Latino lawmakers recall Jan. 6 terror: ‘I’m not white, I’m going to be a target’

California Rep. Jimmy Gomez said the halls of Congress had already been hostile before the previous president incited his white insurrectionist supporters to violently storm the U.S. Capitol to try to overturn the 2020 election one year ago today.

The Oversight and Reform vice-chair told Newsweek that the House was amid a vote on the Build Back Better bill last November when he was verbally accosted in an elevator by an unmasked Republican legislator. "You people are ruining the fucking country,” he said Texas Rep. Roger Williams told him. “Gomez, who is Mexican-American, was taken aback,” Newsweek reported. Williams would later vote to overturn democracy and against the impeachment of the disgraced former president.

“Every member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) inside the building during the attack who spoke with Newsweek thought it would be the last day of their life,” the report said leading into the one-year anniversary of the insurrection. Gomez said that even as he considered ways to look like less of a target to the insurrectionists—such as removing his Congressional pin and jacket—he could not allow himself to just run away. “So he began helping lawmakers who were older and couldn't move as quickly as he could,” the report continued.

California’s Nanette Baragán told Newsweek that she had similar intuition to hide her pin. But other things could not be so easily hidden.

"The part that is not often spoken of is the fear members of Congress of color had," she said in the report. "When you're a person of color and a member of Congress, the thought on that day was ‘hide your pin, I'm not white, I'm going to be a target.’ That was something that was really real."

It wasn’t just members of the Hispanic Caucus, either. “One year after Jan. 6, Sarah Groh, Representative Ayanna Pressley’s chief of staff, still does not know what happened to the panic buttons torn from their office,” Boston Globe’s Jazmine Ulloa tweeted earlier this week. “It’s one of many details still under investigation, and a memory that continues to haunt her.”

Ulloa writes in her piece that the U.S. Capitol is also a workplace for janitors and food service workers. Some of these workers, notably Black janitors, had to clean up the mess created by white insurrectionists.

For Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar, the insurrection brought back terrible memories of the white supremacist mass shooting that shook El Paso in 2019. In tweets immediately after the insurrection, she wrote that the terrorists “not only breached the Capitol and got into Statuary Hall, but they were banging on the locked doors of the House Chamber as we were told by Capitol Police to get down on our knees.” 

In his House testimony last July, U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell recalled how he also had his life threatened by racist insurrectionists.

“I was at the front line and apparently, even through my mask, they saw my skin color and said, ‘You’re not even an American,’” the Latino U.S. military veteran told legislators. Naturalized as an American citizen more than two decades ago, Gonell said insurrectionists “called me traitor, a disgrace and that I, an Army veteran and a police officer, should be executed.”

"This wasn't a group of tourists. This was an armed insurrection,” President Biden said during stirring remarks on Thursday. “They weren't looking to uphold an election. They were here to overturn one."

In a statement Thursday, Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego said that “if we want to keep our democracy intact, then we must bring to justice those responsible for Jan. 6th, including everyone from those who laid siege to the building to those who sat idle in the White House or in Congress as their plans came to fruition. He urged the passage of pro-democracy legislation including the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. “To do so is not a partisan or political issue—it is the bare minimum we must do if we want to keep our democracy.”

Republicans double down on gaslighting narrative in House hearing: ‘It was not an insurrection’

Republicans clearly have settled on their strategy for a post-Jan. 6 narrative about the Capitol insurrection: Gaslight, gaslight, and then gaslight some more. That was made crystal clear today in a House hearing on the insurrection, when a parade of GOP House members consistently tried to convince the public that what it witnessed that day wasn’t real.

One congressman tried to claim that “it was not an insurrection, and we cannot call it that and be truthful.” Another doubted that the mob was comprised entirely of Donald Trump supporters:” I don’t know who did the poll to say they were Trump supporters.” And their go-to white nationalist complained that “law-abiding citizens” were under attack from “the national security state” in the course of investigating and prosecuting the insurrectionists.

The hearing, titled “The Capitol Insurrection: Unexplained Delays and Unanswered Questions,” featured testimony from former Trump officials—then-acting Attorney General Phil Rosen, and then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller—involved in the slow response by security forces to intervene in the riot. Both men generally refused to directly answer any of the questions posed to them by Democrats, and mostly claimed they had done nothing wrong that day.

