The carnival-like atmosphere conveyed by images and video from the attack on the Capitol this week was deceptive. Not only did the mayhem lead to five deaths, including a police officer, but according to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, “There was something way, way darker, more violent, more sinister, and more organized happening in that Capitol on Wednesday.”
Hayes, drawing on new video, told his Friday night audience that what they saw on television the day of the riots, “were largely not the most horrifying [images] of the day.”
“Much of what we saw, silly costumes, people taking selfies and grabbing the Speaker’s lectern looked kind of like a group that might even attend a Trump boat parade,” the host said. “But there was something way, way darker, more violent, more sinister, and more organized happening in that Capitol on Wednesday, and it’s time we see it clearly.”
Hayes pointed out that the “insurrectionists erected a gallows with a noose right outside the Capitol,” and some in the crowd were caught on video chanting, “Hang Mike Pence.”
“This is a video of a crowd chanting ‘hang Mike Pence’ while Pence, the vice president, was in the Capitol [and] had to be taken to a secure location because he had failed to do the thing that Donald Trump told that crowd of people, that mob, that Mike Pence had to do, or face… their wrath.”
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Hayes showed a video of an AP photographer being attacked as he covered the attempted coup. And he told of an incident where a New York Times photographer was “thrown to the ground” after the mob who surrounded her. Trump supporters demanded to know what news organization she was from and became angry. “I thought I could be killed and no one would stop them,” the photographer said in the New York Times.
The most harrowing images Hayes spoke about were of a man in “full tactical gear” in the Senate chamber holding plastic zip ties.
As Hayes pointed out, the plastic ties could be used to take hostages, which the FBI is now investigating, according to the Washington Post.
Hayes also named names, laying the fault of the mayhem at the feet of Trump and certain Republican members of Congress — Sen. Josh Hawley, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Congressman Mo Brooks.
The mob “went into the Capitol as Congress was counting electoral votes equipped to take hostages, to physically seize officials and presumably to take lives,” Hayes said, adding, “It is entirely possible that there were people in that crowd looking to apprehend and possibly harm and possibly murder the leaders of the political class — that the president and people like Mo Brooks and even, to a certain extent, Ted Cruz and Hawley have told them have betrayed them.”
Hayes then ran several videos of the violence from that day, including one of someone being shot and another of a police officer in obvious distress as the mob tried to get past him in a doorway.
The host said Trump must be held legally accountable for the mob’s behavior: “The president incited and facilitated a violent assault on Congress that resulted in five deaths, including the death of a Capitol Hill police officer. He must face legal consequences for those actions.”
The danger, as Hayes and several Democrats are warning about, is still present. That is why Democrats in Congress are seeking to remove Trump, even though he has less than a week to go on his term. On Friday, House Democrats announced plans to introduce an article of impeachment against the president as soon as Monday.
Making her case in an interview that will air on Sunday, Speaker Pelosi told 60 Minutes that Trump is “deranged, unhinged and dangerous” and must be held legally accountable for the violence he incited this week.
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