Yesterday Trump became the only president to be impeached twice, with 10 Republican congresspersons joining with the Democrats to pass the measure by a vote of 232 to 197. That nearly 200 Republicans stuck with Trump may have more to do with their fear of angering the Trump mob than not agreeing with the impeachment resolution.
In the category of shocking but not surprising: CNN’s @jamiegangel reports that the WH is putting huge pressure on members, and that members are saying "they want to vote to impeach but they legitimately fear for their lives and their families’ lives."
— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) January 13, 2021
WATCH: Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) says majority of GOP "paralyzed with fear" @RepJasonCrow: "I had a lot of conversations with my Republican colleagues. … A couple of them broke down in tears … saying that they are afraid for their lives if they vote for this impeachment." pic.twitter.com/ESEu40WW1P
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 13, 2021
As bad as what we saw last Wednesday, the more details that emerge, the worse it gets. It seems less like a protest that got out hand and became a riot and a lot more like a carefully planned insurrection that had much more ambitious goals of causing mayhem. The rioters had schematic diagrams of the buildings and the offices of people and had leaders who were directing others where to go and what to do.
The attack on the Capitol was coordinated and planned.
Here are the insurrectionists talking about the plan, including detailed schematics of the Capitol building.
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) January 13, 2021
Here is a report and more videos of the violence of the angry mob.
A DC Metropolitan Police officer dragged into the crowd by the pro-Trump mob during the insurrection on the US Capitol was beaten by rioters who threatened to shoot him with his own weapon, according to his ex-wife.
The shocking moment was captured by photographer Mel D. Cole who snapped a picture of the officer being pulled down the stairs by violent pro-Trump supporters on Wednesday, his mouth open in panic, his face full of fear.
“I’ve never seen a cop scared like that,” Cole told BuzzFeed News. “I knew he was terrified for his life. Cops have this way about them. They don’t show fear most of the time and this man was scared.”
“They were beating the shit out of him,” said Cole. “Right in front of my eyes.”
Right before he took the photograph, Cole had just moved to the right of a Capitol entrance on the west side of the building, where a line of police officers were trying to hold back rioters from entering, when he saw the officer get pulled away from the police line and attacked.
“[They were] beating him, pulling him around, yelling at him,” said Cole, a hip-hop photographer who started shooting Black Lives Matter protests after the death of George Floyd and has photographed multiple pro-Trump events. “Calling him a traitor, which is a big thing, and [saying], ‘We supported you. We backed the blue. You’re not backing us, traitor. You traitor.'”
Cole, who is Black, said the experience of watching white rioters assault a police officer and not be immediately arrested or face any violent consequences was “white privilege on peak,” particularly when he was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge last summer for taking photographs during a Black Lives Matter protest.
“Can you imagine if one of those protesters beat up a cop like that and had him screaming, ‘I have kids, I have kids,’ ripped his badge off, [threaten to] shoot him with his own gun?” said Cole. “Can you imagine if Black people did that what the cops would do?”
There is not a chance in hell that groups like the Black Panthers, even at the height of their armed militancy, would have dared to do what these rioters did. They would know that the authorities would have no hesitancy in gunning them down.
Trump has given these his supporters the license to act on their worst impulses.