As Senators and members of Congress counted the 2020 electoral college votes—and a group of House Republicans, including Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Az.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) objected—Donald Trump supporters gathered at the Capitol steps, ultimately pushing past metal barricades and guards and entering the Capitol building.
As politicians discovered the terrifying reality of being threatened in an ostensibly inviolable space (as so many high schoolers have experienced firsthand over the last 20 yeas) and were shuttled to safety, the armed rioters wandered freely. On hand to capture their grinning, leering antics, Getty photographers quickly snapped and uploaded photos. The armed guards in charge of security were apparently no match for the MAGA braggadocio and determination—how else could a man end up sitting at Nancy Pelosi’s desk? And one assumes the selfies the guards took with rioters were part of a larger plan to identify them in the days to come.
The attack on the building came in the aftermath of yet another speech from Trump, in which he declared, “We will never give up; we will never concede.” Apparently taking that as tacit permission to enact a coup, his supporters surged up the steps, breaking windows, looting, waving Confederate flags, and stalking the halls demanding to know “where the fuck are they?” as the Republicans who supported Trump’s claims of election fraud hid from their constituents.
Thoughts and prayers to those lawmakers, now in an undisclosed location, who felt compelled to indulge in a dangerous election fraud fantasy with the President.
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