But the hearing was dominated by Republicans who insisted that Democrats were making much ado out of nothing, like Charles Boyer telling Ingrid Bergman that those gaslights weren’t flickering. The most audacious of the bunch was Congressman Andrew Clyde of Georgia, who opened the hearing’s second half with a straight shot of alternative-universe ether:

This hearing is called “The Capitol Insurrection.” Let’s be honest with the American people: It was not an insurrection, and we cannot call it that and be truthful. The Cambridge English dictionary defines an “insurrection” as, and I quote, “An organized attempt by a group of people to defeat their government and take control of their country, usually by violence.” And then from the Century Dictionary, “The act of rising against civil authority, or governmental restraints, specifically the armed resistance of a number of persons against the power of the state.”

As one of the members who stayed in the Capitol and on the House floor, who with other Republican colleagues, helped to barricade the door until almost 3 p.m. that day from the mob who tried to enter. I can tell you, the House was never breached, and it was not an insurrection.

This is the truth: There was an undisciplined mob, there were some rioters and some who committed acts of vandalism, but let me be clear—there was no insurrection, and to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a boldfaced lie.

Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall, people in orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures—you know, if you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from January 6, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.

There were no firearms confiscated from anyone who breached the Capitol, so the only shot fired on January 6 was from a Capitol Police officer who killed an unarmed protester, Ashli Babbitt, in what will probably, eventually, be determined to be a needless display of lethal force.

Congressman Ralph Norman of South Carolina was similarly skeptical. All those Trump banners carried up the Capitol steps that day by people who got started at a Trump rally failed to persuade him that the crowd actually was comprised of Trump supporters:

When I read this sheet, and on the timeline, let’s see, at 2:07, “a mob of Trump supporters breached the steps”—I don’t know who did a poll that it was Trump supporters. You had the media saying the same thing, just like the media was saying Officer Sicknick was killed with a fire extinguisher, which he was not. But I don’t know who did the poll to say they were Trump supporters.

Clyde similarly displayed a kind of cognitive obtuseness—refusing the plain meaning of words, declining to see what’s plainly in view, while inverting reality and claiming it’s the opposite—while remaining somehow oblivious that his definitions of “insurrection” perfectly described the events of January 6, while an event he considers an “insurrection”—namely, the so-called “Russiagate” investigation—bears little to no resemblance to one:

You know, but the only insurrection I’ve witnessed in my lifetime was the one conducted by the FBI with participants from the DOJ and other agencies under the banner “Russia Russia Russia.” High-ranking employees from these federal agencies and members of an independent counsel coordinated and fed a false narrative for over two years that the 2016 election was stolen and illegitimate. Democrats were on the news almost every night saying the evidence is there, and the mainstream media amplified the fake news. This was indeed a very coordinated and well-funded effort by a determined group of people to overthrow the duly elected president, Donald J. Trump.

Georgia Congressman Jody Hice thought that Trump had established his innocence in inspiring the mob by having urged them at one point to march to the Capitol “peacefully and patriotically,” apparently magically overwhelming his exhortations that “if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore” and using the word “fight” some 20 times:

I would like to address how the media and the many Democrats have put forth a narrative that has been circulating around about how January 6, and has never been corrected. For example, the narrative that President Trump incited riots on January 6, I don’t know even understand, Madam Chair, why you yourself don’t speak the truth as to what President Trump actually stated. And what he said on the morning of January 6, he said that “I know every one of you will soon be marching over to the Capitol buildings to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard today.” Madam Chair, why don’t you talk about how the president used those words, “peacefully and patriotically,” instead of cherry-picking words that you want to use to portray an image of something that did not happen.

Congressman Yvette Herrell of New Mexico also clearly was partaking of some of the same Trump-cult kool-aid, claiming that “fake news” had “poisoned the well”:

Do you feel like the well has been poisoned here? We’ve had so much fake news, cynical politicians, disinformation—far, far from the truth. I mean, we’ve heard that Officer Sicknick was killed by a fire extinguisher in the riot, but indeed he died by natural causes, a stroke. … How much of an impact do you think social media and other outlets had on an investigation?

