

      Sure. Right. Nixon went off with a pardon. Reagan’s team went off into the sunset after Iran Contra. Bush launched a perma-war based on lies and didn’t even get impeached like the guy who got a consensual blow job did. We’ve let the executives go unpunished too many times.

      At what point do we just stick a fork in it and say this democracy is done because we refused to hold chief executives accountable? Is that what you’re advocating? Because it’s politically inconvenient we should let the chief executive break any law as if he’s a king?

      Fuck that. Ben Franklin said this country was “A republic, if you can keep it.” This is when it’s difficult to keep the republic but this is what must be done to do so — no one is above the law, and the president incited insurrection, at a minimum.

      Will you just roll over should it become clear Trump and his henchmen Giuliani and others may have encouraged the assassination of Pence by a mob in order to keep an illegitimate presidency? You’re already shrugging off the death of a Capitol Police officer Trump’s incitement killed.

    • Rugger9 says:

      The impeachment will happen, because of the events we’ve already seen, including Blue Lives Matter allies beating a Capitol Police officer to death, for which homicide charges will be brought. Even DJT is liable to being named as an accessory.

      As someone who took the oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, I know who I’m going after for prosecution. The fact these criminals were allowed to walk away and fly away like Rittenhouse will not and should not be forgotten in our latest opportunity to show that there is one standard of justice. Let’s make it so this time instead of failing again.

      Conviction in the Senate is not likely because while the MAGA cult is not a majority in many places, they are typically the majority for GOP primaries and any GOP Senator that votes to convict signs their political death warrant. So, these GOP Senators will not do the honorable thing to save their own careers like the spineless cowards they are.

      Also on the prosecution list should be the Ingrahams and Hannitys and the rest of Faux News (like Hegseth, who tried to pretend this was merely cosplay), Newmax, OANN, the Epoch Times and the internet sites for adding to the incitement. Rupert needs to face the music too.

  11. graham firchlis says:

    Long time Pelosi watcher here’s what I see, reading content, tone and posture..

    After the caucus call, Pelosi is confident she has the votes to do what she already announced – a second impeachment of Donald Trump. It’s personal, and she’s determined to do it.

    But some Dems are apprehensive about knockon effects, not ureasonably, especially if the effort fails again. The Repub caucus is terrified and paralyzed, House and Senate, in need of cover if not leadership for many of them to support impeachment.

    Pelosi is giving the Republicans time to ripen, to deal with the fact that she will move impeachment as early as Monday if the Senate is ready to convict, but no later than Wednesday. And she has the votes.

    The House is not the bottleneck. It won’t be. This is personal, not political. Pelosi wants him gone, never to legitimately run for federal office again, shamed for life. She has the votes.

    The bottleneck remains with the Radical Reactionary Republicans, and them alone. (George Conway’s message is more likely aspirational than an authoratative whip count.)

    Lean on them to do the right thing, to stand up for the Constitution, for thier colleagues and themselves. Excise this cancer, heal the nation, you will have my support vote &etc. There will be a decisive reckoning now, a threshing of wheat from chaff and stone, patriots from cowards and traitors. Which side are you on?

    [I continue to fully respect and support Nancy Pelosi. I think she’s earned it.]

    • bmaz says:

      Long time Pelosi watcher here too. She is a worthless piece of fossilized moderate shit that will fuck impeachment yet again. In fact, she is already doing it by being so slow on the roll out. Giving the Republicans “time to ripen”?? What a fucking joke. If your lips were any more attached to her ass, you would have shit on your face.

      • Raven Eye says:

        Geez. If the Republicans ripened any more we’ve have to open all the windows and get the fans going.

    • Chris.EL says:

      so I’m just one citizen of U.S. out here on the west coast of north America, grand state of California.

      In other words, no where near the mayhem that was unleashed on our nation’s central federal government.

      It was outrageous; it is outrageous. It must stop.

      It’s not funny, nothing to be*proud* of! You can’t build a wall around it.

      Not going to denounce Madam Speaker; she has paid her dues. A lesser woman would have collapsed by now. Isn’t it entirely possible, once Joe Biden and Kamala Harris get a bit settled in, Mrs. Pelosi will long for the City by the Bay and come home.

