Trump supporters’ Wednesday “protest” was everything but peaceful.
According to the Daily Beast, rioters—some donned in body armor–stormed in carrying Molotov cocktails, firearms, pipe bombs, and zip ties, which strongly suggests the group showed up to battle.
One federal prosecutor has described the scene as “a very dangerous situation.” The MAGA mob forced their way into the Capitol building, where they roamed the halls, invaded elected officials’ offices, destroyed and stole property, and clashed with the Capitol police.
Rioters marched to the U.S. Capitol to do an attempted coup, with hopes of stopping Congress members and VP Mike Pence from certifying the Electoral win of Joe Biden.
Many wonder why authorities on the scene were not better prepared for what many knew would be a controversial day. Still, now federal authorities are working hard to identify and file charges against those involved in the deadly insurrection that left four dead.
“We will bring the most maximum charges we can,” Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for D.C., said at a press conference on Thursday. “This is just the beginning.”
Sherwin also said prosecutors are in the process of filing federal charges in 15 criminal cases related to Wednesday’s madness. In that group is a man arrested for carrying a semi-automatic rifle and 11 Molotov cocktails. Another rioter wielded a pistol, while a third repeatedly assaulted an officer.
Sherwin is not in opposition to investigating the White House. Many people are pointing fingers at Donald Trump, who told his supporters to “show strength” and not accept defeat before the massive crowd going to the Capitol grounds.
It’s possible Trump is responsible for the organization of the riot.
“We’re trying to deal with the closest alligators to the boat right now,” Sherwin said. “Those are the people who obviously breached the Capitol, created violence and mayhem there, and then exited. But yes, we are looking at all actors here, not only the people that went into the building.
Authority is moving fast to criminalize and apprehend right-wing rioters.”
An affidavit obtained by the outlet details how participant Mark Jefferson Leffingwell was among hundreds of rioters who breached the Capitol; he’s accused of punching an officer who tried to stop him from joining the mob inside.
Eventually, the invaders reached the Senate chambers, but luckily, Congress members and VP Mike Pence had been evacuated.
According to the outlet, several rioters were armed and carried restraints, which proved the intentions of their siege. Some of the weapons and restraints can be seen in video footage and pictures, including flex cuffs and zip ties.
“The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.,” Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said in a statement.
“[Thousands of] individuals actively attacked [officers] with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and took up other weapons against our officers. They were determined to enter the Capitol Building by causing great damage.”
Following harsh criticism and a call by the department’s union director to make changes, Sund has announced he will resign.