Miller replied to her that “some people are using that against us very effectively”—to which Herrell quipped: “Yes, I think they call that ‘fake news’.”

Then, apparently keying off Clyde’s rant, she asked each of the witnesses: “Do you classify the events of January 6 as a riot or an insurrection? One or the other.”

Many of the Republicans wanted to talk about Black Lives Matter and antifascists in the context of last summer’s civil unrest over police brutality, reverting to their tried-and-true narrative about a “violent left” that “burned down cities” as being a kind of excuse for a Republican mob to attempt to stop the counting of Electoral College ballots.

Congressman Clay Higgins of Louisiana seemed especially angry:

Nineteen people died during BLM riots last year. Hundreds and hundreds were injured. Teo thousand police officers were injured from BLM riots last year. And yet, we’re gonna discuss today, as if none of that happened, the events of January 6. The hypocrisy of this body is indeed disturbing to the scores of millions of Americans that supported President Trump and love this country, and have been denied access to their own Capitol for over a year!

Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar, who has become Republicans’ go-to white nationalist since the retirement of Iowa’s Steve King, tried to claim that the post-insurrection investigation and resulting indictments and arrests were all the work of the Deep State:

Outright propaganda and lies are being used to unleash the national security state against law-abiding citizens—especially Trump voters. The FBI is fishing through homes of veterans and citizens with no criminal records and restricting the liberties of individuals that have never been accused of a crime. Mr. Biden calls January 6 the worst attack since the Civil War. A president was impeached for his alleged role in that riot. It was reported early, completely unconfirmed, that an armed insurrection, quote, beat a police officer to death with a fire extinguisher. The government has even enlisted Americans to turn in their own neighbors. Federal prosecutor Michael Sherwin on CBS News’ 60 Minutes continued the, quote, “Shock and Awe,” end of quote. Many of my Democratic colleagues opposed the “Shock and Awe” strategy in Iraq. We should similarly oppose its application against American citizens.

His Arizona colleague, Congressman Andy Biggs, also wanted to divert everyone’s attention to leftist protest violence, apparently on the grounds that it justified the insurrection, or at least made Democrats look hypocritical for trying to hold Republicans accountable for it:

Democrats have said that the events of January 6 were an assault on democracy, and if that’s true, if disorderly conduct in a restricted building is an assault on democracy, then what do we call setting fire to federal court in Portland, Oregon, with people inside—what do we call that? For years, we have watched riots in American cities while House Democrats remain silent or actually supported the violence. The federal courthouse in Portland came under attack every night and Democrats said nothing.  

And then he played a video showing select scenes of nighttime protest violence in Portland. No one mentioned that the protests did not involve an attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power in a national election.

Not a single Republican denounced Donald Trump’s role in the events or even managed to acknowledge that the insurrection was inspired by the broad dissemination of Trump’s claim that the election was stolen, and its broad support by a large number of congressional GOP members and right-wing pundits. That apparently didn’t fit into their cognitive bandwidth.

Schumer to FBI: Put Capitol rioters on the no-fly list and prosecute them

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer—soon to be the Senate majority leader—is calling for the domestic terrorists who attacked the Capitol to be added to the no-fly list. Schumer urged that move in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, additionally calling for the insurrectionists to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Videos of rioters learning they couldn't fly home have become popular online content after American Airlines banned some and others were blocked or removed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 

As tempting as it is to think about these violent terrorists being banned from air travel, and as much as they should absolutely face consequences for their actions, there are serious problems with the no-fly list, as the ACLU has highlighted repeatedly over the years. For instance, “innocent, law-abiding Americans have found themselves subject to relentless hassles, interrogation and searches every time they try to travel by air.  They may share similar names with those who have been placed on suspect lists, or be the victims of random error, malicious discrimination, or mysterious bureaucratic quirks.” You don’t have to have any sympathy for these specific asshats to see the problems with such a system.

At the same time, flight attendants and other workers who have to deal with air travelers shouldn’t have to face the kind of abuse that Trumpists frequently deal out. “Acts against our democracy, our government and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight,” Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) said in a statement following the attack on the Capitol.

Then again, if the people who stormed the Capitol were in prison, they couldn’t fly anyway.

