A few days before the official counting of electoral votes, it was already known that Donald Trump had lost the election and no protests would change that. Some republicans in Congress announced that on January 6 they would raise objections to the vote, including in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia, but signaled that this action had no chance of success. Subsequent courts also rejected the theory of Louie Gohmert, a Republican in the House of Representatives, who believed that Vice President Mike Pence could single-handedly reverse the election result.
Extremely attached to this theory, Donald Trump pressured Pence to obstruct the counting of votes, and the result of the election would then be decided by the House of Representatives or the Supreme Court with Trump nominations, appointed illegally and by custom.
Pence did not want to go against the rulings of the courts, so on January 6, Trump and his entourage organized a rally in front of the Capitol. Just before 12:00, Trump appeared on the scene, announced that he would never accept the election results, and called on Pence to reject the result. The outgoing president argued that the protesters could change the election results and that they “must show strength” and “fight as hell”. The media calculated that out of the 20 times he spoke about “fighting” he only spoke once about a “peaceful” march.
Donald Trump’s loyalists who want to disrupt the session of the Joint Houses of Congress begin their march to the Capitol. Here is the axis of the highlights:
- 12:49 Police receive a report of a homemade bomb outside the Republican Party headquarters, 30 minutes later another – a bomb outside the Democratic Party headquarters. Steven Sund, the capitol police chief, later says the charges may have been planted to distract the police, which they did.
- 12:53 The first barriers in front of the Capitol fall. A few minutes later, the first rioters attack the policemen with gas and truncheons.
- 13:12 Donald Trump concludes his speech. Seven minutes later he is on his way to the White House, though he has vowed to participate in the march.
- 14:12 The first attackers enter the Capitol through a broken window and open the door for others. The building plunder begins. At the same time, Mike Pence and his family are evacuated, and they came with him for the ceremonial session.
- 14:22 Evacuation of the Senate Chamber. Meanwhile, Trump calls Senator Tommy Tuberville and says he has to do everything possible to block the counting of votes.
- 14:24 Trump tweets that Pence does not have the courage to “do what he should do.” There is a hunt for Pence in the building to hang him on a tree according to what the attackers are shouting. The vice president is escorted off the northwest staircase just a minute before the rebels arrive.
- 14:26 A meeting is held attended by the Capitol Police Chief and the Army Secretary. Sund asks for the National Guard to be sent.
- 14:38 Trump tweets: “Support the Capitol Police and Security Services. They really are on the side of our country. Stay calm.”
- 14:44 Police shoot Ashla Babbitt as she tries to break into the Speaker’s Lobby, where members of the House of Representatives are located. Babbitt dies of sustained wounds.
- 14:49 The governor of Virginia wants to send the state’s National Guard. The Department of Defense does not grant approval.
- 15:05 Republican leader Kevin McCarthy says in a telephone interview with WUSA TV that he has called on the president to reassure the people.
- 15:13 Trump tweets: “I urge everyone in the Capitol to remain calm. No violence! Remember, we are the party of law and justice – uphold the law and our great men and women in the police force. Thank you.”
- 15:15 House of Representatives announcer Nancy Pelosi calls the governor of Virginia. This ensures that all forces, including the National Guard, are sent to aid the Capitol. During this time, talks are underway in Congress and the issue of consent to the involvement of the National Guard is being clarified. Mobilization of officers in Maryland is also under consideration.
- 15:36 A White House spokeswoman reports to the press that the National Guard and other federal forces are on their way in the Capitol.
- 4:05 pm Biden at the conference urges Trump to demand an end to the siege of Capitol Hill.
- 4:08 PM Pence secretly calls the Secretary of Defense to confirm that the Capitol is not safe and demands that the complex be “cleared” of attackers.
- 4:17 PM Trump posts a video on Twitter telling his supporters on Capitol Hill:
I know your pain. There were elections that were stolen from us. We won by a huge advantage and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But now you have to go home. There must be peace, law and order. We must respect our wonderful representatives of law and order. We don’t want anyone to get hurt. (…) These were rigged elections, but we cannot play their game, there must be peace. We love you. You are special (…).
- 4:32 PM The Secretary of Defense finally authorizes the sending of the National Guard.
- 5:20 pm The first 155 officers of the Guard reach the Capitol.
- 18:01 Trump tweets: “This is what happens when a crushing win is unceremoniously and cruelly taken from patriots who have long been treated very badly and unfairly. Go home peacefully, lovingly. Remember this day forever.”
- 18:14 Police and the National Guard are setting up barriers around Congress.
- 7:00 p.m. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram remove Trump’s posts as inciting violence, not as calming moods.