      • P J Evans says:

        She said last year that this would be her last term as Speaker, and I suspect she’d like to retire.

    • Rugger9 says:

      I think Pelosi moves on this first thing on Monday, Ted Lieu and others are already prepared and the caucus is mostly unified (and will be once Pelosi chats with the dissidents regarding why she’s doing this and now). Our signal will be the choice of a floor vote or to move it to committee.

      McCarthy refused unanimous consent, but I think it will be to the Senate by Wednesday to sit like a bad burrito on Mitch McConnell’s desk until the 19th which is when the Senate apparently returns to work. That’s plenty of time to ripen and be asked about it on Sunday shows, even before considering what happens between now and then.

  12. John Paul Jones says:

    Re: Update #1, and the photo of the gun firing: Bellingcat has a story on Ashli Babbitt which includes video of her progress to the Capitol, around and up the stairs, up to and including 4 synchronized videos of the shooting. I won’t link it, but the title is “the journey of ashli Babbitt.” She was about to climb through a smashed out window and over a barricade when she was shot.

  13. jplm says:

    One thing Trump feared was being a one-term president. He fears even more not being even a one-term president. His recent fake attempts to dial back is trying to assert control over his destiny hoping others will be lulled into ‘let him go quietly’.
    Fire him, now.

  14. vicks says:

    I can’t see how politically Republicans don’t see at this point it’s to thier advantage to shut Trump down?
    It seems like every hour there is something new coming out about just how dangerous of a situation he has caused.
    Every Republican I know is mimicking what they are seeing on Fox and using self serving spin to separate themselves and the party from Trump supporters
    The entire world is watching and they know the pattern, each time his party passes on the chance to hold him accountable, Trump ups his game.
    Trump isolates and then picks people off, if they could just trust each other long enough to stand together against him they will shut him down (just like they could have every fucking day since he has been in office)
    They can spin it anyway they want, it’s for his on good, it must be the sleeping pills he’s been taking, help him fake a heart attack, dems can go after them later, but they will never, ever be able to spin their way out of deciding to once again, ignore all the warning signs and sit on thier hands and let this despicable lunatic to decide what he is going to do next.

    • BobCon says:

      The majority of House Republicans are gerrymandered enough that they don’t care.

      I think the Senate GOP is dicier for him, and I would not be surprised if McConnell wants him out and is signalling to Pelosi to move forward.

      The 93-6 vote to certify and Chao’s resignation may be part of that signal. He probably would prefer resignation before a vote, and may hope for a Goldwater to Nixon style intervention, but if he is going this route, I wouldn’t expect he is counting on Trump quitting.

      Not that think McConnell is doing this out of principles, but I suspect he fears corporate donors fleeing the GOP and he doesn’t like where midterms might go for him. I think he also knows if he doesn’t burn out some of the rot, his time as leader may face a rebellion.

      But this is very speculative.

  15. skua says:

    Given the threat that Trump obviously posed to the nation from the moment of his election, it would have been reasonable and necessary for the Congress Dems to have then created a team whose ongoing task was to write-up, game-out, and then get external expert feedback on multiple draft articles of impeachment covering a wide variety of scenarios both hypothetical and drawn from real life.
    After 4 years the work product and expertise of such a team would allow well founded articles to be available much quicker than otherwise.

    • Raven Eye says:

      I wonder how much closer to the edge this will push him.

      However, that’s nothing to feel good about — until the afternoon of January 20th.

    • BobCon says:

      Someone pointed out that Fox didn’t jump to have him on after the ban.

      The WSJ wouldn’t have editorialized for removing him without Murdoch blessings. He must realize that.

  16. Molly Pitcher says:

    I am becoming increasingly discomfited at the thought that Trump doesn’t want to be at the inauguration. Just like he didn’t want to go with his buddies to the Capitol after his rally.

    My fear is that he knows what is going to happen at the inauguration.

    • Eureka says:

      They are planning more attacks for _before_ the inauguration.

      That announcement is part of signalling to his followers to keep at it… explicitly not recognizing the new admin.

