I haven’t paid much attention to the January 6, 2021, demonstration in Washington because it was not one of the 50 worst U.S. riots in the 12 months that bracketed it. It wasn’t even the most destructive riot, or the second most destructive, in Washington during that time.
If you want to see a destructive riot, come to Minneapolis. But none of the Minneapolis rioters were arrested, held in solitary confinement for a year or more, and ultimately tried and sentenced for…not actually being violent. Because their riot was approved by the Democratic Party.
What was really notable about the January 6 event was not that a few hundred partisans (plus an unknown number of FBI agents) were sufficiently exercised about the election to besiege the Capitol. What was notable was the astonishing failure of security that let them in. At one entrance, Capitol guards opened the doors and apparently welcomed a large number of protesters, who entered the building, staying between the velvet rope lines, taking selfies. I think that is how most of the protesters who entered the Capitol got there. At least one criminal defendant has been acquitted on the ground that he had every reason to believe he was being invited into the building as a tourist.
None of the protesters was armed, so in the end, the only person who was killed–lies of the New York Times and Joe Biden notwithstanding–was Ashli Babbitt.
Now, House Republicans have issued a report on the real scandal of January 6: the inexplicable absence of Capitol security. I haven’t had time to read the report; those who have should weigh in via comments. The Daily Wire has a summary and comments on the report:
[F]ailures include Pelosi and Democrat leadership being closely involved in security decisions, which excluded Republican lawmakers from key meetings and conversations related to House security. The report further noted that Democratic leadership showed widespread concern about “optics” over the early deployment of protecting the grounds with the U.S. National Guard.
It has long been reported that President Trump pleaded with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to beef up security in advance of the January 6 demonstration, but Bowser refused to do so. Bowser was in charge of D.C. law enforcement, Pelosi in charge of Capitol security.
Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned after the riot, told The Washington Post that the House speaker’s authorities turned down requests for preemptive deployment of the National Guard six times before January 6.
Sund also reportedly testified that then-House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving said “optics” were the reason for not sending in the National Guard.
On February 9, 2022, Pelosi reportedly said she has “no power over the Capitol Police.”
“This is false,” the report reads. “Documents provided by the House Sergeant at Arms show how [Irving] carried out his duties in clear deference to the Speaker, her staff, and other Democratic staff.
More at the link. Was the January 6 photo op–there was almost no actual violence, other than the shooting of Ashli Babbitt–caused by incompetence on the part of the Democratic officials who were responsible for Capitol security? Or did they foresee the political advantage that could be gained by characterizing the protest as an “insurrection”? We likely will never know.
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