The press is reporting more and more evidence that the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, was planned ahead of time. Two right-wing extremist militias, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, were well prepared in advance of the January attack. The Oath Keepers leaders’ plan was for a “bloody and desperate fight” in Washington, D.C., to overturn the election. The group had positioned weapons around D.C. well in advance of January 6 and had an armed “Quick Reaction Force” at an Arlington, Virginia hotel, only twenty minutes from the Capitol. Meanwhile, Proud Boys leader, Enrique Tarrio, had a written plan called “1776 Returns” to incite a violent revolution by storming and occupying federal buildings. The plan laid out tactics and a timeline very similar to those used on January 6.
According to press reports, two anonymous sources detailed “dozens” of planning briefings and meetings about the insurrection with members of Congress who are still in office. Those accused of planning the January 6 insurrection are all Republicans—Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia), Paul Gosar (Arizona), Lauren Boebert (Colorado), Mo Brooks (Alabama), Madison Cawthorn (North Carolina), Andy Biggs (Arizona), and Louie Gohmert (Texas).
The purpose of the insurrection was to overturn the 2020 election and restore Donald Trump to power despite his election defeat. Trump egged on the mob telling them to march down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol. “We fight like hell,” he said. “And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” He told the crowd that he’d be with them. And he tried to join them—he had to be physically restrained to prevent him from going.
The insurrection will always be shameful reminder of the depths to which we are capable of descending. We as a nation must never cease working to assure that it never happens again.