As more details of the apparent conspiracy headed by President Donald Trump to storm the U.S. Capitol building and prevent the electoral college certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory come to light, the United States finds itself on a dangerous precipe. 

The evidence of a conspiracy having take that is available to the public at the time of this writing is as follows:

  • Capitol Hill police chief Steven Sund said House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving declined to declare an emergency before the demonstration. He also revealed that “Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger suggested that Sund informally seek his Guard contacts, asking them to ‘lean forward’ and be on alert in case Capitol Police needed their help.”
  • Sund said that he requested backup six times prior to and during the mob storming the Capitol. All three have since resigned. 
  • Sund also said that his frantic request to the Pentagon for national guard deployment after the pro-Trump mob had already overrun police forces and entered the Capitol building was rejected, even as it was being broadcast around the world.
  • The Pentagon is now headed by a Trump loyalist who was recently installed from a low ranking position after Mark Esper was fired.
  • Numerous police officers and military personnel participated in the mob, including one on-duty Capitol Police officer who was seen wearing a MAGA hat.
  • “Stop The Steal” organizer Ali Alexander, in a now-deleted Periscope video, said that three Republican lawmakers helped him plan the insurrection. “We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting,” he explained. 
  • Several lawmakers have said that on January 5, they witnessed their Republican counterparts giving “reconnaissance” tours to Trump supporters who would go on to participate in the attack.

While the allegation of conspiracy must be proven in a court of law, the available evidence leaves little room for doubt.

Meanwhile, some on the left have downplayed the coup attempt as a mere “riot,” suggesting that it was unplanned or insignificant. Others have downplayed it, saying that regime change operations that the U.S. carries out with bipartisan support are much more deadly. While this is true, it in no way changes the fact that there was a coup attempt. Worse yet, it excuses white supremacist mob violence and its long history in the United States.

Brian Becker puts the January 6 insurrection in the historical context of the mob violence that ended the era of Reconstruction and enforced white rule in the Jim Crow south. Finally, Cohen and Becker discuss how neoliberal economics ultimately led to the coup attempt.

Feature photo | Members of the National Guard gather at the Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Jan. 13, 2021, in Washington as the House of Representatives continues with its fast-moving House vote to impeach President Donald Trump. Manuel Balce Ceneta | AP

Dan Cohen is a journalist and filmmaker. He has produced widely distributed video reports and print dispatches from across Israel-Palestine. Dan is a correspondent at RT America and tweets at @DanCohen3000.

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