Updated: Jan 16
Could it possibly be that some Republican members of Congress are so demented that they conspired with the domestic terrorists who attacked the Capitol Jan. 6, threatening the lives of their colleagues and Vice President Mike Pence?
There is increasing anecdotal evidence that this could be the case and that those who planned and carried out the attack were also supported by some members of law enforcement who helped to facilitate their madness.
It was announced today that internal investigators for the departments of Justice, Defense, Interior, and Homeland Security will investigate how security officials prepared for and responded to the pro-Trump rally that preceded the deadly riot. Questions to be answered include how the Capitol, with so many security agencies available, could be overcome by a mob with bats, bear repellent, plastic handcuffs, and simply brute force.
But beyond questions of poor planning and failure to heed clear advance warnings that a violent uprising would take place, there have been reports that some lawmakers may have somehow abetted the mob attack. Some reportedly provided tours of the Capitol the day before the attack to individuals who used those visits as reconnaissance to determine who was where and how to get there.
Meanwhile, Democrats have called for allegations that GOP members of Congress encouraged the attempted insurrection.
“Their accomplices in this House will be held responsible,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in a speech during the impeachment debate.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) said in a Facebook Live broadcast that she saw Republicans “who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 for reconnaissance for the next day.” She said some of her GOP colleagues “abetted” Trump and “incited this violent crowd." “I’m going to see that they’re held accountable and, if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress,” she said.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), who carries a Glock and supports the QAnon movement, was reported to be one of those providing reconnaissance tours for individuals who participated in the riots. She is facing a backlash for live-tweeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) location during the attack.
Shortly after Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol, Boebert tweeted: "We were locked in the House Chambers. The Speaker has been removed from the chambers."
Said one Twitter user:
"@FBIWFO please arrest @laurenboabert for aiding and abetting those who were hunting down @SpeakerPelosi on Jan, 6th by tweeting the Speaker's whereabouts. "She's 5ft tall, 100 pounds and carries a Glock (and won't stop telling everyone)."
Another Twitter user cited the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, stating:
"No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same."
"You can't get more explicit than that," tweeted a third. "Expulsion of Boebert is only the start. Indictment has to follow quickly."
One Democratic Congresswoman, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA), said the panic buttons installed in her office suite in case of emergencies had been ripped out. That report is now being investigated, according to her office.
"Every panic button in my office had been torn out -- the whole unit," Chief of Staff Sarah Groh told the Boston Globe.
Obviously, assuming that was related to the insurrectionists' attack, it had to be premeditated and likely either performed by, or facilitated by, individuals with access to the lawmaker's locked office.
And, while all of this was happening, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who started the Republican opposition to seating Biden's electors, was photographed giving a clenched fist salute to the rioters.
Hawley was the first senator to support efforts by GOP House members to challenge Biden electors, an act that made the entire charade on Jan. 6 possible, as without support from at least one senator, House members' objections would have fallen flat.
But his self-serving actions have backfired, showing that he badly miscalculated the political wisdom of going to the mat for Trump at the expense of the republic. Trump can now be called the biggest loser, with Hawley close behind.
Presumed to be running for President in 2024, Hawley has lost major donors and supporters and a book deal; his home state newspaper said he had “blood on his hands”; thousands of law school alumni and students have pushed for him to be disbarred; and at least one Democratic senator has called for his resignation, reported The Washington Post.
The fact that he broke the dam, so to speak, in the Senate led to other opportunists like Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) jumping on the bandwagon, and then, eventually, to several more GOP senators who pushed the false Trump narrative of election fraud, giving credence to his claims and spurring on the right-wing crazies who took up the defeated president's call to "fight."
So was it an inside job, that day when at least five people, including two police officers and a QAnon supporter died in the violent mob attack?
When legislators led those would-be terrorists on their Capitol tours on Jan. 5, were they just being nice to encourage the support of constituents? Or did they know what they were doing and were they part of the planning that led to death and destruction that fateful day?
When Hawley and Cruz and the others who insisted on objecting to the Biden electors in key states did that, they had to know their actions would have consequences. And then, even after the riot, Hawley doubled down, unapologetic about questioning the election results. He did that despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) warning that the end result of their gambit, if successful, would be to send democracy into "a death spiral."
We may never know how close we were to McConnell's prescient warning coming to pass. There were terrorists within the group who intended to harm targeted lawmakers, and even lynch Vice President Pence because, as Trump said, he had failed to show courage and overturn the election as he had demanded.
Trump will soon be gone, but the consequences of this tragedy will remain. And to think that representatives and senators elected by the people, who serve with some of those targeted, may have been complicit in this traitorous and deadly tragedy is almost too much to contemplate.