The Democratic presentation is ongoing as I write this but the new footage they promised this morning is having the desired impact on social media. Two themes to the clips so far. One: There were a *lot* of close encounters that day between lawmakers and the mob. Two: The violence against cops really did get brutal at points.
The clip getting the most attention is this one of Mitt Romney wandering towards a position where he might well have run into rioters, who were at that point already inside the building. The man who came racing along at full speed to turn him around is Officer Eugene Goodman, whose name you may already know from his heroic actions to steer the mob away from the Senate chamber when they were just feet away from entering it.
There’s no mystery what would have happened to Romney, the lone Republican vote to impeach Trump, if he had suddenly found himself in the presence of violent, crazed Trump fans. People willing to beat a cop just because he’s in their way would be willing to do worse to one of their hero’s chief antagonists.
Romney, sitting in the chamber just now, was stoic and didn't move when the Senate was shown this video showing Officer Goodman saving him from the mob pic.twitter.com/MGG74ulZDF
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 10, 2021
Romney said after the video aired that he had no idea he’d had a brush with death that close. The mob nearly caught up to Pence as well, another guy who almost certainly wouldn’t have survived the encounter. We already knew how close this call was, but pay attention to the dots on the map of the Capitol in the video to get a sense of how little distance there was between Pence and his persecutors.
Wow. Security footage I haven’t seen before lays out just how close the Trump mob came to having an opportunity to get their hands on Mike Pence pic.twitter.com/apUGBnwcte
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 10, 2021
Democrats were threatened too, of course. Chuck Schumer, one of the most well-known liberals in the country, had to turn tail and retreat because his security detail also inadvertently nearly led him into a face-to-face confrontation with the rioters:
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer came within yards of rioters, says Swalwell, showing footage of Schumer and his security detail heading down a hallway and then bolting back in the opposite direction seconds later. pic.twitter.com/BdTF2M3vnz
— Jacob Rubashkin (@JacobRubashkin) February 10, 2021
Nancy Pelosi’s staff sheltered in an office, only to find the mob suddenly right outside the door and one man flinging himself against it, trying to break it down:
Newly released security video shows several Speaker Pelosi staffers rushing into a room in which they'd barricade themselves.
7 minutes later, Capitol rioters attempt to enter the room.
"They're pounding on doors trying to find" Speaker Pelosi, one staffer is heard whispering. pic.twitter.com/1Xj9UxMzdQ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 10, 2021
Not everyone was lucky enough to dodge an attack. Cops were in the thick of it and found out firsthand how many of these degenerates really mean it when they say they “back the blue”:
Damn. Here’s video of rioters beating officers with, among other things, a Trump flag pic.twitter.com/04hM0WL2CI
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 10, 2021
You watch the footage here, especially the close encounters with Pence and Romney, and you realize that only the brains and guts of the police plus extraordinary luck prevented the outright murder of a public official to whom Trump was antagonistic. And then you reflect on the fact that if the mob had torn Pence or Romney or both of them apart and Trump had tweeted “too bad, so sad!” afterward, there still wouldn’t be 67 votes to convict.
I’ll leave you with this tweet posted the night before the attack, which very clearly implied that things could get rough the next day. It was so clear that I wrote about it that evening, as we were all hunkering down waiting for the results from the Georgia Senate runoffs. “There was never a question that it would come to this once he started digging in on the idea that he was cheated, only a question of how explicit the threats of violence would become,” I said. “I don’t know that I’d bet on him tweeting ‘time to riot!’ at some point, but I wouldn’t bet against it. Pelosi and McConnell should be prepared to act.” Eighteen hours later his fans rioted at the Capitol and three days later he was banned permanently from Twitter because the administrators of the site just couldn’t be sure anymore whether he might start issuing out-and-out calls to mob violence. To anyone who wanted to see what he was up to, it was plain as day.