Joint Session of Congress to Confirm Electoral Vote: Open Thread

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his food writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast. Subscribe to Andrew's Heard Tell SubStack for free here:

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140 Responses

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    PBS editing standards are slipping, the misspelled ‘histronic’ in the very first line!Report

  2. Slade the Leveller says:

    Sure, NOW the police renounce brutality.

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    Senate evacuated as Trump’s brownshirts storm at his request.Report

  4. jason says:

    Now we can see that their love of the confederate flag wasn’t about heritage; it was about treason. Jesus Christ, these traitors.Report

  5. Saul Degraw says:

    Things are getting serious and Trump of course if refusing to let the DOD send in the troops to quell things down. This is a coup attempt:

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      The House needs to impeach and the Senate needs to remove Trump now. We all know that the Republicans won’t do the right thing. Senator Hawley apparently fist greeted the protestors today.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      A coup of what, though? There is no end game here.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        sure there is. Keep Trump in power and end democratic government.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H says:

          Or, equally bad:
          Make the point that any attempt by the people to install a democratically elected government will be met with violence and chaos.

          This is playing out in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Oregon, and wherever the people dare to remove Republicans from power.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Philip H says:

          That’s an idealistic goal, not an end game. An end game requires an actual method by which the goal is realized. They only way that Trump stays in power is if the government we have is dissolved.

          I don’t see a couple hundred right wing nuts getting that to happen.Report

      • veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        This is a mob that uncritically believes that the Vice President can just arbitrarily decide to overturn the election. It is an attempted coup, even if it is an idiotic and impotent coup.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to veronica d says:

          This is as good a point as any to note how idiotic and impotent the Beer Hall Putsch was. Until it wasn’t.Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Notice Hitler changed tactics and worked the system to his advantage. That is the danger to guard against, and one that is devilishly hard to guard against.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

              Yes, and part of “working the system” is to “work the refs”; That is, to intimidate and cow the guardians of the system to where they are hesitant to confront you and enforce the rules.

              Notice how timid the police here were, how hesitant the enforcers are even now.

              Fear works. Intimidation works.

              Unless someone stands up to say it doesn’t.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d says:

          I didn’t say it wasn’t a coup, just that it has no end game. You can’t just take over a building and declare yourself in charge. The organs of the state have to acknowledge the new authority.

          I don’t see that happening.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            I agree with Oscar. It’s fine to call it a coup… but its not a coup. Or, another way, it’s exactly the quality of coup one would expect from DJT.

            The legal ramifications for some of those folks? Ouch, the law doesn’t distinguish between stupid and smart coups.Report

            • veronica d in reply to Marchmaine says:

              I honestly hope there is an immediate impeachment — including conviction in the senate — just so Trump cannot unilaterally pardon these fascists.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to veronica d says:

                Sure, I think this is impeachable or 25th worthy… but as we note downthread, I’m not sure congress is capable of procedurally carrying out an impeachment in 14-days.

                I’m curious if the constitution specifies whether the an impeachment process that is started must terminate if the person is no longer in office? Like if they resign? Or whether the impeachment could continue and skip (or affirm) removal and continue to the disqualification for future office stage?Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        The endgame is to keep Trump in power. It might be poorly planned or not even planned at all. They might be a morons missing a few steps and getting mocked and with inadequate means for success but this is not behavior that should be tolerated in any democracy. The primary keystone of democracy is a peaceful transition of power. A side loses, takes its lumps, and tries again at the next election.

        This is not what happened here. Trump is having a dementia addled temper tantrum and he was aided and abetted by cynical elites looking to increase their power and who happen to hate the opposition anyway and see it as illegitimate. As much as Democrats grumbled about 2000, 2004, and 2016, we did not storm the Capitol.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        A coup of what, though? There is no end game here.

        The end game is for Trump to retain the presidency. That’s the coup attempt. Perhaps you’re thinking “oh, hey, he can’t do that, it’s against the law!” Being against the law is part of the definition of a coup. Maybe you’re thinking “sure, but he’ll never get away with it”. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t attempting it.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Stillwater says:

          An end game requires a viable path to victory. It’s not the goal, it’s the strategy.

          For example, we didn’t really have an end game for invading Iraq a second time.

          Earlier this year, Mali had a coup, and were able to get the government to dissolve, they had an end game. There was some kind of path by which they were able to remove the existing power structure by force.

          In the US, that isn’t really possible without decapitating both the federal government and a large percentage of the state governments. Kill everyone in the House and Senate and the states will just fill the vacancies and move on as soon as the military puts down the rebellion.

