Thousands of far-right insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol at President Donald Trump’s instruction on Wednesday in an attempt to stop Congress from lawfully certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Assailants, many of whom were armed, rioted and occupied the House and Senate chambers. Make no mistake: This is a violent coup attempt — one that was enabled from the get-go by Trump, who has lied for months that the election was stolen from him.
This day marks a stain in American history. Here’s a list of everyone who enabled it to come to fruition.
President Donald Trump
The buck stops with the president, who before the election instructed the white supremacist group Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.” He then lied for two months about the election results, even as all his legal challenges fell through and state officials across the country found no evidence of widespread voter fraud. At the white nationalist rally on Wednesday, Trump told the crowd, “We will never give up, we will never concede. They say we lost — we didn’t lose.” He then urged his supporters to march into the U.S. Capitol.
Sen. Josh Hawley
The Missouri senator was the first senator to object to the certification of the Electoral College votes, falsely claiming there were irregularities in the voting process. The move allowed for other senators to follow through with the charade. Hawley even greeted protesters before the violence began.
Sen. Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz, who likely aspires to run for president again in 2024, has become a loyal Trump supporter over the past several years. The Texas senator led the unsuccessful charge to create an election commission to investigate baseless claims of voter fraud and said that without the commission, he would not vote to certify Biden’s win. Several other senators joined his farce: Sen. Ron Johnson, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (who just lost her reelection bid to Rev. Ralph Warnock), Sen. James Lankford, former Sen. David Perdue, Sen. Steve Daines, Sen. John Kennedy, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Sen. Mike Braun, Sen. Cynthia Lummis, Sen. Roger Marshall, Sen. Bill Hagerty, and Sen. Tommy Tuberville.
Rudy Giuliani and Trump’s legal team
The president’s lawyers — a group that has included Rudy Giuliani, Sydney Powell, and Jenna Ellis, among others — filed bogus lawsuit after bogus lawsuit in an attempt to overturn the election results. The team also repeatedly peddled repeated conspiracy theories, both privately to Trump and publicly.
At Wednesday’s MAGA rally in D.C., Giuliani said, “Let’s have trial by combat.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell has spent the past four years enabling Trump’s worst instincts. Even after Trump lost the election, it took more than a month for McConnell to recognize Biden as the rightful winner. McConnell did say he would vote to certify the results on Wednesday. “If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral,” he said on the Senate floor. But it was too late: He had failed to rein in the insurrection in his own ranks.
House GOP members who supported election lawsuits
A total of 126 House Republicans signed an amicus brief in support of a failed Trump-backed lawsuit to challenge the results of the election by baselessly claiming fraud. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the challenge.
Their names are: Robert B. Aderholt, Mo Brooks, Bradley Byrne, Gary Palmer, and Mike D. Rogers from Alabama; Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko from Arizona; Rick Crawford from Arkansas; Ken Calvert, Doug LaMalfa, Kevin McCarthy, and Tom McClintock from California; Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn from Colorado; Gus Bilirakis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Ross Spano, Greg Steube, Michael Waltz, Daniel Webster, and Ted Yoho from Florida; Rick Allen, Buddy Carter, Doug Collins, A. Drew Ferguson, Jody Hice, Barry Loudermilk, and Austin Scott from Georgia; Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson from Idaho; Mike Bost and Darin M. LaHood from Illinois; James Baird, Jim Banks, Trey Hollingsworth, Greg Pence, and Jackie Walorski from Indiana; Steve King from Iowa; Ron Estes and Roger Marshall from Kansas; Ralph Abraham, Clay Higgins, Mike Johnson, and Steve Scalise from Louisiana; Andy Harris from Maryland; Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, John Moolenaar, and Tim Walberg from Michigan; Tom Emmer, Jim Hagedorn, and Pete Stauber from Minnesota; Michael Guest, Trent Kelly, and Steven Palazzo from Mississippi; Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason Smith, and Ann Wagner from Missouri; Greg Gianforte from Montana; Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith from Nebraska; Jefferson Van Drew from New Jersey; Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin from New York; Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Virginia Foxx, Richard Hudson, Greg Murphy, David Rouzer, and Mark Walker from North Carolina; Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Jim Jordan, Robert E. Latta, and Brad Wenstrup from Ohio; Kevin Hern and Markwayne Mullin from Oklahoma; John Joyce, Fred Keller, Mike Kelly, Daniel Meuser, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler, and Glenn Thompson from Pennsylvania; Jeffrey Duncan, Ralph Norman, Tom Rice, William Timmons, and Joe Wilson from South Carolina; Tim Burchett, Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, Mike Green, David Kustoff, and John Rose from Tennessee; Jodey Arrington, Brian Babin, Kevin Brady, Michael C. Burgess, Michael Cloud, K. Michael Conaway, Dan Crenshaw, Bill Flores, Louie Gohmert, Lance Gooden, Kenny Marchant, Randy Weber, Roger Williams, and Ron Wright from Texas; Ben Cline, Morgan Griffith, and Robert J. Wittman from Virginia; Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse from Washington; Carol Miller and Alex Mooney from West Virginia; and Tom Tiffany from Wisconsin.
Fox News, OANN, Newsmax, and far-right media
Conservative pundits have peddled conspiracy theories about election fraud day and night since November, giving even more oxygen to the lie that the election was stolen from Trump. This mess is in their hands, too.
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