Immigrant rights groups demand ‘immediate impeachment’ of Trump for inciting violent mob

More than a dozen organizations including leading immigrant rights advocacy groups are calling for the “immediate impeachment, removal, and prosecution” of Donald Trump following his incitement of a violent mob that sacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Following the white seditionist siege, five people, including a Capitol police officer, are dead.

“Donald Trump incited today’s violent attack on our democracy,” organizations including the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) and Presente said in the statement. “Every moment that he remains in office is a severe danger to our country. Congress must respond decisively and immediately. We call on Congress to immediately certify the election, impeach and remove Trump, and refer him for prosecution.”

The organizations also call for legislators who aided Trump in inciting this violent seditionist mob, including Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Missouri (though he actually lives in Virginia) Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, to be punished by Congress. “Further, all members of Congress who joined Trump in inciting today’s violent coup attempt based on baseless, provable lies must be held accountable through censure, expulsion, or other means,” the organizations continue.

“As of Friday morning, 159 House Democrats and 22 Senate Democrats have issued statements supporting impeachment,” Daily Kos’ Joan McCarter writes. “A Republican, Sen. Ben Sasse, is also on board, saying that he will ‘definitely consider whatever articles [the House] might move because I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office. … What he did was wicked.’”

Yet Vice President Mike Pence, who has the power to begin the process to remove Trump from office using the 25th Amendment, is nowhere to be found. But that’s because Pence is also a soulless charlatan who cast away the couple of convictions he may have had to become a starry-eyed sidekick to a reality show host authoritarian.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that the House “may be prepared” to go ahead with impeachment if Pence doesn’t act first, but his inaction as Donald Trump continues to remain an ongoing threat to democratic values has made it clear the House must go ahead and act first—and now. “We cannot wait one day longer,” tweeted Faith for Black Lives, another one of the leading organizations to have signed the letter. “Congress must act TODAY.”

Fascism: As polling turns against him, Trump lays groundwork for mass violence

Rattled by poor polling numbers in his reelection bid, the alleged president of the United States is encouraging domestic terrorism. That's where we're at, and everyone from top national security experts to local emergency officials are all crystal clear on that. The New York Times reports from a bunch of 'em in a piece that can both contain remarkable factual phrases like "Mr. Trump has descended into rants about perceived enemies" and still somehow soft sell the underlying message:

The nation is preparing for violence on and after Election Day because Donald J. Trump, a fascist, is goading his supporters into that violence with rally claims that any loss on his part will be proof that his enemies cheated.

There is no possible chance that Trump doesn't know what he's doing. His tweeted calls to "LIBERATE" states from governors who imposed widespread pandemic measures resulted in a Michigan militia attempting to do exactly that. Trump is back at it even today, claiming their primary target, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, "wants to be a dictator." He is attaching the legitimacy of the state to calls for mob action—only to repeat those calls when it looks like the first versions are beginning to bear fruit.

The only reason he is not being treated as a radical, dangerous figure who has irreparably violated his own oath of office, necessitating removal, is because Republican Party leadership and lawmakers have themselves embraced and defended those violations. It is self-radicalizing; the farther Trump goes into overtly authoritarian behavior, the more pressure the party feels to defend and normalize their own support for him. The more Trump's circle has succeeded in isolating and excising state and local functionaries who express alarm at his grotesqueries, the more the party has become a homogenized group of anti-democracy, authoritarian-molded radicals themselves.

Trump has clearly been unfit for office in every respect; the impeachment investigation identified his corruption, the pandemic proved his apathetic incompetence, and his continued calls for mob justice against targeted enemies have proven (as have similar quotes repeated through the last five years) that he is not just indifferent to extralegal punishments of his enemies, but publicly fantasizes about them. If Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Attorney General William Barr, Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin, Sec. of State Mike Pompeo, Rep. Mark Meadows, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Ted Cruz, and the entire rest of the party had not all decided to ally with him for their own ideological and policy ends, he would have been removed in bipartisan fashion long ago, reduced to a historical footnote.

They didn't, and now local law enforcement officials around the country are preparing for radicals among what Trump has proudly designated his "Army" intent on disrupting Election Day, sabotaging ballot-counting measures, and committing acts of coordinated terrorism targeting his opponents. It's now expected.