          An end game requires having control of the military, and the federal bureaucracy, and a large number of state governments (enough to hold a majority). Or it requires killing all the same and being able to move into the power vacuum.

          Storming the Hill and delaying the counting, even if you hold the Hill and delay the count until January 20th doesn’t keep Trump in office after Noon. At noon, his presidency ends, and Pelosi steps into the role of POTUS until the count can be finished. And this is important because the federal bureaucracy, and the Military, will, at noon, stop obeying orders from Trump, because his orders will no longer have the force of law.

          It was a coup attempt, but the fools had no end game, just an idealistic goal (maybe, because it looks like they mostly just wanted to break/steal shit and pose for selfies).Report

  6. InMD says:

    Any excuse for the people you like becomes license for the people you don’t in a terrible race to the bottom.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to InMD says:

      A trenchant insight.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to InMD says:

      My 16-yo daughter surprised me after I pointed her to the news… she said, “Now Pence should invoke the 25th… I wonder if he has the cabinet support” I can’t say that we’ve discussed the 25th ever? Certainly not in the past couple of years since it wasn’t topical.

      I have to agree… if he has the support, he should do it… if he doesn’t, he should publicly propose it and make it the Cabinet’s problem.Report

      • InMD in reply to Marchmaine says:

        100% agreed.Report

        • InMD in reply to InMD says:

          Hell if Congress has the ability to do it in a timely fashion I’d attempt to impeach again. This situation is why the power exists.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to InMD says:

            Sure… I’m in favor of de-lawyerfying the process anyway. But realistically even the most simple gears of congress don’t turn anywhere near fast enough.Report

            • Philip H in reply to Marchmaine says:

              its not that hard. The lone article could be two or three sentences with the transcript of his call on Saturday pasted into it. a good intern could crank it out in about ten minutes.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Philip H says:

                Eh… there are things that need doing, notices posted, documents exchanged, meetings scheduled, etc. etc. I’m not saying it’s impossible, just that I don’t know how feasible it is to work within the parliamentary framework and the rules of the House/Senate.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Marchmaine says:

                My assumption is that they treat this as a critical emergency and forgo the normal procedures. I’m aware that congress has rules, but congress can also bypass their own procedures if they see fit. Who would tell them not to? The president cannot. The courts cannot.

                They would have to adhere to the constitution, but the constitution says very little about the exact procedure, except that the chief justice presides. I guess it would depend on the degree the chief justice was willing to fast track the proceeding.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to veronica d says:

                Yeah, I don’t know (in the genuine don’t know kinda way)… even suspending procedures requires procedures. And the Senate has their own… and there are procedures that govern how the two houses interact with each other.

                Maybe our resident parliamentarian Mr. Cain could shed some light on this…Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to veronica d says:

                “This is an EMERGENCY, we need to BYPASS NORMAL PROCEDURE and JUST GET THIS PROBLEM SOLVED” is probably not an idea that you want to normalize.Report

      • Fish in reply to Marchmaine says:

        These 16-year-olds…I have one, too, and he constantly surprises me with what he knows. “I watched a video on YouTube” doesn’t always have to mean garbage.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Fish says:

          Yeah, we preferred it when we knew exactly what she didn’t know.

          Of course on Twitter I said she was 3… I have a brand to maintain, you know.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

        Pence should be talking about the 25th Amendment, Pelosi should file articles of impeachment, McConnell should be signaling that those articles will have a floor vote immediately without debate. All that. And more! But we’ll end up getting what we deserve.Report

        • veronica d in reply to Stillwater says:

          For impeachment, the constitution requires a senate trial overseen by the chief justice. The senate can certainly relax their own rules, but they cannot ignore the constitution.

          Now, if they can convince the chief justice to move immediately to a floor vote, then awesome, but does that seem likely?Report

  7. LeeEsq says:

    Capitol Police are taking selfies with the Freikorps.Report

  8. Fish says:

    Twitter hasn’t disabled President Buchanan’s account, but they’ve disabled being able to comment or retweet on at least one of his tweets.Report

  9. DavidTC says:

    Oh, how nice of the police. I go do something else for 30 minutes, and come back and the police are very slowly getting people to move off the steps.