      They’re planning attacks (on the Capitol and in state capitals) for the 17th and 19th, 20th (21st) already. (I don’t know why the 18th is omitted, perhaps it is not and I just haven’t come across that date.)

      Eric Trump just joined Parler. Mike Lindell earlier put out a Big Lie video, saying he’s on the way to meet with “General Flynn” and Sidney Powell, and assuring his audience that Trump will continue to be President.

      See Parler takes for some excerpts. Twitter even acknowledged the planned attacks (they may have used a different word in their statement) on the 17th as part of banning Trump.

      ETA: Twitter did call them planned “attacks”:

      Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.


      • Eureka says:

        Further FYI:

        “E (the new Q) appears to be counting down to Jan 17.”

        Also, my guess as to why the 18th hasn’t come up is because what they had planned for the 19th –> 20th (21st…) that they were still talking about yesterday maybe got moved up to the 17th. Or maybe they’re doing their widespread attacks on the 17th then need a day off to travel to DC for the 19th forward. Who TF knows (hope the FBI et al sure do.).

        • skua says:

          LE planners will not be napping/complicit a second time. Their alternatives appear to be to prevent these crowds forming or prepare for a battle.
          Massive street battle preps would create very poor optics around Biden’s inauguration. Which DJT would then have to magnify and lie about.
          Does 1st Amendment allow for closing down of DC to”protestors”?

          • P J Evans says:

            No parade, no big celebration, and probably a fairly private swearing-in on TV. Biden isn’t going all-out, because of the virus, and this just makes it more clear that it’s the right thing to do. (They’ve been taking down the viewing stand they were putting up before Christmas.)
            So lots of people coming in would be conspicuous: there’s no reason, now.

          • pdaly says:

            I’m thinking about the subterranean tunnels members of Congress use to arrive at the Capitol. Hoping someone is checking and rechecking them for security breaches.

            Hoping as well that someone is checking and rechecking the security personnel who are supposedly guarding the Capitol.

          • Eureka says:

            skua, in answer to your closing, general question: it’s one of those things that’s easier in a conversation, because in this specific case they’ve got different reasons (plausible planned attacks) to restrict some (or much) activity — at least in certain spaces.

            So in reply as a general meander:

            Well, no and effectively for parts, yes — it depends on how and why it’s done. They can deny protest permits for certain areas for due reasons (conflicts with other law like security or public safety, like too large a crowd for a certain area or something). Separately there are things like states of emergency and curfew declarations [DC is under an Emergency Declaration at least thru inauguration — how those are worked out (who decides and what the parameters are) depends also on the municipality] which are means for the government to restrict some individual rights in the interest of an emergent public safety issue. But practically and under these circumstances law enforcement/ National Guard units would have to block off the areas that are at risk of insurgency and, well, guard them. (The NG is supposed to guard; LE is supposed to otherwise enforce the law.)

            There are a lot of practical considerations intersecting the laws here. For those and other reasons, maybe they could restrict a municipality more globally for limited purposes.

            There are some types of states of emergency, like snow emergency or other natural disasters, where they can restrict who is allowed to travel (on roadways). Those here versed in laws as they relate to “anticipated” domestic terrorism/crime can better answer as to how this might be done when a crime is not “proximately” in progress.

            It’s complicated because there might be some number of people who wish to peacefully protest and that would be fine, but they (“they” being nebulous) have set the precedent that this is subterfuge for violence and other crime, or that “disagreement” over facts related to the election entitles them to invade the Capitol and overthrow the government. What strange times.

            But in general (independent of violence), increased restrictions or parameters on protests and assembly escalated in the aughts — even before 9/11. I recall reading about the (then) very strange creation of distant-from-the-event “protest zones” with the 2000 RNC and GWB’s appearance, for example.

            So besides the contrast of the events of 1-6-21 with how BLM protests were handled this summer, they took a pretty hippy-dippy approach to security compared to the general arc of how public protest has been treated of late — though consistent with how “white people with guns and flags angry at the government” have been treated this past 3/4 year.

            There’s variability in what they can do and do do by changing custom (which people get used to), so we’ll see what they do here — but this case is different because it’s like a 200-year flood you already know is coming (and it’s the global warming version, at that). There’s predication to fence assembly mixed with folks who disregard boundaries.