Once again we're in a position where the fate of democracy rests on not just beating anti-democratic forces, but doing so in such a convincing fashion that sabotage can't alter the outcome. But now it comes with the near certainty of violence. This is Mitch McConnell's fault: Remember that. This is Lindsey Graham's fault. Mike Pence, Kellyanne Conway, William Barr. Trump's suggestions to "liberate" parts of America from small-d democratic governance would be intolerable if they believed them to be intolerable. Everything Trump does and will do has happened because they allowed it.

The creep of the QAnon cult threatens to consume what’s left of the Republican Party

The bizarre and otherworldly QAnon cult—the conspiracist Donald Trump fanatics who believe that liberal Democrats and their allies have been secretly operating a global pedophilia ring that is going to end in mass arrests called “The Storm”—has not only been spreading farther and deeper into mainstream conservative politics, but the entire Republican Party appears on the verge of being completely consumed by it.

Trump himself retweets QAnoners’ authoritarian paeans to his presidency and its attacks on his critics. His former national security adviser posted video of himself and a group of friends taking the “QAnon Oath.” Trump’s son Eric tweets out open support of the “Q” conspiracy theories. Trump’s favorite cable-news channel features reporters who openly embrace the theories. Dozens of Republican candidates openly spout QAnon claims and rhetoric, and GOP organizations have used their Facebook accounts to promote QAnon theories.  

The fantastic aspects of this conspiracism—particularly the obdurate insistence by the growing hordes of True Believers that “Q has always been right” in the face of the mounting reality that not one of the theories’ predictions or claims has yet proven accurate—make it difficult in many ways to take it seriously. In an ordinary world, it would be dismissed as a joke.

But the up-is-down belief system inherent in conspiracist worldviews like QAnon has spread so far that it not only has infected democratic discourse with garbage disinformation, but its underlying nature is profoundly violent—which presents the very real threat (one we’ve already seen playing out) of unhinged QAnon believers acting out and wreaking potentially significant levels of harm.

After all, there is a reason the FBI warned last year that QAnon was a likely vector for fueling domestic terrorism: “The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts.”

Yet it continues to seep into mainstream Republican politics with almost nary a raised eyebrow. Oregon’s QAnon-loving GOP Senate nominee, Jo Rae Perkins, can even call for the imposition of martial law in her home state (to battle “antifa”) without any notable pushback. The Republican Party has resolutely—and silently—refused to withdraw its support for a single one of the 64 GOP candidates with QAnon connections.

Media Matters’ Alex Kaplan compiled a complete list of QAnon candidates:

  • Thirteen candidates have secured a spot on the ballot in November by competing in primary elections.
  • Of those 13 candidates, five are from California, two are from Illinois, and there is one each from Colorado, New Jersey, Oregon, Georgia, Ohio, and Texas.
  • One candidate in Florida is running as an independent, who is also on the ballot in November.
  • One candidate, in Georgia, is heading to an upcoming primary runoff.
  • One candidate in New York is running as a Republican write-in.
  • In total, 59 of the candidates are Republicans, two are Democrats, one is a Libertarian, and two are independents.

“They've done absolutely nothing to discourage QAnon followers from believing as they do,” QAnon researcher Travis View told Politico, adding that this only stokes the community’s fervor. “I mean, QAnon is premised on the idea that there is a secret plan to save the world, so they take the silence more as part of that secrecy.”

The White House and its allies have offered disingenuous retorts that verge on ballsy dishonesty when asked about the friendliness of Trump and his allies. When Flynn posted his 53-second clip to Twitter on the Fourth of July, he was participating in a ritual already being shared widely that week as video posts by the QAnon community (Perkins among them) under the hashtag #TakeTheOath (which in fact is the same loyalty oath taken by members of Congress). The trend was in fact inspired by a person using the Q identity on the message board 8kun to “symbolically take the oath on social media platforms.” At the video’s end, Flynn recited the QAnon slogan: “Where we go one, we go all!”