    That’s normal police behavior at riots.Report

    • Philip H in reply to DavidTC says:

      Just remember – if they were all black they’d all be dead by now.Report

    • Pinky in reply to DavidTC says:

      This is when consistency pays off. For a year we’ve been told that there’s a difference between protestors and rioters. Fine. If people are outside the building, let’s call them protestors, and have the police de-escalate and disperse them. If people break in, let’s call them rioters and have the police shoot them. Non-lethal outside, lethal inside. Anyone have a problem with that?Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Pinky says:

        I’m OK with that.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Pinky says:

        They forced their way past static barriers into locations that they clearly weren’t allowed. Not with any sort of pressure of a mob being shoved by the police behind them (Which is common), but just…deciding to move them and go past.

        If that sort of behavior is ‘officially’ still a protest…okay. If the line we are drawing is ‘smashing windows and entering buildings’ is the ‘riot’ threshold, and as long as you stay outside, it’s a protest and you’re a protestor…I am okay with us deciding that is the formal line.

        But, of course, it’s not going to be. For one thing, it makes almost _no one_ during the BLM protests ‘rioters’, not even some people I was willing to classify under that.

        As soon as it’s the left protesting, it will be back to ‘crowds jeering at police’ are a ‘riot’.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

          They didn’t force their way past the barriers.

          The cops opened the barriers up:


          • Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird says:

            MetroPD/Capitol Police needs a culling.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

              Maybe we can finally have a conversation about the 4 or 5 or 6 things that would need to happen to reform the police.Report

            • Philip H in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

              Two separate agencies. Capitol Police are federal officers under the direction of the Sergeant at Arms. Unfortunately, they are too used to enabling protestors because their bosses are all about political optics.

              DC Metro PD would be happy to have quelled this but they have no jurisdiction on the capitol grounds absent an invitation by the Capitol Police.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Philip H says:

                Good info, I can never keep the jurisdictions straight (had the same problem when I lived in Madison, WI, between MPD and the WCP).Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Philip H says:

                Although that makes me wonder who on the Hill decided to OK this little stunt?Report

              • InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Facts still coming out obviously but I suspect this is one of those things where 15 seconds of recording is misleading. I’ve seen other longer video posted showing that lots of people were already passed. It’s possible the removal was to keep the barriers from being used as weapons.Report

              • InMD in reply to InMD says:

                Actually more info on that. Doesn’t take responsibility off the shoulders of Trump but there may be some egg on Muriel Bowser’s face when the smoke clears. I doubt she will be the only one. Below article is from immediately before the rally/riot/whatever.


              • Philip H in reply to InMD says:

                once again – DC as a city has NO jurisdiction over much of the ground within its borders. Even had Mayor Bowser requested additional federal law enforcement presence she would have had no authority to send them to the Capitol. I know this isn’t how the rest of the world works, but DC isn’t the rest of the world.

                Hell, the FBI has a Uniformed Police Division who’s main jobs are guarding the Hoover Building (a building full of fully trained law enforcement officers) and the FBI facilities at Quantico. They work across the street from the Justice Department Police who guard the DoJ but are not the same agency. The Secret Service Uniformed Division guards embassies from the outside. There’s a U.S. Mint Police and a Government Printing Office Police, and a U.S. Post Office Police. Amtrak has police at Union Station who have no jurisdiction across the street at the Capitol.Report

              • InMD in reply to Philip H says:

                I’m aware of how it works. I used to be a federal employee at a legislative branch office that had its own small police force which has since been subsumed into the Capitol Police. I know that she does not oversee Capitol Police or US Park Police.

                However if you think the dynamic between the mayor and federal law enforcement agencies over the last 6 months hasn’t played into the lack of force at the scene you have not been paying attention. The continuing request since June has been for a minimal federal law enforcement presence in the city. Again, obviously there are reasons for that, but if people are wondering why the militarized federal police response wasn’t there yesterday it is in part because they have been repeatedly asked not to be at the scene of protests by the District political authorities.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to InMD says:

                Bowser had a point that having plain clothes federal officers patrolling without telling Metro is a bad idea.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to InMD says:

                Subsequent videos from inside definitely showed more resistance being offered by the various police than it looked like from initial videos showing only the outside.

                What I’m most confused by is the Capitol Police’s response. You’d think they’d have some command that immediately triggered a procedure to lock down the building. Maybe I’m overestimating the force or how things work at the Capitol building (I lived in DMV for 2 years and visited most of the major sites but never really did more than walk around the Capitol), but I’d think they’d have some line somewhere along the perimeter and as soon as a group crosses it, someone yells “LOCKDOWN!” and doors slam shut and lock and the officers assume positions to secure all the entrances and exits.