            • Eureka says:

              ^ oh plus there is the routine closure of roadways (by wide margins) to vehicle and foot traffic when heads of state or other VIPs visit places, or when significant public events occur (like parades). So they could expand those general boundaries for even wider margins.

              To fill-in some more re American customs.

              But as noted, they are planning “generalized” attacks on the seat of US government ahead of the (inaugural) event date — plus state capitals* — so in this case it seems it’s a wait and see and for what reasons.

              *Which is why I was worried about this the other day, with lots of (parts of) NG units busy helping states with COVID, and now many concentrated in DC. How will the states prep for this?

            • Eureka says:

              Bradley Peniston: “Fascinatingly, the Defense Department is referring to Wednesday’s pro-Trump riot as “the January 6, 2021 1st Amendment Protests.” [link; screenshot]”
              9:11 AM · Jan 9, 2021

              “To be precise, and as others have pointed out, this is a memo issued by the office of the acting Defense Secretary, the fifth person appointed by President Trump to lead the Department of Defense.”
              10:11 AM · Jan 9, 2021

          • earthworm says:

            what fools are still planning a public Biden/Harris inauguration?
            as a commenter several post back reminded, LBJ was given the oath of office aboard a plane after JFK assassination.
            sure, optics of out of sight inauguration poor, but — really — who still thinks it’s okay to mount a public type inauguration?

            • Rugger9 says:

              That might have been me, and on Jeopardy’s last Trebek show LBJ was also the only President sworn in by a woman.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      A good deal of my trepidation is because it is obvious to me that there was complicity at all levels by the people who should be protecting us. Not all of them, but enough to cause chaos.

      Wednesday was just a test run, just as were all of the assaults on the capitals of the many states that were hit on Wednesday. Just as were the test hits on Pelosi and McConnell’s homes. It is the way to see where the weak spots are.

      Kamala Harris needs to be sworn in at a different location than Biden and both need to be private surprise locations. Nancy Pelosi needs to be in a separate secret location at the same time. This is not a time to pretend that everything is ok. I want pessimistic over-thinking to preserve our Republic.

      The end is not in sight.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        I meant to say that I do not think that all the cockroaches in law enforcement will have been found and eliminated before the critical times arrive. And those enemies of the state extend pretty high up the org chart.

    • dude says:

      I keep replaying that remark in his exhortation to the mob: ..march down to the Capitol and “maybe I’ll march with you”……”maybe” is right. Of course he didn’t. It seems to me even his most ardent Trumpists would recognize this conspicuous absence. I don’t think Don Jr or Rudy marched on the Capitol either. Who among the pre-riot rally speakers did?

      I think if I were to march for a cause stirred by such ‘noble’ and seemingly resolute leaders, I’d want him/her at the front of the line actually leading.

      I am also curious if this crowd had a permit to assemble from DC authorities and what that permit allowed. Was it really spontaneous? I gather it was not spontaneous given the podium Trump stood on and all the set decoration in flags. Who requested this permit? Who’s name is signed on the dotted line?

  17. skua says:

    Twitter has permanently suspended the @realDonaldTrump account, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence”.

    Too late for the lives of so many Americans. Almost looks like changing with the new wind direction and wishing to avoid more high-visibility deaths on their shoulders than anything principled or humanely-based.

    But in these times I’ll manage a grudging “You’re needed now.”

  18. harpie says:


    1] https://twitter.com/jsrailton/status/1347760352705052672
    11:21 PM · Jan 8, 2021

    BREAKING: He’s being named by others now, so I can confirm results of the investigation: Eric Munchel from Nashville TN is #ZipTieGuy

    His social media has now been locked down, but many of his posts are disturbing and include glorified violence. […]

    2] https://twitter.com/jsrailton/status/1347764665821102084
    11:38 PM · Jan 8, 2021

    BREAKING I can now confirm Male #2 w/ restraints is highly decorated combat vet & @AF_Academy graduate Lt. Colonel. Ret. Larry Brock of Texas.

