(March 26) One of the most distressing things about the Donald Trump movement is seeing putative “conservatives” make excuses for the 2021 Capitol rioters. The same people who usually defend police and castigate rowdy protesters suddenly jettison their law-and-order pretensions and join former President Donald Trump in describing rioters as “hostages” and “patriots.”

Progressive journalist Bill Lueders provided a necessary corrective on Tuesday for such morally indefensible rationalizations.

Lueders summarized the charges against 22 of the convicted rioters. They are, he writes, only a “small sampling” of those already convicted and sentenced for crimes on Jan. 6, 2021. Of the 1,358 people charged with crimes related to the Capitol incursion, the offenses of 486 (and counting) were for physical assault or abuse of law enforcement personnel.

Lueders began with Jeffrey Sabol of Kittredge, Colorado, who entered the Capitol “equipped with a ‘helmet, trauma kit, buck knife, and zip ties.’ Sabol was part of the mob that pushed against police lines until breaking through. He … and another rioter knocked an officer to the ground, whereupon Sabol yanked away his baton with so much force that ‘the officer’s torso was lifted off the ground.’ He dragged another officer down the steps and into the mob, where the officer was beaten with a flagpole and a baton.”

There was also Michael Joseph Foy, who threw a “sharp metal pole” into the crowd of officers and “then used the hockey stick he was carrying to attack police.” He hit police with the stick “at least eleven times, swinging away at their faces, heads, and necks ‘as if he were chopping wood with an ax.’”

And so on go the horrific accounts.

More than 140 law enforcement personnel were injured that day, many of them quite seriously. Testifying before Congress’s Jan. 6 committee, Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards told of being knocked unconscious, then awakening to see “just a war scene … officers on the ground. They were bleeding. They were throwing up. … I was slipping in people’s blood. I was catching people as they fell. It was carnage.”

Rioters entered the House chamber with zip ties and climbing gear, intending to take hostages. Many yelled for the execution of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Vice President Mike Pence. Some built gallows near the Capitol affixed with Pence’s name. Their goal was to stop the counting of official electoral votes. Those who entered the Capitol with that goal were not patriots but thugs, with some now having been sentenced for seditious conspiracy ….. [The full column is at this link.]


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