                Even if Bowser wanted a reduced presence on the streets and around the building, I imagine the Capitol police would do whatever they normally do starting at the entry points to the building.

                FWIW, most of the videos I saw of the outside seemed to feature Metro PD, at least as far as I could tell from their unis.Report

              • InMD in reply to Kazzy says:

                I think it’s a bad combination of factors
                To Oscar’s point above there are understandable reasons for Bowser’s position after what happened over the summer. However local news is also saying that she asked for help from the surrounding counties in MD and VA but then failed to tell them where she needed them to be. Allegedly there were PG county cops close by standing around waiting for orders and didn’t get them until things were already out of control (reports are early so obviously this may be incorrect or not the whole truth).

                I also think Capitol Police’s tendency towards de-escalation and poor preparedness for how far these people were willing to go played into it. That plus the optics of heavily armed federal police in DC from over the summer were really bad and I think law enforcement is for the first time starting to understand that. The appropriate show of force that stops violence rather than provoking it is a fine line that American law enforcement appears to be universally bad at.

                Anyway the lion’s share of responsibility of course goes to Trump and the a-holes who did this. Still I think it illustrates the really hard road we have to walk for good police reform. Preferences for a light hand and overwhelming force don’t seem to be reached in a rational way but rather in a post hoc, outcome based way.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to InMD says:

                How much you want to bet that after this, every major building in DC is fitted with a rooftop ADS?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                ADS? I tried googling but it kept returning results for rooftop advertisements. Anti-something-system?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Got it. Thanks. I was wondering about audio-based weapons. Like, signal the cops to put in their ear protection, warn the crowd, and push a button.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to InMD says:

                From what I’ve read, communication problems were prevalent and that likely contributed to the lack of coordination.

                To be clear, I did not want to see these people mowed down by gunfire. While watching on TV, my girlfriend kept remarking about the scenes of the jackholes galavanting around the Senate (or was it the House?) floor. My response was that as ugly an image as that was, those bodies laying bleeding on the ground was an even uglier one. I did NOT want to see a violent response from the police, especially once it seemed pretty apparent that the threat these jamokes posed was largely symbolic. I think if they actually made it onto the floor while the Congresspeople were in session, they’d have acted like streakers at a sporting event; I don’t think they’d have pulled together the “people’s court” from Dark Knight Rises.

                Maybe I’m underselling these folks. I don’t mean to. What they did was horrific on any number of levels. But my read on watching them was that they were also cowards with no real plan who seemed surprised more than anything they actually made it inside. The classic squirrel-in-the-hand.

                So, if we give the benefit of the doubt to the officers on the ground that they did an appropriate threat assessment, they may have decided that giving ground while they regrouped and reorganized was the appropriate tactic. I’d rather they do that than just start blasting folks.

                HOWEVER, there is a lot of room between giving ground and blasting. Like, where was the organizied wall of cops we saw this summer, with their arms linked or shields forming an unbroken wall? On the outside at least, these guys looked a little Keystone-y. And if this was anywhere else in the country, maybe I’d forgive that. But this was the Capitol. And the two groups (Metro PD and Capitol Police) most familiar with the building. So again I’m wondering how they didn’t have an automatic go-response for such a moment?

                I mean, as a teacher we know exactly what to do when that fire bell rings. How do these guys not know exactly what to do once a mob reaches the top of the stairs?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Part of the problem is the increased funding for de-escalation training and training cops to not immediately resort to violence.

                The training worked too well!Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

                Sarcasm but this is kind of what I’m getting at above. I don’t buy the general ‘we’re the real victims here’ story the police are fond of spinning but these issues aren’t simple.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to InMD says:

                Right… I’m personally a little surprised that the ROE for the Capital don’t have a red-line (I’m guessing the White House when the POTUS is present is a little different) where force becomes lethal.

                But then… absent those sorts of lock-down and response training, we’re getting the result we want: low casualties, dispersed mob, and temporary disruption.

                We certainly could treat the capital (and other places) as no-go zones… but there probably would have been a few dead folks on the Whitehouse lawn over the summer.

                So… a weird combination of having a policy that worked, and not really liking that that is our policy after the fact. Or so it seems.Report

              • InMD in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Agreed and like Kazzy said about his conversations with his girlfriend, there’s a price to that too. Like, this was pretty bad looking. How much worse looking would it be if 10 or 20 people were shot in the entry way?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                I joked elsewhere that it was nice to see the cops not escalate the situation. Which was probably only half joking. I’d rather the result that happened yesterday than seeing the halls of Congress littered with bodies.

