On Thursday, 42-year-old “Vets for Trump” co-founder Joshua Macias was arrested alongside a 61-year-old QAnon and anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Antonio Lamotta while the two men were headed to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the site of the city’s ballot count, to “straighten things out,” according to the Daily Beast.
Police said the men drove from Virginia to Philadelphia, and that at the time of their arrest the men had pistols, an AR-15 rifle, and nearly 160 rounds of ammunition.
“They lacked valid Pennsylvania firearms permits to carry, and were charged with carrying a concealed firearm without a license, a third-degree felony, and carrying a firearm on public streets or public property, the District Attorney’s office said Friday.,” reporters Will Sommer and Pilar Melendez wrote.
While a friend of Macias claims he had just driven to Philadelphia to observe the vote count, Macias had spoken at a Trump rally in 2015 and posted images stating that Democrats were trying to steal the 2020 presidential election from President Donald Trump, something Trump himself and his campaign surrogates have repeatedly stated for months.
The District Attorney has suggested both men be denied bail and is considering other charges against Macias and Lamotta.
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GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy Says “Everyone” Is to Blame for Capitol Riots
While Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has previously said that he thinks former President Donald Trump bears some responsibility for the January 6 coup attempt in which his supporters ransacked the Capitol to overturn the election that he and Republicans baselessly claimed was stolen, McCarthy added in a Thursday interview, “I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility [for the coup attempt.]”
McCarthy then said that anti-Trump Democrats, rude social media users, unprepared law enforcement authorities were all responsible too, even though Trump literally told his followers on the morning of January 6 to march to the Capitol and fight to stop legislators from approving the election victory of now-President Joe Biden.
“I think this is what we have to get to the bottom of, and when you start talking about who has responsibilities,” McCarthy said. “I think there’s going to be a lot more questions, a lot more answers we have to have in the coming future.”
It’s especially telling that his Senate counterpart, now-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has directly blamed Trump for the riots.
“The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said Wednesday. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”
After months of making baseless claims that a national conspiracy of widespread voter fraud stole the election from him, a claim laughed out of courts 60 times over for lack of evidence by judges that Trump himself appointed, Trump held a “Stop the Steal” rally on the morning of January 6 in which he said, that he won the election “by a landslide” and encouraged his followers to “stop the steal” by going to the Capitol. If people don’t “fight like hell,” Trump said, “you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
GOP Rep Andy Harris Tried to Bring a Concealed Gun Into the Capitol House Chamber
Republican Representative Andy Harris of Maryland was recently prevented from entering the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol after a metal detector indicated that he had a concealed gun on him while trying to enter, something that is forbidden by security rules.
A spokesperson for Harris said, “As a matter of public record, he has a Maryland handgun permit and the congressman always complies with the house metal detectors and wanding. The congressman has never carried a firearm on the House floor.”
However, it’s remarkable that Harris tried it at all, as Democratic legislators say that they have felt increasingly unsafe around their Republican colleagues in the day following the Republican-led January 6 coup attempt in which insurrectionists stormed the Capitol in hopes of killing those who refused to give former President Donald Trump an undeserved second term.
About 139 House Republicans and 8 Senate Republicans voted on January 6 against certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory. While some have admitted off-the-record that they only voted that way in fear of being targeted for violence by Trump’s supporters, one Republican in particular, Congresswoman and QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, has previously suggested that she herself would personally gun down the progressive female House members of color known as “the Squad.”
The House had metal detectors installed following the January 6 coup attempt, but Republicans began walking past them and ignoring guards stationed at them. In response, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said any politicians who do such things will be fined $5,000 or more.
Feces on the Wall, Hostage Taking, Cop Crushing: Trump’s Capitol Riot Was Worse Than First Realized
While you’ve likely seen the photos of pro-Trump rioters smiling and acting goofy as they ransacked the U.S. Capitol, MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes said the reality is “way darker, more violent, more sinister, and more organized” that we realized.
In his roundup of disturbing facts from the attempted coup, here are aspects of the riot you may not have known about:
– A cop was murdered by being beaten to death with a fire extinguisher in the halls of Congress.
– A woman was shot in the neck while trying to smash a window leading into the Speaker’s Lobby outside the House Chamber.
– A woman was trampled to death by her fellow rioters.
– Trump’s supporters literally smeared feces on the walls and floors of the building.
– Reuters editor Jim Bourg said he heard at least three different rioters saying that they wanted to find and execute Vice President Mike Pence for betraying Trump.
I heard at least 3 different rioters at the Capitol say that they hoped to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor. It was a common line being repeated. Many more were just talking about how the VP should be executed. https://t.co/fxHREouEWF
— Jim Bourg (@jimbourg) January 8, 2021
– One rioter erected a gallows with a noose outside the capitol. A group chanted “Hang Mike Pence” outside the Capitol.
– Rioters attacked an Associated Press photographer who had to be pulled to safety from the mob.
– Rioters threw a New York Times reporter to the floor and tried to break her cameras when they realized who her employer was. She screamed and no one helped.
– A man in full tactical gear and holding zip ties “flex cuffs” used to restrain people’s hands behind their backs infiltrated the Senate chamber. That is, he was equipped to take hostages and physically seize officials. The man, Larry Rendall Brock Jr., has since claimed that he found the zip ties on the ground and planned to give them to police.
– They stole documents and electronic equipment that constitutes a serious breach in national security.
– Insurrectionists ripped off the gas mask of one capitol police officer and began crushing him inside a doorway as a mob chanted “heave ho” to break down the door he was wedged in as he began bellowing in pain.
This is what the pro-Trump mob did to American law enforcement officers after the President incited a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol
(warning, graphic video) pic.twitter.com/4RNsZQAYbh
— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) January 9, 2021
At the Stop the Steal rally earlier that day, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the crowd that the election should be settled through a “trial by combat.” Trump himself told the crowd, “You’ll never take back our country through weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”
Keep in mind, for months before the insurrection, the Trump campaign sent out emails asking recipients to join the “Trump Army” not to mention the nearly 200 times after election day that Trump, his family, campaign lawyers and official allies tweeted about the non-existent election fraud while Trump’s other surrogates repeatedly spoke of “constitutional crisis” and “civil war.”
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