A practicing Georgia attorney has admitted his involvement in the Capitol riot that took place Wednesday.
In an exclusive interview with the Atlanta Newspaper, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, attorney McCall Calhoun said he was among the many that stormed the Capitol doors on Wednesday when a mob—self-described as “Anti-Communist Counter-Revolutionary—breached the U.S. Capitol to stop democracy.
An act Calhoun calls patriotic and heroic.
“The Deep State cannot stop us,” he posted on Parler, which is a social media platform used by many Trump supporters. “They learned that today when we stormed the Capitol and took it. The word is we’re all coming back armed for war.”
According to the newspaper, Calhoun has been practicing law in Americus for 30 years and generally practices criminal defense law in a south Georgia city.
“This was civil disobedience. Anyone who claims it was anything other than civil disobedience was not there, and they did not see it, and they do not know,” he said. The riot he references left five dead, which included a Capitol Officer and a woman from Kennesaw, Georgia, who was there on Trump’s behalf.
Calhoun also said the attempted coup was sparked by frustration over what he called a stolen election. Months before the rally, he was on social media sharing his ire at Democrats and Antifa. He also warned of a coming civil war.
“The crowd was of one mind. Everybody there had the same attitude. They felt they had been robbed of a fair election and the Congress wasn’t listening to them,” he stated. “It probably wasn’t the best idea, but it was what this group of people did; they did it for the love of America.”
“As part of the anti-communist counter-revolution, we’ve got to get serious about stopping them by force of arms,” Calhoun posted on Parler in October. He also said “regular Americans” had to be prepared to take action.
When asked about his retweet of a doctored photo of incoming President Joe Biden that mentioned hanging him, Calhoun was unbothered.
“Trump voters say that all the time,” he stated. “We’re just ornery.”
He also defended statements he made about a civil war, calling it heated political rhetoric. He insisted it wasn’t actual warnings that he and other rioters intended to be violent during their mob at the Capitol.
Calhoun’s view of what took place Wednesday is a stark contrast to how others see it. According to him, when police tried to stop them from getting into the building, the rioters were actually “tourists” that were there to look at but not disturb the building’s paintings or artwork.
“The people who went in there, what they did was heroic. It was very patriotic,” he said. “I’m not saying it was the ideal thing to do. I am saying at that time and place, those people felt like that was their only hope. They don’t want to lose their democratic republic.”
It seems like Calhoun is trying to lessen the damage of the group who was recorded on camera boasting about their federal offenses.
Georgia State University law professor Clark Cunningham has a different outlook. “I would say what he did – I would say what all of them did that entered the Capitol —is the serious federal felony of sedition. It’s the domestic equivalent of treason,” he said. “It wasn’t a sit-in. They knew the Congress was convened to do perhaps the most important thing a Congress can do: preside over the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another.”
Sharing the same sentiments as many of us, Cunningham said what seems obvious–that the mob went to the Capitol to prevent Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral win.
Despite Calhoun’s plea of innocence—that Wednesday was an act of civil disobedience—Cunningham says he should consider the practice of Gandhi and others, accepting the legal penalties that will come from their actions.
For sedition, one can face up to 20 years, Cummingham added.
“A central point of civil disobedience is you accept the penalty of breaking the law,” he said. “That’s what makes civil disobedience, potentially, a virtuous act.”
Still, Calhoun calls his part in the madness “trespassing” and says that was the worst crime committed.
“I would freely admit that I trespassed, but I did it for the love of my country,” he said.
When it comes to professional position as an attorney, Cunningham says it appears he has violated basic rules set by Georgia’s highest court, the Supreme Court. Attorneys can be disciplined or permanently disbarred if convicted of committing “a criminal act that relates to the lawyer’s fitness to practice law or reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer.”