                But yesterday wasn’t de-escalation. It was retreat. Which, given the circumstances, also doesn’t seem like the right approach.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Kazzy says:

                One of the video clips repeated frequently showed the mob easily breaking out windows and climbing through. The place is not built to be secured against a large mob short of killing/disabling that mob.

                On a day that’s supposed to be mostly a ceremonial part of the peaceful transfer of power, would you have deployed a large number of LEO in riot gear? I’ll bet Pelosi/McConnell were very much opposed to that.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Michael Cain says:

                I guess that is part of my surprise. Like, why aren’t the windows bulletproof?

                I would not have wanted to see a large number of LEO in riot gear. As I said above, I think what happened was not the worst case scenario* so I’m okay with it happening if the other available alternatives were all worse. I’m just surprised there didn’t seem to be a better alternative. But, again, maybe I’m misunderstanding how the Capitol and it’s police force function.

                Interestingly, the White House isn’t necessarily as secure as many seem to think. Sure, walk around the fence and you’ll see snipers on the roof and I always wondered if the rustling in the bushes was the wind or super secret agents hiding there. But folks have gotten up and over the fence before. At least one guy landed a plane on the lawn. And a couple of reality TV asshats managed to crash an event there. I imagine some of that is because of on-the-ground, real-time threat assessment (e.g., “The guy on the fence is wearing Tivas… we can probably hold our fire as we approach.”) and much of it is by design… we don’t want bullets flying everytime something seems a little bit scary. I just figured that once the mob hit the door, some sort of defense protocol kicks in. Like, they couldn’t full closed a gate to limit their access to the buildling?

                * I also want to point out that, at least among my small-ish circle of mostly liberal people, those who were pointing out the disparate responses to this protest and summer protests were NOT calling for the same response, but simply pointing out the difference. I think that is an important point to make.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

            I don’t think that’s the police _doing_ it, the only barrier I can see moved is by the guy on the right, but it is the police just literally standing there.

            However…there already are people past the barrier at that point.Report

        • Pinky in reply to DavidTC says:

          I was comparing this to the Portland Federal Building, not the BLM protests and riots. I’m inclined to say that states can show more mercy if they choose to, but an act of violence on federal property puts one’s life in forfeit.

          As for BLM, would you be ok with my “de-escalate and disperse” formula? If so, we might be able to find some common ground. I can accept “jeering” at police falling under the definition of protest if you’ll grant that any assault on police elevates the situation to a riot.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Pinky says:

            I don’t know what formula you are talking about, but ‘disperse’ is often code for ‘force protests into tight confinement and then arrest them because they don’t fit’.

            Same with ‘assaulting the police’. A lot of that is ‘Police positioned themselves to be touched by protestors’ and other parts are ‘struggled after the police painfully slammed them to the ground and yanked their arms behind them’.

            It is _very_ easy to invent thresholds that the police literally ignore for protests on the right, and then deliberately set up ways to force protestors on the left to violate them.

            Likewise, if you mean an actual act of violence _committed by a specific person_ should result in the arrest of that person, yes. But one person throwing a birkc, or even one person breaking the window of the Capitol building, does not damn the entire thing, or mean everyone there can be arrested.

            That is more ‘obvious trespass’, in that the people very clearly were not supposed even be there, much less _go inside_…and while the people on the steps perhaps have a possible excuse of not knowing they weren’t allowed there, maybe they showed up late and the barriers were down…People have a much harder time defending ‘climbing into a building through a window’.Report

  10. Oscar Gordon says:

    Oh look, Cocaine Mitch is having a Come To Jesus moment…

    • Philip H in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Because less than an hour after McConnell gave this speech, Trump supporters, who had gathered for a “Stop the Steal” rally, stormed the US Capitol — breaching not only the Capitol complex but also making their way onto the same floor of the Senate where McConnell had spoken.
      And where did they get the idea? At least in part from Trump himself — during an appearance earlier on Wednesday.
      “We’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women,” he told the crowd. “And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong.”


    • Still,BSDI of course. Calling Bush v. Gore illegitimately decided is exactly like whipping uo a mob with nonsensical claims of election theft.Report

  11. DavidTC says:

    Is Rachel Maddow just stupid? Her, and all of MSNBC, seems very baffled as to why there haven’t been more arrests. That’s been a common refrain all day on MSNBC…where are the police, and why aren’t they arresting people?

    It’s like they have some sort of mind control to keep from drawing the very very obvious conclusion these are Not the Sort of People that the police go after.Report

  12. DavidTC says:

    The rioter who broke into Capitol and was apparently shot by police, and was taken to the hospital, has just died.

