A friend and I were chatting about this clip earlier today and he put it well: It’s one of those things that’s bad if it’s true and bad if it’s false. If Democrat Mikie Sherrill is talking out of her ass here about Republican colleagues leading “reconnaissance” tours, she should be disciplined. Passions are hot enough right now without members of Congress casually accusing each other of conspiring in a terrorist attack.
If Sherrill *isn’t* talking out of her ass, that’s a problem of another magnitude.
And there’s at least some circumstantial evidence that she isn’t. Watch, then read on.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) said Tuesday that she witnessed colleagues escorting people through the Capitol on Jan. 5 for what she described as "reconnaissance" ahead of the next day's insurrection.
— POLITICO (@politico) January 13, 2021
One obvious possibility: What if Republican members did give tours of the Capitol to constituents on January 5 but didn’t think that those people were using it to scope out the premises? We could justifiably call them idiots for not anticipating what would happen the next day and how a pre-attack tour of the Capitol might facilitate it, but being an idiot isn’t a crime. Knowing participation in a seditious conspiracy is.
Here’s something else that makes me suspicious of whether Democrats have the goods here. A photo is circulating today of MAGA Rep. Lauren Boebert supposedly posing with a group of “rioters” who were in town before the Capitol attack. But it’s a lie:
This Lauren Boebert picture that's getting misleadingly promoted as a Jan. 5 pic in front of the US Capitol is actually a Dec. 2019 picture from outside Colorado's state capitol. Here's the source article: https://t.co/AtZEteLKmb pic.twitter.com/BuseXXFE9Z
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) January 13, 2021
Boebert wouldn’t be wearing short sleeves in Washington outdoors on January 5. She’s being smeared here.
I’d leave it there if it were only Sherrill throwing accusations like this around, but it isn’t. There’s an ongoing uproar over this still-unexplained Boebert tweet during the attack last Wednesday:
EVIDENCE: This Coup Klux Klan member gave her terrorist friends the location of a woman second in line to the presidency during an attack on the Capitol. https://t.co/pjuaUTBJLB
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) January 12, 2021
Our old friend Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also alleged last night during online commentary that she believed not all of her Republican colleagues could be trusted:
In the midst of the chaos, the lawmaker revealed on Tuesday night, she also experienced “a pretty traumatizing event” that left her fearing for her life.
“I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die,” she said, noting she couldn’t get into specifics for security reasons. “I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive.”…
As the pro-Trump rioters streamed into the Capitol on Jan. 6, lawmakers were told to take refuge in a protected “extraction point.” But Ocasio-Cortez said she did not feel safe doing so “because there were QAnon and white-supremacist sympathizers and, frankly, white-supremacist members of Congress in that extraction point who I know and who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, et cetera.”
“So I didn’t even feel safe around other members of Congress,” she concluded. She did not say where she took shelter instead.
Is that just AOC being AOC or is there intelligence unknown to the public that some Republicans in Congress were in on this? Chew on this too:
Drew Griffin @CNN reporting Capitol insurrection Stop the Steal organizer Ali Alexander said he was getting help from three members of Congress (Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks).
— Alexa O'Brien (@alexadobrien) January 12, 2021
There was plenty of rhetorical incitement by reps like Gosar and Brooks before the attack. Also bear in mind that members of Congress have received terrifying briefings about the threat to the inauguration over the past two days. This detail from the HuffPost’s sweaty account of those briefings continues to haunt me:
One topic of discussion was the need to put every member of Congress through a metal detector before the inauguration. A member on the call told HuffPost that there was an “eyes-wide-open realization” that Capitol Police needed to take precautions against “all these members who were in league with the insurrectionists who love to carry their guns.”
“You can’t just let them bypass security and walk right up to [Joe] Biden and [Kamala] Harris at inauguration,” this lawmaker told HuffPost.
I don’t know what to make of it. It’s perfectly plausible that Dems are smearing the MAGA members of the GOP caucus like Boebert, treating them as if they’re homicidal psychopaths because they just survived a close encounter with actual homicidal psychopaths from the MAGA movement last week. But is it also possible that there’s evidence that some House Republicans coordinated with the rioters?
I just don’t know — although it’s verrrry curious that metal detectors were installed outside the House chamber yesterday for the first time in the history of the country. Normally it’s unthinkable that any member would need to fear being assassinated by a colleague but that’s clearly what the detectors are meant to signal. It could be that that’s just Pelosi and Steny Hoyer pulling a stunt to signal how little Republicans should be trusted after the riot. But it could also be that the detectors are there for a reason. As it happens, a bunch of Republicans — led by Lauren Boebert — took exception to having to pass through the detectors last night and refused to go through them. Is that something to worry about?
No idea. That’s where we are in America now. Now that the Capitol’s been sacked by fellow travelers of this creature…
…it’s at least *thinkable* that there’s more to installing the metal detectors than a PR stunt by House Democrats. And if there is, if there’s some evidence that a member of Congress was in league with the rioters, it hopefully goes without saying that that member should be criminally charged and expelled from the House. Unanimously.
I’ll leave you with the two clips below as a gloss on what members of Congress are facing right now. The latest news from D.C. is that the Pentagon is preparing for the inauguration by arming the National Guard, expecting that they may be put in a position of having to fire back on January 20, not just do crowd control. Quote: “One Defense Department official said law enforcement agencies are planning for a range of outcomes, including a worse-case scenario in which people with firearms try to attack dignitaries, ‘suicide-type aircraft’ try to fly into the capital’s restricted airspace and even remote-controlled drones that could be used to attack the crowd.” The Secret Service is starting to deploy military and police assets six days before the inauguration to make sure that as much as possible is fortified. “Threats they fear include a plot by armed groups to encircle the White House or the U.S. Capitol and the inauguration event, as well as the possibility that gunmen could stage coordinated attacks against less-fortified targets in the city,” says WaPo, describing “a level of concern [among agents] unlike anything in their careers.” It can’t be long before we hear about the military considering checkpoints on roads into Washington. This is where Trumpism has led us.
Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon reveals:
– Rioters tased officers and beat them with pipes
– One tried to shoot an officer with his own gun
– One will “likely lose an eye” and others have head injuries pic.twitter.com/VwWwBZZYAn
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) 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