In a September presidential debate, President Donald Trump told the Proud Boys “to stand back and stand by.” The Proud Boys are a right-wing extremist group with ties to white supremacy. But those comments weren’t the first time he appeared to encourage violence from his base. And on Wednesday, hundreds of pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol building.
Despite previously encouraging them to go to the Capitol, President Trump urged the mob to “go home,” though in the same statement he continued to falsely claim he won the election. And after this, some are wondering whether it’s still safe for the president, and the lawmakers who challenged the vote certification process, to stay in office for the rest of his term.
I am drawing up Articles of Impeachment.
Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate.
We can’t allow him to remain in office, it’s a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 6, 2021
My first resolution in Congress will be to call for the expulsion of the Republican members of Congress who incited this domestic terror attack on the Capitol.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) January 6, 2021
Four people died on the Capitol grounds on Wednesday. Capitol Police appeared overwhelmed and underprepared for the insurrection. Many people noted the difference in law enforcement response between last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, D.C., when military helicopters flew low over the heads of protesters and chemical irritants were used on protesters to clear Lafayette Square for a presidential photo opportunity in front of St. John’s Church.
From The New York Times:
Inside the Capitol, an officer pleaded with a man in a green backpack, saying, “You guys just need to go outside.” When asked why they weren’t expelling the protesters, the officer said, “We’ve just got to let them do their thing now.”
As of 9:30 tonight, D.C. police had made 52 arrests.
On June 1, during BLM protests following George Floyd’s death, D.C. police made 289 arrests.
— ◥◤@kristoncapps (@kristoncapps) January 7, 2021
Congress worked through the night to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory early on Thursday morning. The president finally committed to an “orderly” transition (while continuing to insist he won the election).
After this fatal insurrection, where does the United States go from here? Who — and how — will these extremists be held accountable?
We’re talking with our audience about that question.
This post was updated to accurately count the number of pro-Trump insurrectionists were at the Capitol.