Flynn lawyer Sidney Powell told the Washington Examiner that there was no intent on Flynn’s part to embrace QAnon conspiracy theories—rather, he claimed, Flynn only “wanted to encourage people to think about being a citizen." He claimed the phrase "Where we go one, we go all" was first engraved on a bell on one of President John F. Kennedy's sailboats—which in fact is a falsehood first propagated by the Q persona in a message-board post. Powell also told CNN that “implying anything wrong with words long ago inscribed on a bell to encourage the unity of the human race is malevolent and just plain wrong. There is nothing more to the story."

Experts laughed at Flynn’s denial. “This is absolutely pro-QAnon," researcher/author Mike Rothschild told CNN. Moreover, Flynn’s public embrace was a major validation for the cult’s True Believers, he explained.

"The Q community is really excited by all of this. Flynn is a hugely important figure to them, seen as a warrior who infiltrated the deep state by pretending to plead guilty," Rothschild said. "The video of Flynn actually taking the oath is, to them, total validation that they were right, that Flynn is a warrior who fights for them, and that they can be digital soldiers on his level."

This underlying vision—of being a heroic warrior for truth battling against the vilest of evils—is what attracts so many followers to QAnon, and simultaneously creates permission in their minds for committing the most atrocious acts of violence one can imagine. We’ve already seen this playing out in domestic-terrorism incidents that, fortunately, did not reach fruition:

  • A QAnon fanatic armed with an AR-15 and an armored truck blocked traffic on the Hoover Dam and demanded the inspector general’s report on the government investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email practices in June 2018.
  • A California man arrested in December 2018 with bomb-making materials in his car told investigators he intended to use them to "blow up a satanic temple monument" in the Springfield, Illinois Capitol rotunda. His larger intentions, he said, were "make Americans aware of Pizzagate and the New World Order, who were dismantling society."
  • An Illinois woman who became a fanatical QAnon devotee livestreamed herself on a cross-country trip, armed with a collection of illegal knives, to New York City, where she hoped to “take out” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. NYPD officers arrested her there.
  • The young man who murdered Gambino mob boss Frank Cali, who gorged himself on QAnon theories online, told investigators he committed the crime because he believed that Cali was part of the “Deep State” operation to sabotage Trump’s presidency.
  • The Los Angeles locomotive engineer, also a QAnon fan, who drove his engine at high speed off the tracks near the docks where the US Naval Ship Mercy was stationed as part of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic—it halted about 800 yards away from the ship—told arresting officers he was hoping to ram the ship because he believed the claims (primarily from QAnon theorists) that the patients were going to be secretly carted off to Guantanamo: “You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. … I had to. People don’t know what’s going on here. Now they will.”

The QAnon cult has always had this violent idea of heroism at its dark heart, even among the once-respectable Republicans who have been consumed by it. One of the most prominent of these is Michael Scheuer, the former CIA analyst, college lecturer, and onetime Fox News regular whose career as a pundit metastasized from virulent Islamophobia to unapologetic anti-Obama “Birtherism.”

Nowadays, Scheuer can be found penning lengthy defenses of QAnon and its nonsense, claiming that dire consequences lay just around the corner for the usual laundry list of Trump critics and journalists who dared question the regime: “Maybe all of the following, gallows-headed traitors will write a Q on their palm and claim innocence by insanity?” he mused last December after Trump’s impeachment.

The supposed “Storm” arrests are only the beginnings of Scheuer’s fantasies, however. Another essay, penned a year before the QAnon screed, laid out his vision of a citizens’ uprising—replete with lynchings and domestic terrorism—in response to the “treason” of attacking Donald Trump:

American patriots have so far, praise God, been remarkably disciplined in not responding to tyranny and violence with violence. For now they must remain so, armed but steady. But the time for such patience is fast slipping away; indeed, that patience is quickly becoming an obviously rank and self-destructive foolishness. If Trump does not act soon to erase the above noted tyranny and tyrants, the armed citizenry must step in and eliminate them.

It is, of course, far better if Trump does so, and I pray and believe he will. That said, the sheer, nay, utter joy and satisfaction to be derived from beholding great piles of dead U.S.-citizen tyrants is not one that will be missed if Trump does not soon do the necessary to save the republic.

The QAnoners’ fantasies, like everything dreamed up on the far right, are certain to remain unrealized. But the likelihood that many, many people are going to be hurt in their looming attempt to make them manifest is also just as certain.