WASHINGTON—Donald Trump’s terrorists managed to do something on January 6 that Adolf Hitler could have only dreamed of: enabling the full display of Nazi symbols on and inside the U.S. Capitol Building. Having failed in their attempt to overthrow the Legislative branch of the U.S. government in a partially-armed insurrection, Trump and his supporters must pay a heavy price, with the death penalty being offered as one option.
The insurrection mounted against the U.S. Congress—at Trump’s instigation—was only the tip of the iceberg of a widespread and premeditated coup planned against constitutional government. A “civil war” on January 6 was not only planned but marketed. As marauding Trump forces vandalized, looted, and terrorized Congress on the very day that the traditional electoral vote count was to officially declare that Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris the president-elect and vice president-elect of the United States, other Trump terrorist gangs were assaulting state capitol buildings around the United States, including in Oregon, Washington state, California, Georgia, and a dozen other states. Members of Georgia militia and the Ku Klux Klan entered the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta and were searching for the office of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, another target of Trump insurrectionist death threats. The Governor’s Mansion in Olympia, Washington was stormed by Trump mobs.
Make no mistake about it, the May 14 storming of the Michigan State Capitol building by pro-Trump armed protesters was a dry run for Trump’s ultimate coup target: the U.S. Congress. The subsequently-discovered plot by some of those who participated in the May 14 occupation to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer, place her on “trial,” and execute her and members of the Michigan legislature and Michigan state police officers was to have been the clarion call for similar actions around the United States. We saw those plans play out on January 6 in Washington, DC.
The presence among the insurrectionists of West Virginia Republican Delegate Derrick Evans should have the FBI crawling all over his office in Charleston and home in Wayne searching for evidence of West Virginia being used as a training and staging ground for the attempted coup. Where did a truck filled with explosives and ammunition and parked near the Capitol South Metro station across from Republican National Committee headquarters originate?
A criminal investigation of the recent activities and communications of individuals, including Trump-pardoned retired General Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Steve Bannon, U.S. Capitol Police chief Steven Sund, and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger (the latter two serving in political patronage positions courtesy of congressional Republicans), may likely reveal that the entire storming of the Capitol was planned weeks in advance in coordination with Trump and his mentally ill sons and consigliere Rudolph Giuliani. There is now video evidence that Capitol Police permitted the insurrectionists to enter the Capitol Building with weapons. Some Capitol cops took selfies with the rioters. Other terrorists damaged scaffolding erected as part of construction activities for the January 20 inauguration of Biden and Harris.
A photograph of one rioter with several zip ties and a gun indicates that there were plans to take Senators and Representatives hostage for mock “trials” and executions, just as had been planned by Trump loyalists in Michigan, Virginia, and other states last year. There is also an indication from far-right social media like Parler, Gab, and Telegraph, in addition to Facebook, that the insurrectionists planned the coup weeks in advance. Not only did they plan to carry out what was originally planned for Michigan but they were also intent on executing Vice President Mike Pence for “disloyalty” to Trump.
The media should derail attempts by the likes of congressional fascist enabler Matt Gaetz, Louis Gohmert and the newest lunatic House arrival, Marjorie Taylor Greene, to avoid responsibility for the storming of the Capitol by falsely blaming it on members of “antifa.” Antifa is a word and no more an organization as are antifreeze, anticoagulant, or antihistamine. Those media figures like Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Lou Dobbs, who act as propaganda cheerleaders for the coup plotters, should face the legal music for their actions. They and their ilk cannot hide behind the First Amendment for supporting a failed and deadly coup.
The media got a taste of fascism when they were physically attacked by the Trump mob. And for journalists at the Annapolis Capital Gazette, the scrawled “Murder the Media” graffiti on a U.S. Capitol door was a painful reminder of a Trump terrorist shooting up their newsroom in 2018, killing five members of the paper’s staff.
Nor can the Republican ringleaders for the coup hide behind congressional immunity. There should be a concerted move to expel from the Senate and House such coup enablers as Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Rick Scott, Roger Marshall, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Ron Johnson, Gaetz, Gohmert, Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, and other co-conspirators.
The after-action report on the coup attempt must contain some minimum recommendations, the first of which must be the scrapping of the U.S. Capitol Police in its present form. The political patronage jobs should be eliminated and a professional, non-partisan force should take the place of the current Trump-infiltrated cop shop. If Congress cannot reform the force, then the Washington Metropolitan Police should be adequately financed to take on responsibility for protection of the Capitol complex.
Trumpism should also be declared a violent movement designed to overthrow the constitutional government of the United States. Its actual and self-proclaimed leaders should be prosecuted as seditionists and insurrectionists, their property seized, and their organizational structures dismantled. The government has had plenty of practice in carrying out such operations, beginning with post-Civil War Reconstruction in the South, de-Nazification in Germany and demilitarizaton in Japan, and de-Baathification in Iraq. The templates exist. They merely have to be applied to Trumpism.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).