It was not a 'normal tourist visit,' as one GOP lawmaker said.
Two Senate committees on Tuesday released a report about security failures leading up to the violent and deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6. The report concluded that law enforcement departments and intelligence agencies were woefully unprepared to stop the mob of Donald Trump supporters that forced their way into the building in an effort to block certification of President Joe Biden's victory.
The report also details the brutal injuries law enforcement officers suffered as they sought to fight back against the Trump supporters who breached the building.
The accounts in the report from law enforcement officers on the scene rebut the alternative reality that a number of GOP lawmakers have attempted to create around the attack as they tried to absolve Trump and his supporters of culpability, including a false assertion from Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), who said Jan. 6 was not an insurrection but merely a "normal tourist visit."
One officer recalled to Senate investigators:
[We] did what we could against impossible odds and a volatile crowd which many times threatened us with phrases like 'We're gonna kill you!', 'We're gonna murder you and then them!', 'You guys are traitors and should be killed!' ... I felt at this time a tangible fear that maybe I or some of my colleagues might not make it home alive.
The report said that roughly 140 officers were injured in the attack, including one who lost an eye and another who was stabbed with a "metal fence stake."
According to the report:
Many officers have recounted repeated attacks with chemical irritants from the crowd, including bear spray and insecticide. One officer stated that he was 'sprayed in the eyes with some kind of chemical irritant that was far stronger than any pepper spray I have ever had used against me in training.' Other officers reported burns, breathing and lung complications, and their eyes sealing shut from irritation due to repeated exposure to the chemical irritants. Captain Carneysha Mendoza testified to the Committees that she received chemical burns to her face, which had not healed nearly two months after the attack
The report, however, did not examine what caused the attack, nor did it look into Trump's role specifically in inciting the mob that ransacked the Capitol.
For those reasons, Democrats have been demanding an outside commission to look into the origins of the insurrection and make recommendations to prevent similar attacks in the future.
Yet GOP leaders — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — are against the commission because they fear it will imperil their party's chances in the 2022 midterm elections.
In fact, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) — who was booted from House GOP leadership because she blamed Trump and his lies about a stolen 2020 election for the vicious attack on the Capitol — said she believes some Republicans don't want an investigation because they fear they'll be implicated.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.