- 20:00 Police announce that the building is safe.
- 21:00 Congress resumes its deliberations
- 3:24 After all Republican objections have been rejected, Congress ends the vote count and announces that Joe Biden has won 306 and Donald Trump has won 232. Vice President Pence confirms the result.
The commission may recommend an investigation into Trump
We watched all these events almost live. However, what for more than three hours – between the end of the speech and the publication of the Trump recording in which he called for a return home – was happening in the president’s entourage remains a mystery. This is one of the aspects that the Special Committee on the January 6 attack, which was set up in the House of Representatives, is working on.
So far, the team has conducted several hundred interviews to build a detailed picture of what happened in the White House that day. Some of the facts are already known from the media, but, as CNN points out, the final report may be a historical record of how the attack on the Capitol proceeded.
The chairman of the Democrat’s team, Bennie Thompson, did not rule out the possibility that the commission may recommend the Department of Justice to open an investigation into Donald Trump’s participation in the events. It is not known, however, whether all members would agree to this move, because it could trigger a political war – the prosecutor of the Biden administration would accuse the previous president.
What seems clear to the committee right now is that Trump is guilty of “supreme dereliction of duty”, which is gross failure to fulfill his obligations. The refusal to intervene to stop the attack on the Capitol is, according to the commission, a glaring example of breaking the presidential oath to defend the constitution.
Ivanka asked her father to “let go”
It is known that, at the time of the attack, Trump was in the West Wing of the White House, ate lunch in the dining room by the Oval Office, and watched the incidents on television. According to Ivank’s commission, the cherished daughter, but also Trump’s advisor during his presidency, urged her father to “let go” and stop the violence on the Capitol on at least two occasions.
Donald Trump junior also tried to reach his father. He, however, did not contact his father directly, but through Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff. “He must condemn this g *** o as soon as possible. A tweet about the Capitol Police is not enough,” wrote Trump Jr. Meadows replied that he agreed and put pressure on the boss. “You need a speech from the Oval Office. He has to start being a leader. It has gone too far and got out of hand,” the president’s firstborn son continued.
The commission has sourced some of the Trump team’s communications, but is seeking permission from the Supreme Court to access all of the day’s documents, messages, e-mails and notes. People who were not at the White House but who witnessed the events in the “council room” at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC are also called as witnesses. This is where Trump’s main allies, Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon, were to be staying.
Commission under fire for too slow work
The commission’s activities are criticized by writer Don Winslow, a writer of detective novels, who has been involved in exposing Trump’s lies. In one of his very popular films, he lists people who should be called to testify but were not. Winslow is also surprised at the information provided by the commission. “I do not believe that they are making news that Trump watched the attack on the Capitol on TV. We’ve known about it for a year,” he outraged.
The writer also believes that the actions of the team members so far do not cause Trump and his community to fear the consequences of their actions. He gave an example of one of Trump’s advisers, who promotes a board game full of conspiracy theories about the 2020 elections. “Want to know how the Democrats stole the elections? Play the game. Want to know how Tony Fauci possibly helped create the deadly virus in China’s communist laboratories? Play the game,” says Peter Navarro in the promotional video for the board game.
Navarro now claims that he figured out how to change the election results. – The Green Bay Sweep plan was simple. We had over 100 congressmen and senators ready to implement it. We wanted to challenge the election results in six states – Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin and Nevada. We believed that if the votes were sent back to these states and we looked at them again, the authorities [stanów] fear will arise and most or all of them will invalidate the results. (…) Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Paul Gosar started the Green Bay Sweep beautifully undermining the results in Arizona – he spoke on MSNBC, and the facilitator asked him if he was aware that he was describing a coup.
“Trump cannot be admitted near the Oval Office”
– We want Americans to realize how dangerous Donald Trump was – said Liz Cheney, vice-chairman of the Special Committee, one of the two Republicans who decided to join it, before the anniversary of the siege of the Capitol. The daughter of ex-vice president Dick Cheney is currently ostracized by the party. But he argues that colleagues must choose loyalty to Trump or loyalty to the constitution.
– We know that he was sitting in the dining room, his associates asked him to deliver a message, he called for people to stop. We know leader McCarthy asked him, family members asked him. His daughter – we have a first-hand testimony – Ivanka’s daughter asked at least twice to stop the violence – said Cheney.
– No one who does this, no one who provokes an attack on the Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes, no one who watches on television how the policemen are beaten, how his supporters siege the Capitol is clearly unfit for office can never be admitted near the Oval Office – she argued. Trump, however, declares that he will run for the presidential election in 2024.