    Releasing his name now after 24h of collaboration w/@RonanFarrow
    & his investigations team to confirm. [New Yorker link]

    • skua says:

      Video shows a man in a black suit coat with white shirt and cuff link on the left side of the corridor holding a pistol with it pointed across the corridor. He is on on the other side of the door and barricade. The pistol seems to jerk and have a muzzle flash just before the rioter falls backwards out of the window frame at around 2:15.
      The police who are standing on our side of the corridor door at the start of the video appear to be convinced by the rioters to move (1:35) to the right side of the corridor against the wall. At 1:56 they seem to be leaving the corridor to avoid shattering glass.
      However another video showed that the swat team leader had arrived at the top of the stairs some ?5 seconds earlier. In that video, after the police left, the (other) man in a black suit who is seen with the police and rioters talks for some seconds with the swat leader. It was while they talked that the rioter climbed up into the window frame.

    • Fran of the North says:

      Hopefully the perps verbally assaulting the officers and then attempting to break through the door are ID’d, arrested and convicted. If so, they’ll be out of commission for a number of years.

  19. skua says:

    Have no journalists developed contacts in the USCP?
    Cause I’ve seen nothing about what their orders were for the day of the storming.
    Some 2200 of them in total and not one leak? Wow. That is some motivated discipline.

  20. robert harding says:

    Could Congress pass a resolution that would site Jan. 6 as the time that Trump committed his High Crime, so that if he is convicted in the Senate, any official actions after that date would not be legal? Especially with regard to pardoning Insurrectionists.

    • skua says:

      Pretty sure that a Pres continues with irreversible powers until convicted by the Senate.

      Which makes the delay in impeachment over this weekend look dumb. The public could already be pressuring McConnell to convene the Senate.

  21. skua says:

    Twitter has it that a USCP Officer has committed suicide on Saturday.
    A Howard Liebengood, age 51, who joined the USCP in 2005.

    There was also a Howard S. Liebengood who died in 2005. He was Sergeant at Arms for the Senate.

    With the overlap in names, the 15 years since 2005, and the temporal association of his suicide with the breach of the Capitol it would still be only speculation that Howard Liebengood had risen to a managerial position in the USCP and had become troubled by how USCP management had planned for Trump’s rally.

    • skua says:

      From WP, the details of Howard S. Leibengood’s time as Senate Sergeant at Arms:
      Howard S. Liebengood
      January 5, 1981 – September 12, 1983
      97th – 98th Congress

  22. P J Evans says:

    Dear Ghu, I am tired of people describing it as a “riot”. It was an armed assault on the Capitol, planned well in advance and very nearly successful. (All those thousands who came from all over the US? They had time to arrange for travel and places to stay. They also had the money for travel. And weapons. And some of them had body armor.)

    • Rayne says:

      Chapter 102, 18 U.S. Code § 2102 – Definitions:

      (a)As used in this chapter, the term “riot” means a public disturbance involving (1) an act or acts of violence by one or more persons part of an assemblage of three or more persons, which act or acts shall constitute a clear and present danger of, or shall result in, damage or injury to the property of any other person or to the person of any other individual or (2) a threat or threats of the commission of an act or acts of violence by one or more persons part of an assemblage of three or more persons having, individually or collectively, the ability of immediate execution of such threat or threats, where the performance of the threatened act or acts of violence would constitute a clear and present danger of, or would result in, damage or injury to the property of any other person or to the person of any other individual.

      (b)As used in this chapter, the term “to incite a riot”, or “to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot”, includes, but is not limited to, urging or instigating other persons to riot, but shall not be deemed to mean the mere oral or written (1) advocacy of ideas or (2) expression of belief, not involving advocacy of any act or acts of violence or assertion of the rightness of, or the right to commit, any such act or acts.

      Out of the roughly 8,000 people who marched from the speech area to the capitol building, the majority of the attendees were rioting as defined above.

      A subset committed the assault — specifically those who entered the capitol building without authorization, damaged the building and contents, carried and/or fired weapons, attacked capitol police, so on — did more in addition to rioting. That assault has multiple legal definitions as well, like 18 U.S. Code § 2383 – Rebellion or insurrection, but assault isn’t one of them.

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