Here is what we know so far about Wednesday’s events: (I fully acknowledge this is only a partial list)
- The vast majority of the rioters/insurgents were Trump supporters. FBI Assistant Director Seven D’Antuono said Friday that there is no evidence to support the claim that the antifa members disguised themselves as Trump supporters and instigated the riot.
- At least some insurrectionists came to the Capitol planning to exact “the ultimate price” from lawmakers, including setting up a gallows outside the Capitol, chants of “Hang Mike Pence, Hang Mike Pence,” and Cleveland Meredith who came to D.C. from Colorado to execute Nancy Pelosi on live TV.
- Multiple weapons were found in the Capitol, on the grounds and in personal vehicles of protestors, including pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, assault rifles, handguns, bear spray, flashbangs and zip-tie “handcuffs.”
- Capitol Hill police tried to keep the crowd out, at least at some entrances, crushing one officer in a door. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman faced down a mob and got them to chase him upstairs and away from the open doors to the Senate chamber, giving them two extra minutes to seal the doors.
- This video begins with rioters shouting “We can take that place!” When asked “Then what?,” they responded with “Heads on pikes! Heads on Pikes!” It also seems to show Capitol Hill police telling a member of the press they cannot come in, while letting the rioters go by unhindered.
- A metro police officer was dragged down the Capitol steps and brutally beaten. With a pole flying the American flag. Chanting “USA. USA. USA.” Acting chief of the Metro Police said that 56 officers were injured and one was hospitalized “after being dragged into the crowd, beaten, kicked and shocked with a stun gun.”
- A Capitol Hill policeman died at his own hand this weekend, after the events of Wednesday.
- There are additional “Armed March” insurrections planned for this weekend, including in Utah.
- Lawmakers were potentially exposed to COVID-19 during the Capitol lockdown because someone in that room is positive for the virus.
What we don’t know
- The intelligence chatter leading up to Wednesday was a serious cause for alarm but law enforcement presence seemed to be low-key and when help was called for, it was denied multiple times and took hours to finally get approved. Why?
- Some police seemed to stand by and allow rioters in. Why?
- How big the surge in COVID cases will be among rioters, especially as they return to their respective states.
- Why President Trump did not call the family of Officer Brian Sicknick, beaten to death with a fire extinguisher.
- Although there are indications of ongoing riots in the face of a Biden/Harris win, no one is quite sure what will happen going forward, both in the short-term and the long-term.