Pro-Trump rioters try to break into the U.S. Capitol as police hold them off with plastic shields.

Republicans Really Just Don’t Care That Trump’s Mob Basically Tried To Murder Them, Do They?

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During the Democrats’ presentation on day two of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, House managers showed previously unreleased security footage from the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The footage is chilling. One clip shows the first wave of insurgents breaking in through a window, many carrying weapons and wearing tactical gear, overwhelming the lone law enforcement officer covering that hallway. After the window is broken, rioters pour into the building. It’s a scary scene.

They showed more footage, illustrating just how close the mob came to the senators in this chamber—a mere 58 steps as Rep. Eric Swalwell paced it out. These rioters armed with baseball bats, flag poles, plastic handcuffs, and more—who had erected actual gallows outside—these people were just one hallway away from many of these senators Swalwell is addressing.

They showed footage of Officer Eugene Goodman running through the hall and redirecting Republican senator Mitt Romney away from the oncoming mob.

They showed footage of the mob chanting “Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!” as well as footage of Pence and his family being swiftly evacuated.

They also played footage showing how the mob brutally attacked Capitol police officers, and how that attack on officers lasted for hours.

“I’m sorry I have to show you the next video,” Swalwell said before playing a truly disturbing video of an officer screaming while being crushed against a doorway by rioters. “But in it you will see how blessed we were that on that hellish day, we had a peacemaker like officer Hodges protecting our lives, our staffs’ lives, this Capitol, and the certification process.”

By the way, the impeachment managers also made it exceptionally clear that this premeditated attack on the Capitol was instigated by weeks of Donald Trump’s own statements, calling for a “fight” and encouraging his supporters to come for that fight against Pence and Congress on this specific day, Trump’s “last chance to stop a peaceful transition of power.”

They also made it clear that he was far from disappointed by the result.

Despite this detailed and convincing breakdown of the very real danger these lawmakers were in that day—how angry and violent the rioters were and how committed to keeping Congress from certifying these legitimate electoral votes for Joe Biden—the thing Republicans found most troubling was that the Democrats would bring all of this up in the first place.

Lindsey Graham called the presentation of this footage “offensive and absurd.”

Other senators were seen doodling, napping, or just generally not paying attention during these presentations. Many of them told reporters afterward that they hadn’t seen anything that even nudged their opinion away from Trump’s total acquittal.

These are the same people who have spent years mastering the art of overreacting. If someone yells at them at a restaurant or an airport, they say America is falling apart. If Black Lives Matter protesters (or someone infiltrating a BLM protest) breaks a window or tags the wall of a business, they call it violence. If a handful of peaceful protesters gather outside their home, they say they’re being “terrorized.”

But now their boss literally encouraged a mob to violently attack their place of business and hunt them down, killing a police officer and injuring many more, and they are so committed to this grift that they’ve convinced themselves (or are forcing themselves to pretend) that they’re just totally fine with it. It’s bonkers but this is the path they’ve chosen for themselves!

(image: Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.