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The Insurrection: Trump’s Coup Attempt Laid Bare

At the end of a tumultuous week, the insurrection of January 6, 2021 grabbed the headlines with Thursday night’s nationally televised, prime time congressional hearing, and Donald Trump's traitorous plan to hold onto power despite his election defeat was laid bare.

As I watched the riveting hearing, I switched back and forth to Fox News, where Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham all swore that the insurrection and the congressional hearings were nothing more than a Democratic hoax. They told us not to believe our own lying eyes.

If it wasn’t so sad for our country, I might have laughed out loud. But, almost 50 percent of our population believe Fox News propaganda, which makes the network’s rhetoric dangerous. Fox News is dangerously close to violating 1stAmendment protections by spewing this garbage, night after night after night.

The hearing included never-before seen footage from security cameras that showed what can only be called a “mob” of Trump supporters swarming the Capitol grounds, defying, seriously injuring, or killing law enforcement officials. So much for right-leaning cries to “back the blue.” Pro-cop Republicans were nowhere to be found.

The Committee took immediate aim at Trump, showing footage that demonstrated how the crowd took his cues. One rioter (what else can you call them? They were not peaceful protestors as the former president would have you believe) read a Trump tweet on a megaphone, criticizing Vice President Pence for refusing to violate his constitutional oath and help prevent the lawful transition of power.

The Committee introduced the public to what it called President Trump’s “sophisticated seven-part plan” to stay in power:

1. A massive effort to spread false information to the public claiming (falsely) that the election was stolen.

2. A corrupt plan to fire the attorney general and replace him with someone who would support his fraudulent election claims

3. His corrupt pressure of Pence to refuse to certify the election results

4. His corrupt pressure of state election officials and legislators to change election results

5. His legal team and other associates ordering state Republicans to create false electoral slates and transmit those slates as the actual result

6. He incited the insurrection, summoned, and assembled the mob

7. While the violent insurrection unfolded, he watched on television, refused pleas for assistance, and failed to take any steps to stop the seditious activity.

One supporter promised to “lay down his life” for the cause. Others shouted, “hang Mike Pence” and erected makeshift noose and gallows. Still others attacked Nancy Pelosi’s office screaming her name. The violent attack injured 140 police officer and caused multiple deaths. Trump’s reaction? Here’s what he told these murderers:

“We love you. You’re very special . . . I know how you feel . . . go home in peace.”

According to Liz Chaney, the committee vice-chair, Trump was aware of the mob’s threats to “Hang Mike Pence.” The former president’s reaction:

“Maybe our supporters have the right idea.” Mike Pence “deserves it.”

America was re-introduced to the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, White supremacists who the former president told to “stand back and stand by” during one of the 2020 presidential debates. Group leaders testified that they viewed his order as a call to arms.

But the most compelling moments of the hearings came from the live testimony of U S Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards. Seriously injured by the rioters, she described her job as a duty to “protect America’s symbol of democracy.” She described being knocked unconscious, suffering a traumatic brain injury, and being subjected to vicious right-leaning public shaming. The “proud granddaughter” of a marine who fought in the Korean War, Edwards had this grandfather (me) in tears when she said:

“I am my grandfather’s granddaughter, proud to put on a uniform and serve my country. They dared to question my honor. They dared to question my loyalty. And they dared to question my duty. I am a proud American, and I will gladly sacrifice everything to make sure that the America my grandfather defended is her for many years to come.”

While Fox News was peddling its fantasyland version of events and refusing to televise the actual hearings, Trump’s Attorney General, William Barr (R) testified that Trump’s allegations of voter fraud were “bullshit.”

Trump spokesman, Jason Miller (R) testified that Trump was told in “pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose.” Even the former president’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, offered testimony that the election was not stolen.

Trump campaign lawyer Alex Cannon summed in all up, testifying that he told Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in mid-to-late November that Trump had lost the election. “There’s no there there,” he testified telling Meadows.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy who once said that Trump “bears responsibility” for the January 6th attacks and later cozied up to the former president, has become a focus of the committee’s investigation. He was “scared” on January 6 and “begged the president” for help. He called many members of Trump’s own family after failing to persuade the president to come to his senses.

General Mark Milley testified that Meadows called him about the fact that Trump refused to act and that it was Vice President Pence who ordered additional military assistance:

“We have to kill the narrative that the vice president is making all the decisions. We need to establish the narrative, you know, that the president is still in charge and that things are steady and stable or words to that effect.”

Milley continued:

“I immediately interpreted that as politics, politics, politics. Red Flag for me . . .”

General, thank you for your candor. Politics, indeed. Much more to come, my fellow citizens.

The committee’s second hearing is tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Mark M. Bello is an attorney and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series, ripped-from-the headlines, realistic fiction that speak truth to power and champion the rights of citizens in our justice system. These novels, dedicated to the social justice movement, are not only enjoyable, they educate, spark discussion and inspire readers to action. For more information, please visit Mark also hosts the Justice Counts podcast with Lean to the Left editor & publisher Bob Gatty, presenting bi-weekly interviews focused on social justice.

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