What Happened on Capitol Hill #101

Deepnews Digest #101

What Happened on Capitol Hill

The storming of the U.S. Capitol by rioters at a rally for President Trump has reverberated around the country and around the world. While many people on Wednesday experienced the events in the form of quick breaking news updates, they also call for deeper discussion about issues such as division, misinformation, policing, and more. This Digest gathered articles on many of those angles with the help of the Deepnews Scoring Model.

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POLITICO

Can Donald Trump Survive ‘Virtual Impeachment’?

On the defining day of his tempestuous reign, Donald Trump, typically so incorrigibly noisy, was rendered all but muzzled.

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ProPublica

Capitol Rioters Planned for Weeks in Plain Sight. The Police Weren’t Ready.

Insurrectionists made no effort to hide their intentions, but law enforcement protecting Congress was caught flat-footed.

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Washington Post

Pentagon placed limits on D.C. Guard ahead of pro-Trump protests due to narrow mission

The Pentagon placed tight limits on the D.C. National Guard ahead of pro-Trump protests this week, trying to ensure the use of military force remained constrained, as the Guard carried out a narrow, unarmed mission requested by the city’s mayor to help handle traffic ahead of planned protests.

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Texas Tribune

Ted Cruz faces fierce blowback after his objection to Joe Biden’s victory and riot at the U.S. Capitol

Two nights before the Electoral College certification in Congress, Ted Cruz was in vintage form. The junior U.S. senator from Texas was calling in to a friendly conservative radio host — Mark Levin — and setting up Wednesday’s vote to be the kind of intraparty line in the sand that has powered his political rise.

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New York Times

Trump Is Said to Have Discussed Pardoning Himself

The discussions occurred in recent weeks, and it was not clear whether he has brought it up since he incited supporters to march on the Capitol, where some stormed the site.

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The Dispatch

The Storming of the Capitol

When 2021 dawned, it had been 206 years since the U.S. Capitol was last occupied by a force. As of Wednesday, we’re back to counting up from zero.

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LA Times

I’m in a roomful of people ‘panicked that I might inadvertently give away their location’

WASHINGTON — I love to be in the House or Senate chambers on big days. There’s just something about being in the room where it happens. It’s more than just a news story. It’s history, and a privilege to tell people about it.

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Editor’s Note:

Headlines around the world used the word “chaos” though sometimes it is hard to picture exactly what that means. Here our algorithm highlighted LA Times reporter Sarah D Wire recounting being in the House of Representatives and taken to a secure location with lawmakers. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

New Yorker

The Capitol Invaders Enjoyed the Privilege of Not Being Taken Seriously

By the end of the day, we knew remarkably little, but we knew this: the Capitol Police had been woefully unprepared for an invasion that had been easy to predict—that had, in fact, been virtually declared by the man with the world’s biggest megaphone. There had been violence, destruction of government property, tear gas, stun grenades, and gunshots. As of Wednesday night, four people were known to have died, one of them shot by police. Fifty-two people were known to have been arrested, out of several thousand who had stormed the building.

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RollCall

‘Let’s get back to work’ — Mob doesn’t deter Congress from electoral vote certification

For over a month-and-a-half now, reported cases of the infection have dropped to below 50,000 a day. During this time, there have been festivals, elections, farmers’ protests, and relaxations in restrictions.

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Bellingcat

The Journey of Ashli Babbitt

Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, was shot and killed by Capitol Police while attempting to enter the Speaker’s Lobby on the second floor of the US Capitol in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021. Babbitt was part of a thousands-strong mob that stormed the building after the conclusion of the #StopTheSteal rally at the Washington Monument earlier in the day.

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The Nation

Madness on Capitol Hill

Part insurrection, part happy hour, Trump supporters lost their minds, and I watched a man urinate on the Capitol steps. The nation, ashamed, was left to mourn.

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St Louis Post-Dispatch

Messenger: Danforth calls his support of Hawley the ‘worst mistake’ of his life

Former U.S. Sen. John C. Danforth saw a mob of rioters take over the Senate chamber where he had spent much of his professional life. The dean of the Missouri Republican Party was a member of the Senate between 1976 and 1995.

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Editor’s Note:

Attention after the riots has focused on President Trump but also on lawmakers who supported the challenge to states’ electors such as Texas’s Ted Cruz and Missouri’s Josh Hawley. Here a St Louis columnist speaks to one of Hawley’s predecessors. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Washingtonian

A Viral Photo Identified Her as a Vote-Rescuing Hero During the Capitol Insurrection. Hear This 19-Year-Old’s Account of What Really Happened

When rioters entered the Capitol yesterday, the quick-thinking staff of the Senate Parliamentarian’s office made sure to grab boxes of electoral college votes as they fled the building under attack. When that news circulated online, onlookers were quick to try to identify the staffers who rescued the votes, and one image of Congressional staffers carrying the important leather boxes of votes went viral. (Bestselling author Glennon Doyle posted the photo on Instagram, praising the women who “had the presence of mind and courage to protect, keep safe, and transport the electoral votes before fleeing the Senate.”)

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Wired

A Game Livestreaming Site Has Become an Extremist Haven

DC rioters used DLive to stream from the Capitol to thousands of people on Wednesday-and to get donations from them too.

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The Conversation

QAnon and the storm of the U.S. Capitol: The offline effect of online conspiracy theories

What is the cost of propaganda, misinformation and conspiracy theories? Democracy and public safety, to name just two things. The United States has received a stark lesson on how online propaganda and misinformation have an offline impact.

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WSJ ($)

At the U.S. Capitol, Milling Crowd Sparked Riot in a Few Crucial Minutes

The milling crowd of President Trump supporters had taken his invitation to march on the U.S. Capitol, but upon arriving at the steel fencing at the edge of the building’s western lawn, they seemed unsure of what to do next. Then, at 12:48 p.m., a clutch of men in blaze orange hats and military-style vests turned a nearby street corner, marching straight toward them.

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Washington Examiner

For tens of thousands, Trump was just something to believe in

In the Constitution, Jan. 6 is the day Congress meets to review and certify the electoral votes of each state. In the Christian church, Jan. 6, the 12th Day of Christmas, is the Epiphany, commemorating when the Magi arrived to honor Jesus as the Messiah. Epiphany comes from Greek roots that could be translated roughly as “shining a light on.” An epiphany is when the truth is suddenly revealed. Christians celebrate the revelation that our savior arrived. Trump supporters were looking for a different sort of epiphany on Wednesday.

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POLITICO

Justice Department warns of national security fallout from Capitol Hill insurrection

The mob that rampaged inside the halls of Congress on Wednesday might have taken a lot more than Americans’ illusions of invulnerability.

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Editor’s Note:

Several articles this week deal with the riots from the point of view of security. While some look back at how events were allowed to unfold, others like this look forward at the implications of having rioters break into secure areas. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Inter Press Service

Storming of Capitol Hill Reminiscent of a Banana Republic

The storming of Capitol Hill in Washington DC by an unruly mob is reminiscent of an insurrection in a “banana republic” –as hilariously portrayed in the 1971 Woody Allen comedy “Bananas” spoofing a revolt in a fictional Latin American country.

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Stratechery

Trump and Twitter

In December 2016, when then-President-elect Donald Trump summoned tech leaders to Trump Tower for a roundtable discussion, there was considerable debate about whether or not executives like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Larry Page, Apple’s Tim Cook, and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella should accept the invitation. I argued that they absolutely should in this Daily Update

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