Maybe you were struck as I was when U.S. House impeachment manager Congressman David Cicilline constantly referred to the Capitol riot as an “armed” attack in Wednesday’s hearing. I had been looking into this very thing myself. What arms had been used and found on the rioters at the Capitol?
Cicilline referred multiple times in his argument, now on record and taken as gospel, that “an armed, angry mob,” “an armed insurrection against the United States government,” “an armed, angry, and dangerous crowd,” and a mob conducting “armed violence against the government of the United States of America.”
But were the rioters armed? Some had been carrying flag poles. But would Cicilline be referring to those people as “armed”? Doubtful. The congressman meant to leave the impression that gun-toting “white nationalists” stormed the Capitol, as he called them Thursday. He offered no explanations for the black, Hispanic, and copious Asians who were at the Capitol that day and who stormed the Capitol.
Considering the circumstances, one might think someone might have seen guns on one of the myriad live streams or perhaps used one of the weapons, but nothing but brute force – bad enough – was the rioters’ “weapon” of choice.
As a watcher of antifa and BLM rioters, I am particularly interested in their weaponry, which includes anything from rocks and flagstaffs to flame throwers and blinding lasers.
As I scanned stories at The Hill, Esquire, KTLA, and NBC News, it became clear that reports continually conflated the weapons found days and hours before and after the riots – in cars driven containing legal and illegal weapons and the pipe bombs laid at both RNC and DNC headquarters – with the riot itself.
The feds, who are taking point on the prosecutions, never mention weapons in their charges related to the riot.
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) January 27, 2021
The DOJ did not mention any weapons in the news release about the “Oath Keepers” seen above. A Connecticut man was charged with hurting a police officer, whose assault was highlighted during the impeachment. It was a horrible incident. No other weapons besides hands were used in the officer’s assault. Surely, if the person arrested possessed weapons of any other kind, federal weapons charges would have been added to the indictment.
When the feds announced the arrest of an Arkansas man for being inside Nancy Pelosi’s office, sitting in a chair, and putting his feet on a desk, no weapons were included in the pile of charges.
In a news release about 13 people charged in connection with the siege at the Capitol, one man who lived in Maryland was charged the day after the riot “with carrying or having readily accessible, on the grounds of the United States Capitol Building, a firearm and ammunition. Specifically a Taurus G2C, 9mm handgun and 9mm caliber ammunition.”
Christopher Alberts, of Maryland, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with carrying or having readily accessible, on the grounds of the United States Capitol Building, a firearm and ammunition. Specifically a Taurus G2C, 9mm handgun and 9mm caliber ammunition. The defendant appeared in district court and was released. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 28, 2021.
Alberts was on the Capitol grounds at 7:20 p.m., after the riot when police were shooing people away due to the local curfew. Congress was locked down and would be going back into session soon thereafter. But we do know that he was released on his own recognizance. Was he even at the riot? If he was, he wasn’t charged with it because the indictment doesn’t mention it. He had in his possession a 12-round magazine along with his Taurus 9mm handgun.
Another person, Lonnie Coffman of Alabama, was not arrested at the riot. Instead, police say he brought handmade Molotov cocktails in his vehicle. The 70-year-old man was arrested when he came back to retrieve his truck after bomb-sniffing dogs got a “hit” on his vehicle. He was charged “with possession of an unregistered firearm (destructive device) and carrying a pistol without a license. It is alleged that Coffman’s vehicle contained 11 explosive devices known as Molotov cocktails and firearms. It is further alleged he was in possession of two firearms.”
Others were arrested by local authorities and could potentially have weapons charges against them.
Cicilline left the impression that the Capitol rioters were armed. If they were, then surely there would be more weapons charges, no?
Certainly, enough damage had been done to the building. Cicilline made a show of saying that rioters broke windows and smeared feces on the walls of some rooms that had to be cleaned up by the Capitol janitors.
As Fox News host Tucker Carlson pointed out on Wednesday night, the idea of armed insurgents is always connected to the five people who died that day.
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died “24 hours after” the riots, according to Carlson and other news accounts. While numerous reports cite a video allegedly showing Officer Sicknick getting hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, CNN, among other news agencies, reports that it wasn’t him. Sicknick sustained no blunt-force trauma injury. The Capitol Police union said earlier that Officer Sicknick died later of a stroke. Sicknick complained to his brother that he’d been sprayed a couple of times with pepper spray but he said he was OK.
Four people died the day of the riot. Among them was Ashli Babbitt, who was shot dead by a police officer as she climbed through a broken window. Others died of heart conditions or stroke. The next day, Sicknick died.
Democrats have told several tall tales in the impeachment hearings, passed off as facts and evidence to any gullible observer. The story about Trump supporters trying to run a Biden/Harris campaign bus off the road in Texas, factual errors, and the alleged “fight like hell” dog-whistle to Trump supporters are just three of these tall tales. Those are just from one day’s arguments from the Democrats.
But if we’re ever going to get past this dark episode, we need clear-eyed facts, not rushed assumptions based on feelings, frothy media narratives, and politicians willing to lie because they and their friends don’t like Donald Trump.