2 Years After the Capitol Riot, the GOP Remains Divided. Good.

“For a brief moment following the January 6 Capitol riot, it looked like most Republican lawmakers and pundits would condemn Trump’s lies and the riot they spawned. But a funny thing happened on the way to what should have been a reckoning: A whole lot of conservatives decided to back Trump’s narrative about a stolen election. Meanwhile, those who vocally opposed it found themselves on the wrong side of the ongoing inter-GOP war, one in which more moderate or conventional conservatives were demonized by Trump and his populist lackeys and Republican rising stars fought to position themselves as “the craziest son of a bitch in the race” (to quote Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie on what he realized voters swinging from libertarian-leaning candidates to Trump were looking for).

Flash forward two years, and whack job populism has suffered a smidge of comeuppance. The 2022 midterm elections weren’t kind to Trump-backed candidates and election deniers, and—Trump’s 2024 candidacy notwithstanding—it looks like the fever dream that culminated in the events of January 6, 2021, has started to break.”

‘There would’ve been gunfire’: Officer testifies at Proud Boys trial

“The quick thinking of Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman may have prevented a shootout at the doors of the Senate chamber on Jan. 6, 2021, a top Capitol Police official said Friday.
Inspector Thomas Loyd, testifying in the trial of five members of the Proud Boys leadership charged with seditious conspiracy, recalled the outnumbered Goodman’s effort to lure the first wave of rioters inside the Capitol to a position away from the doors of the Senate and toward a waiting line of Capitol Police officers.

In a famous video of the incident, Goodman lures the group of rioters — which included one of the Proud Boys defendants, Dominic Pezzola — up a staircase and away from the unguarded Senate doors. For a moment, one of the rioters, Douglas Jensen, considered veering away from Goodman and toward those doors. But he ultimately followed Goodman and ran into the line of police reinforcements.

“If those doors had been breached,” Loyd told jurors, “most likely there would’ve been gunfire at that point.””

What we learned from the January 6 committee report

“The committee laid out just how much effort Trump and his allies put into schemes to convince state and local officials to overturn the election. According to the report, “between the November election and the January 6th insurrection, President Trump or his inner circle engaged in at least 200 apparent acts of public or private outreach, pressure, or condemnation.”
This tally does not count other efforts by Trump campaign staffers to contact state legislators, which included efforts to contact 190 Republican elected officials just in Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan. The Trump campaign also put on a full-scale whip operation to organize its efforts to select fake electors and ensure they convened on December 14, when the Electoral College met, so they would have an alternate avenue to challenge the election results.

For a sense of how invested the former president personally was in his efforts, Trump tried to speak with Brad Raffensperger “at least 18 times” before that infamous January 2 phone call where he asked the Georgia secretary of state “to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.””

Read the January 6 committee’s damning report on Trump’s election subversion efforts

“The report provides evidence the committee collected to assert that Trump knew throughout his campaign to remain in power that he’d lost, that he knew the conspiracy theories he publicly advanced about election fraud were false, that he pressured officials to back his bid to challenge the results despite being told he could be breaking the law, that he lied in federal court, and that he spurred on the insurrectionists even after he’d been told they were armed, some heavily. The violence and death of January 6, the report argues, was the culmination of that failed effort.

The nearly 850 page report was compiled following more than 1,000 interviews with figures with firsthand knowledge about the attack on the Capitol and the events that led up to it”

“Trump wanted to go to the Capitol after his speech at the Ellipse, is said to have had a physical altercation with a Secret Service agent, and broke things at the White House when his aides wouldn’t let him join the insurrectionists”

“Witnesses claimed Trump said Vice President Mike Pence “deserves” the threats of hanging he received while at the Capitol to certify the election”

“Far-right Reps. Scott Perry (R-PA), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) all were said to have asked Trump for pardons for their roles in the January 6 riot; many have denied doing so”

Bolsonaro supporters storm Brazil’s seat of power

“Supporters of populist former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country’s Congress, Supreme Court, and presidential palace Sunday, a week after Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, commonly known as Lula, was sworn in as Brazil’s new president.
Thousands of people loyal to the right-wing Bolsonaro broke through police barricades and entered the Congress and Supreme Court buildings. Bolsonaro’s supporters — called Bolsonaristas — also surrounded the presidential palace, calling for Lula’s resignation, though the president was on an official state trip to Araquara and not in the capital, Brasília. Congress was also on recess, leaving the building mostly empty.

Lula made an official statement at 4 pm ET, saying he would sign an emergency decree, in effect till January 31, allowing the federal government to implement “any measures necessary” to calm the unrest in the capital.