    Hey, um, completely unrelated question: Is breaking into a Capitol a felony?

    I mean, I’ve been just calling it trespassing, but…I suspect that it could, indeed, be a felony.

    You do know what someone dying due to a felony you commit means? Even if that person was on ‘your side’ and shot by the police?


    • Michael Cain in reply to DavidTC says:

      In many states, yeah, where you’re going is reasonable. Generally, though, murder is not a federal crime. Nor does DC have jurisdiction within the Capitol. So… unfortunately complicated. Might come down to whether Garland is willing to pursue terrorism charges.Report

      • Can Trump pardon unidentified persons? Or only by name?Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

          Precedent seems to indicate that it’s possible to pardon a class of person.

          Acting pursuant to the grant of authority in Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution of the United States, I, Jimmy Carter, President of the United States, do hereby grant a full, complete and unconditional pardon to: (1) all persons who may
          have committed any offense beween August 4, 1964 and March 28, 1973 in violation
          of the Military Selective Service Act or any rule or regulation promulgated there-under; and (2) all persons heretofore convicted, irrespective of the date of conviction, of any offense committed beween August 4, 1964 and March 28, 1973 in violation of
          the Military Selective Service Act, or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder,
          restoring to them full political, civil and other rights.

          Looks like blanket pardons have been done before.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Michael Cain says:


        There’s not a different jurisdiction of the Capitol vs. the rest of DC. There are a few different…well, call them police precincts, and areas that only certain police operation.

        But they aren’t really different ‘jurisdictions’. It’s all just DC.Report

        • Philip H in reply to DavidTC says:

          Not true. Much of the district is under federal meaning charging has to be done by a US attorney. DC as a. It’s has a separate police department no attorney general for all other things. DC as a city has no jurisdiction on federal property including the US. Capitol.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

      Was the cop’s bodycam on?Report

  13. Oscar Gordon says:

    Either someone hacked Mike Pence’s Twitter account, or he’s done with Trump.

    I saved a screen shot, but Pence’s Twitter header is a pic of Biden / Harris.Report

  14. LeeEsq says:

    Trump is tweeting that this is only happening because his, and I quote, “sacred landslide” is being taken away from him.Report

    • InMD in reply to LeeEsq says:

      The sacred landslide? That’s right up there with the holy hand grenade.Report

      • Murali in reply to InMD says:

        I’m pretty sure that the holy hand grenade is more real. It was used against the black beast of caerbannog. At least there is some possible world in which it happened

        Any landslide by trump would be necessarily profane. “Trump’s sacred landslide” is logically incoherent.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Twitter has now started deleting his tweets and are threatening to shut down his Twitter account.

      Apparently ‘Operating as a communication method for a coup’ has…started causing them some consternation about…legal liability. (Which is kinda hilarious considering what Trump has tried to do with Section 230.)

      Incidentally, I have a comment in moderation, above this, but let me repeat: Pence is apparently the reason we got the DC National Guard involved.

      Um…so…Pence is giving orders to the National Guard, eh?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

        The explanation I saw online said something to the effect of Pence is not operating as “Vice-President” but as “President of the Senate” in his discussions with the Pentagon.

        I don’t know if that’s splitting hairs or making an interesting distinction or what.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to DavidTC says:

        This has had people wondering if the 25th Amendment will be invoked for 14 or so days.Report

  15. Saul Degraw says:

    Times headline: MOB INCITED BY TRUMP STORMS CAPITOL. Do you know what kind of country sees headlines about its President inciting mobs?Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      The UN discussed tonight a motion to send peacekeeping troops to America’s capital, as the outgoing President incited mobs to swarm the capital in an attempted coup to overthrow the newly elected administration, and in the ungovernable tribal region of Pennsylvania the regions assembly refused to seat a legally elected legislator.

      While some historians and experts of imperialism blamed the collapsing government on endemic economic anxiety and a detached elite, others noted that ethnic tensions between the supporters and opponents of the apartheid regime have long been the source of conflict.

      In other related developments, Medicines Sans Frontieres is considering a request to send emergency vaccine to the hard hit rural areas such as North Dakota where local governments have collapsed in the face of the pandemic, and superstition and ignorance prevent the use of modern hygiene methods, particularly by adherents of the apocalyptic Qanon cult.

      In the UN Security Council, concerns were raised about the need for regime change in the dangerously unstable nuclear-armed rogue nation. Report