The simple truth to the mob that rioted and took over the U.S. Capitol was a combination of unchecked white privilege and an unfathomable massive security lapse. Already, there is blood on a lot of people’s hands. And now, heads are rolling with resignations and with terminations. Soon, there will be congressional hearings.
“The assault on the Capitol of the United States of America on January 6, 2020, will go down as one of the darkest days in the history of our nation,” Waters wrote in a letter to House Administration Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren calling for an investigation into the U.S. Capitol Police response to the insurrection. “The ability of a violent mob to breach what is supposed to be one of the most secure buildings in the world is both concerning and unacceptable. Today, I write to you to join in calling for an investigation into the United States Capitol Police (USCP) and the actions they took or failed to take that led up to the breach.”
Waters, who chairs the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, wasn’t finished on her assessment of what went wrong. A week before the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, Waters said she had spoken with U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund on security measures put in place in preparation for the day that Congress voted to certify Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.
Waters said she was assured by Sund, who has since tendered his resignation, that everything was okay. Clearly, that was not the case.
“On December 31, 2020, I spoke with Chief Sund for over an hour,” Waters said. “In this call, I raised several questions about the security of the Capitol grounds, including the plaza, the chambers, and the house office buildings. In this call, Chief Sund assured me time and time again that the plaza would be absolutely secured…The insurrection that transpired due to the lack of preparation by the USCP is without a doubt beneath the level of security that is required to protect the seat of government, our democracy, and all those who serve in it and fight so fiercely for it. We must ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.”
For this to not happen again, there would have to be a deep cleansing in the security forces that are supposed to protect members of Congress and the U.S. Capitol. Senate Seargent-at-Arms Mike Stenger was forced into resigning from his post after getting pressure from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The House of Representatives Seargent-at-Arms, Paul Irving, also quit.
The heads are just beginning to roll. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what is to come. But what escapes many is how did this happen in the first place? With an annual $460 million operating budget, what is the U.S. Capitol Police excuse for not having enough manpower in place or being remotely prepared for the trouble that was to come down Pennsylvania Ave?
And why, days out from the mob takeover, according to a news report put out by the Associated Press, did Sund and his police department reportedly rebuff getting assistance from the District of Columbia National Guard and the FBI? This epic failure to protect the U.S. Capitol is unacceptable and could have been even more catastrophic.
This breakdown happened because the skin color of the domestic terrorists that raided the U.S. Capitol played a huge factor in law enforcement’s reaction and action to the threats. Where else would you see individuals armed with firearms and explosives, walk leisurely and carefree into the heartbeat of our nation do whatever the heck they wanted to do?
The lack of police presence allowed these marauders to intrude and violate the trust of the American people in their government. No other race or ethnic group would have gotten away with what these pro-Trumpers got away with. Not in a million years. If these were Black Lives Matter raiders or Muslims trying to execute a coup at the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. would have been a place of unhinged bloodshed.
“What we are witnessing at this moment is the manifestation and culmination of reckless leadership, a pervasive misuse of power, and anarchy,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson. “This is not protesting or activism; this is an insurrection, an assault on our democracy, and a coup incited by President Trump. For the past four years, we’ve seen him chip away at the civility, integrity, and dignity of our nation. The pattern of President Trump’s misconduct is unmistakable and has proven time and time again that it is a grave threat and harm to the fragile fabric of our country.”
For the first couple of hours of the insurrection, the U.S. Capitol Police acted like spectators instead of keepers of the peace. This happened because Trump stoked the fires of the angry rioters at a rally just before Congress was set to go through a procedural vote to make Joe Biden’s win in November’s election official.
“Today we faced an unprecedented assault on our Capitol, our Constitution, and our country,” former President Bill Clinton said. “The assault was fueled by more than four years of poison politics spreading deliberate misinformation, sowing distrust in our system, and pitting Americans against one another. The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost. The election was free, the count was fair, the result is final.”
The nation wept as incapacitated U.S. Capitol Police found themselves either punked by a bunch of redneck hicks or willingly obliging these insurrectionists to commit treasonous acts. As a result of this unthinkable security breach, all members of Congress and their staff had their lives put in imminent danger from the pro-Trump supporters who stormed and had the U.S. Capitol under their control.
“History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation,” former President Barack Obama said in a stated release. “But we’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise.
“For two months now, a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth — that this was not a particularly close election and that President-Elect Biden will be inaugurated on January 20,” Obama continued. “Their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo. Right now, Republican leaders have a choice made clear in the desecrated chambers of democracy. They can continue down this road and keep stoking the raging fires. Or they can choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames. They can choose America.”
Prosecutions and jail sentences of those who arrogantly and criminally invaded the space where members of Congress operate their sworn-in duties are sure to follow in the days, weeks and months to come. In the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s latest and most destructive activation against the democratic norms in this country, the United States has been desecrated and humiliated.
As a result of this dark chapter in the American history book, Trump is staring down the possibility of being the only U.S. President to be impeached twice. Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in December 2019. The Republican-led Senate voted against the articles of impeachment in early 2020, allowing Trump to stay in office. This latest impeachment call, led by Democrats and some Republicans, just want Trump to be gone. Immediately.
“Donald Trump remains the single greatest threat to our democracy,” Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said. “Every day that he remains in the office of the presidency—overseeing the United States military and nuclear arsenal—is a day the safety of the American people and the world are threatened. The very administration officials who have been complicit in his crimes cannot be relied upon. We must impeach and remove him from office immediately so that he cannot threaten our democracy and the world any longer or hold public office ever again. Congress should reconvene immediately to carry out this constitutional duty.”
Omar, along with Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, co-authored a resolution bill to impeach Trump.
“Donald Trump presents a clear, direct threat to our democracy and national security, and yesterday’s acts of white supremacist domestic terrorism on the U.S. Capitol—incited by Trump himself—is further evidence of the danger he presents,” said Pressley. “Our nation cannot afford one more day with Trump in office. He must be immediately impeached by the House of Representatives and removed from office by the United States Senate. We must act with the urgency to defend our Republic.”