On Jan. 6, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) walked outdoors the U.S. Capitol, turned to a crowd of protesters and infamously saluted them with a raised fist earlier than going inside to attempt to throw out November’s election outcomes.
About an hour later, a few of these protesters broke by means of police barricades and stormed up the steps of the Capitol, the place the mob smashed on the door till they gained entry to the constructing and a melee with regulation enforcement awaited.
Hawley insisted earlier this week that he was saluting peaceable protesters and has maintained that he did nothing to encourage the violence that day.
“I don’t know which of those protesters, if any of them, those demonstrators, participated in the criminal riot,” Hawley stated Tuesday throughout a live event with The Washington Post, calling it a “slur” to say they had been all rioters.
But it’s ridiculous for Hawley to counsel he waved to a peaceable crowd and that he couldn’t presumably know if any of these individuals had been a part of the riot after he went inside. Photos and movies from that day present that many individuals on the east aspect of the Capitol had been keen individuals within the day’s occasions. HuffPost, working with members of the Sedition Hunters group and the group Capitol Terrorists Exposers, endeavored to assist Hawley resolve the query of whether or not he’d saluted rioters on Jan. 6. The conclusion? He did.
Hawley waved to the gang from throughout the Capitol plaza shortly earlier than 1 p.m. At a distance of about 200 ft, it will have been powerful for him to see all of the individuals very clearly.
I don’t know which of these protesters, if any of them, these demonstrators, participated within the legal riot.
Hawley couldn’t have seen the contingent of Proud Boys, together with the now-incarcerated Joseph Biggs and Ethan Nordean, that briefly visited the east aspect of the Capitol, according to a video taken that day. But he might have recognized they had been in Washington and that there had already been violence and arrests. Members of Congress had been warned to make use of the Capitol’s underground tunnels to succeed in the House chamber.
Videos from the east aspect of the Capitol that day additionally present Keith Lee, who later infiltrated the Rotunda, speaking about how the barricades wouldn’t be strong enough to hold people back and telling a crowd he would “risk life, limb and injury.” Another a part of the video exhibits a person screaming “storm the Capitol” into a bullhorn. During a livestream interview (that was deleted however seen by HuffPost), Ann Vandersteel, a podcaster, reported that “a lot of people are talking about storming the Capitol if [the Electoral College vote certification] isn’t done the right way.”
Most of the combating and violence occurred on the west aspect of the Capitol, however protesters on the east aspect, the place Hawley raised his fist, additionally fought police. Roughly an hour after Hawley’s look, on the similar location, violent rioters pushed previous the barricades and an enormous crowd flooded towards the constructing’s heart steps, as seen within the video under. Few stayed behind.
Many stormed proper as much as the doorways of the constructing, overwhelming the police who tried to cease them. Why wouldn’t they? They believed that the election was stolen and that Joe Biden was about to usurp the American presidency. Mass delusional perception in Trump’s voter fraud conspiracy theories, as some regulation enforcement officers warned HuffPost simply days after Biden’s victory, invited violence.
So what did Hawley see? He stated Tuesday that when he stood there an hour earlier than the riot exploded, he noticed “demonstrators who were out there on the far end of the plaza on the east side standing behind barricades waving American flags,” including that they’d each proper to be there.
The photographer who captured the senator’s raised fist additionally took a couple of photos of the gang arrayed alongside the barricades on the east aspect of the Capitol.
The picture exhibits a person in a black hoodie yelling right into a bullhorn and a lady in a crimson jacket resting her arms on the barricade. The image was taken shortly earlier than Hawley arrived on the plaza. All cool and authorized.
But right here’s the person within the hoodie in one other picture, taken roughly an hour later, in roughly the identical location, proper after the gang fought police to get previous the barricades.
And the girl in crimson pops up in photos and movies of the mob on the steps. (Look on the backside left nook of this video.)
This week, throughout an occasion selling his guide, Hawley stated the individuals protesting Trump’s election loss had been overwhelmingly peaceable.
“All last summer we heard over and over it’s important to distinguish between the peaceful protesters at the BLM protests and the rioters,” he stated. “I agreed with that then. I said that then. I think the same is true of those on January 6.”
Set apart what Hawley really stated final summer season about Black Lives Matter protests: “Let’s just be clear. These are not peaceful protests that we are seeing across the country. They are violent and increasingly violent riots and attacks and looting.” In the research tabulating whether protests were peaceful or not, any stories of accidents or arrests meant an occasion didn’t depend as peaceable. The overwhelming majority did; the Capitol riot didn’t.
Pro-Trump protesters had the precise to reveal outdoors of the obstacles that surrounded the Capitol advanced ― however to not blow previous these safety obstacles and enter restricted grounds, overwhelm regulation enforcement and break into the constructing. Under regular circumstances, it will’ve earned them a pair of flex cuffs courtesy of the U.S. Capitol Police.
When the pro-Trump mob stormed previous the police line on the western entrance of the Capitol, they knocked a feminine Capitol Police officer unconscious. One Trump fan charged in her assault at a barricade advised undercover FBI brokers it was “fucking fun.” Then the mob brawled with police and used chemical weapons towards Capitol Police officers, one among whom died the following day.
The violent rioters on the entrance of the mob used the dimensions of the gang to their benefit, telling cops there was nothing they might do to cease them. Eventually, the Capitol attackers, as soon as once more backed by a mob of hundreds, fought their solution to a Capitol entrance and engaged in a prolonged, violent battle. Several officers had been dragged into the gang and overwhelmed by Trump supporters who thought they had been combating for America.
When Trump fanatic Danny “D.J.” Rodriguez, carrying a “Make America Great Again” hat, electroshocked D.C. Police Officer Mike Fanone, there have been hundreds of Trump supporters behind him. Some of them could not have realized how brutal issues had been up entrance, however even their illegal presence on Capitol grounds made it not possible for police to achieve management over the state of affairs. As the violent mob closed round Fanone, one Capitol defendant (who was captured on video throwing a water bottle on the officer as he was dragged farther and farther into the indignant mob) stated he noticed “death” within the officer’s eyes.
The defendant later claimed to the FBI that he regretted not serving to Fanone. Some of the opposite members of the mob did ultimately come to Fanone’s support. He survived. But by becoming a member of the mob that was storming the Capitol, the unlawful protesters had contributed to a state of affairs that left Fanone combating for his life.
Fanone has grow to be one of the recognizable victims of the pro-Trump mob, and he lately known as out politicians who (like Hawley) have tried to “whitewash” and “downplay” what occurred on Jan. 6.
“The indifference shown to my colleagues and I is disgraceful,” Fanone stated in a letter to members of Congress this week.
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