“They took advantage of the silence on Sunday, when we are still setting up the government, to do what they did,” Lula’s account tweeted Sunday. “And you know that there are several speeches by the former president encouraging this. And this is also his responsibility and the parties that supported him.”

Videos of Bolsonaristas draped in yellow flags and sitting at the desks of lawmakers appeared on Twitter Sunday afternoon in a scene reminiscent of the January 6, 2021, storming of the US Capitol building by right-wing supporters of former US President Donald Trump. Throughout the afternoon, protesters destroyed windows in the Supreme Court building, flew the Brazilian imperial flag above the Congress building, set fire to a carpet in the lower house of Congress, looted gifts from foreign dignitaries, and reportedly attacked a photojournalist from the news outlet Metropoles.

Police forces at the capitol initially used tear gas against the protesters; however, that failed to deter protesters and drove the guards to seek cover behind the building. The Brazilian Armed Forces and anti-riot police, as well as the entire police force of the state of Brasília, have been called up in an attempt to quell the protests”

“the Bolsonaristas are animated by the belief that Brazil’s 2022 elections were rigged, and that Bolsonaro is the true winner of the election. Bolsonaro has been in the United States since Lula’s January 1, 2023, inauguration and has not yet publicly commented on the situation.

Lula won a runoff election against Bolsonaro last October, marking a return to power after a stint in prison on corruption charges. Lula, a left-wing former president who helped raise the standard of living for millions of Brazilians by strengthening the country’s social programs, first served as Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2010. He was in prison from 2018 to 2021.”

Opinion | The Criminal Referrals Are Not Enough

“In the end, the insurrection was just the back-up plan. That’s one critical finding by the Jan. 6 select committee to keep in mind when digesting its sweeping criminal referrals of Donald Trump.
The former president floated the idea of marching on the Capitol with a “large and wild crowd” only after his White House advisers and lawyers aggressively tried to quash a quilt of crazy schemes to use federal courts, election administrators, state legislators and ersatz presidential electors to thwart the lawful, peaceful transfer of power. It was a last-ditch resort. And the violence of Jan. 6 would have had its intended effect only if some of those legal machinations had already put enough sand in the gears of the democratic process.”

“consider the sitting politicians who coordinated with Trump’s illegal efforts to thwart the democratic process. A facile take would be that election denialists allied with Trump were roundly defeated in the midterms. But this is just not so: Incumbent Republicans who denied the truth about the election, in fact, overwhelmingly won last month, and their voters continue to have low levels of trust in the election process. And as misinformation explodes afresh on Twitter, it would be reckless to imagine that candidates’ lies about how our democracy and laws are working will somehow abate.”

“there is no durable mechanism in place to forestall or punish elected representatives who violate the public trust in this way. Specifically, there is no clear, legislated structure to bar insurrectionists from holding office as required by Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

“consider those who participated in the fake slates of electors. The process of certification, and wide array of state officials and private citizens involved in it, remains vulnerable to wrongdoing at multiple points. The committee’s referral to DOJ on making false statements rightly homes in upon the fake presidential elector slates. Such prosecutions may well have real deterrence effects. This is important because so far, state prosecutors in six out of seven states are failing to investigate or bring charges after false slates were assembled, voted upon and transmitted to the U.S. Archivist.”

“the Jan. 6 committee has plausibly broken through to the broader public. It would be a profound shame if the committee’s vital work was misunderstood as a howl for revenge, rather than the more profound call for democratic renewal that it truly is.”

Lindsey Graham’s surprisingly complex Supreme Court case about Trump’s Big Lie, explained

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2022/10/28/23425364/supreme-court-lindsey-graham-donald-trump-big-lie-georgia-fulton-county-fani-willis

January 6 isn’t a priority for voters — even where you’d most expect it

“In conversations with voters at an early-voting location in Virginia Beach, the economy weighed far more heavily than the attack on the Capitol. While jets from a nearby Naval Air Station roared overhead, those coming and going from casting their ballots didn’t view January 6 as a factor. Mike Malbon told Vox that he had voted for Kiggans. Although he had never voted for Luria, he described himself as a swing voter who had voted for Trump, Obama, and George W. Bush. Malbon said his vote was based on the fact that he was “just not really happy with what the Democrats were doing.” When asked if he’d thought about January 6 while voting, Malbon said, “I’ve thought about it for sure. I probably would never vote for Trump again, I would have otherwise.”
Melinda Salmons, who said she was voting for Kiggans because she thought Luria was in Nancy Pelosi’s pocket, echoed this. When asked about Trump, she told Vox, “Donald Trump doesn’t affect me one way or another. The man is not running. I’m like a lot of people, I like what my pocketbook says. I do not like what he says.””