By Raoul Lowery Contreras
At approximately 3 p.m. Washington time on Wednesday, elected members of Congress were forced to hide in their Capitol offices wearing gas masks as thousands of Trump supporters invaded the historic center of American democracy.
As of Wednesday night, a San Diego woman had been shot and killed, and three other people died of medical emergencies. Seventeen police officers were injured, and 52 people arrested.
Just before the mob stormed the Capitol, President Donald Trump spoke at a rally nearby, telling angry supporters, “We are going to walk down to the Capitol.”
Trump did not march with his mob, of course. Instead, as the violence unfolded, he was hiding out-of-sight in the White House, tweeting mixed messages to the rioters that earlier he had incited to march to the Capitol.
“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!” he tweeted.
That’s about it. Trump just sat in his office, or maybe in the White House Bunker, safely protected by armed Secret Service agents and probably U.S. Marines.
Much later, after Republican allies pleaded with him to do something, he issued a short video message appealing for calm, but also claiming, “I won in a landslide. Everyone knows it. This was a fraudulent election.”
Trump effectively quit being President of the United States on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 — if not on Nov. 3, 2020.
By nightfall, an overwhelming presence by Capitol and local police bolstered by National Guard units and state troopers had cleared the Capitol and surrounding area. Congress reconvened at 8 p.m. Washington time to certify Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.
American democracy was interrupted, but not stopped. Trump, however, is finished.
Discussion is apparently underway about invoking the 25th Amendment to relieve him of his duties. Sources close to Trump suggest that he is now “out of his mind.”
In any event, his presidency is over.
The capitol had not been breached since 1814 when British troops burned it. Trump’s mob was just as bad.
Raoul Lowery Contreras is a Marine Corps veteran, political consultant and author of the new book White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPS) & Mexicans. His work has appeared in the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate.