Just days ago, the United States Senate met on Capitol Hill to certify the presidential election results, certifying President-Elect Joe Biden’s win. Not all were cheering for the new president, however. Riots would strike the nation’s capital and make their way to the very chambers of the Senate itself. The protest to the vote very soon turned violent. According to NBC News and Representative Tim Ryan, many of the rioters were assaulting Capitol Police officers with lead pipes. Several charges have been filed against 50+ individuals, and more may be in the future as suspects are sought out. Not only were blunt instruments used, but unregistered firearms also came to the demonstration. The guns came with with live ammo and even explosives, including Molotov cocktails. Rally attendees who reached the capitol came ready for a fight.
Violence In Capitol Hill Riots
The violence that ensued would claim the lives of at least five individuals, including one police officer and a woman shot by one. Family members also claim that one victim may have been trampled to death and personally blame Trump for inciting the riot.
Capitol Hill is also not pleased with Josh Hawley and other Trump allies. The Trump loyalist cohort had hoped to instigate a challenge to the final vote count. All but six GOP senators would abandon their mission to derail confirming the nation’s new president. The efforts have earned scathing criticisms from both parties. Meanwhile, either impeachment or the invocation of the 25th amendment may be on the table for Trump. Perhaps worst of all for the president, he’s even been banned from Twitter.
Who Caused the Destruction at The Capitol Hill Riots?
Understandably, not many people want to associate themselves with the mess. Already conspiracy theories are abounding and suggest the true perps are Antifa and Black Lives Matter members. The Washington Times went so far as to claim that facial recognition had proven the fact, but USA Today debunked this claim. The article went down. USA Today even reached out to the times’ original source, who confirmed it was actually white supremacists found at the rally. Meanwhile, eyewitness accounts and photo evidence will confirm the violent instigators discovered inside were well-known supporters of President Trump.
It’s possible the majority of those in attendance intended for a peaceful rally and demonstration. However, they would have been unlikely to make it lawfully past the police barriers, let alone into the capitol building. Those who were there and instigating the violence, however, were of the radical right.
Don’t Mince Words: The Capitol Hill Riot was terrorism!
Let’s not pretend that this was simply a protest gone wrong, something that erupted into a riot. Sure, we can pretend its pent-up political rage or a spur of the moment act of violence. To do so, however, would be to deceive ourselves. The truth is this was planned in advance. Not only that but the very nature and intent of this violence will easily reveal it for what it was:
Capitol Hill’s riot was a blatant attempt to overturn a democratically elected head of state by violence and force. It wasn’t just violence; it was intimidation and terror. This was a coup attempt. An event like this is unprecedented in modern American history.
What is Terrorism?
The FBI defines domestic terrorism as
“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.”
The Capitol Riots certainly fit the bill. They were wanton violent criminal acts. They were acts of intimidation. They carried the specific goal of putting a president in power who legally lost the election. The hope was perhaps that this president would continue to remake America in their image.
Their plan has failed so far, with the Senate confirming Joe Biden’s election, who will be sworn in on his inauguration on January 20th, 2021. Even so, it may be safe to say we haven’t seen the last, whoever these people may be, and it doesn’t change the acts of terror that they committed. Let us hope they are charged to the fullest extent of the law.