Information made public in recent days shows there is no longer reasonable doubt that the fascist riot in Washington on January 6 almost resulted in a massacre and was orchestrated with high-level support from the Trump administration and Republican Party.
The Washington Post reported yesterday that the mob entered the Senate chamber less than 60 seconds after Vice President Mike Pence was evacuated. The Post wrote: “The proximity of the Jan. 6 mob to the vice president and the delay in evacuating him from the chamber—which have not been previously reported—raise questions about why the Secret Service did not move him earlier and underscore the jeopardy that top government leaders faced during the siege.”
Prosecutors in Arizona also reported that those involved in the plot planned to “capture and assassinate elected officials.” This was contradicted by a Trump Justice Department official, who said yesterday, “We don’t have any direct evidence of kill capture teams.” In federal court Tuesday, lawyers for Arizona protestor Jacob Chansley, photographed shirtless with horns and make-up in the capitol, argued that their client was merely following Trump’s orders and requested Trump pardon him.
Police are now investigating a letter from New Jersey Democratic Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill asserting that Republican members of Congress were giving tours of the Capitol to rally participants in the days before the event. Other Republican members of congress, including Texas’ Peter Sessions, met with rally organizers in the days before the event. Fascist rally organizer Ali Alexander said he met personally with Republican representatives Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks and Paul Gosar in the lead-up to the riot.
The outpouring of information showing the involvement of the state apparatus in the events of January 6 has prompted an internal “investigation” headed by the Justice Department. This call has all the earmarks of an official cover-up.
The Post reported yesterday that the review will involve investigators from “the departments of Justice, Defense, Interior and Homeland Security.” The review will likely take years. In a statement announcing the investigation, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said his office “is mindful of the sensitive nature of the ongoing criminal investigations and prosecutions,” and will “take care to ensure that the review does not interfere with these.”
In other words, the most vital information will be withheld from the public on bogus “national security” grounds.
The response of the Democratic and Republican parties to last Wednesday’s attempted fascist coup in Washington DC demonstrates that although the January 6 attempt failed at seizing power, the entire political establishment is now lurching further to the right. While the Republican Party defends Trump’s actions and integrates the extreme right, the Democrats trail after, appealing for “unity.”
By threatening physical violence in the run-up to the January 20 inauguration, the far-right has succeeded in intimidating state legislatures in several states. On Thursday, the Oregon state legislature delayed its 2021 legislative session due to threats from far-right militias. Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat, acknowledged that it was the Oregon State Police, an institution riddled with Trump supporters, that ordered the closure of the session.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Washington Governor Jay Inslee, both Democrats, revealed Thursday that pro-Trump demonstrators stormed their residences on January 6. Walz said the demonstrators forced the evacuation of his children.
Walz added that he had not been briefed by any Trump administration officials about FBI memos or any potential unrest. “I think they’ve pretty much checked out of the game,” Walz said. “And you would think if there were credible threats after what we saw at the US Capitol, that maybe the governor of Minnesota would get a call from an undersecretary or somebody just to let us know. But no."
According to Politico chief political correspondent Tim Alberta, similar efforts at intimidation also influenced the House impeachment vote. “I know for a fact several members want to impeach but fear casting that vote could get them or their families murdered,” he wrote. “Numerous House Republicans have received death threats in the past week.”
The most right-wing members of the incoming Congress are now emerging as stars of the Republican Party. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a fascist QAnon supporter representing rural Georgia, announced Thursday that she would introduce articles of impeachment against President-elect Joe Biden on January 21, the day after his inauguration.
Despite the fact that Democrats will control both houses of Congress and the executive branch, the Biden administration and Democratic leadership are already announcing their desire to work with their “Republican colleagues.”
On Thursday, Biden announced that his COVID "relief” plan would not include $2,000 checks for each individual, as the Democrats had promised during the Senate elections in Georgia. Biden said this would be reduced to $1,400, cynically claiming that Democrats intended the stimulus to total $2,000, and that this included the $600 provided last month.
In a letter to Senate Democrats published yesterday, soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said that Senate Democrats would prioritize confirming Biden’s nominees for secretary of defense, secretary of homeland security, secretary of state, attorney general and secretary of the treasury.
The January 6 insurrection “showed us we need qualified Senate-confirmed people (not in an acting capacity) in key national security positions,” he wrote. “The economic challenges our nation faces also require having key economic nominees confirmed and on the job ASAP. We will strive to make this important work bipartisan."
In other words, in the name of “unity,” Senate Democrats will concede everything to Republicans in order to ensure that the US military and intelligence agencies and the Treasury Department are fully staffed to oversee US imperialism’s operations and to ensure that Wall Street is provided with an endless flow of money. Biden has also prioritized reopening schools, sacrificing the health of children so that their parents can be forced back into the labor force on behalf of corporate America.
In the spirit of “unity,” the Biden administration has announced it will appoint current Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist, a Trump appointee, to serve as acting secretary of defense pending the confirmation of Biden’s nominee, Retired General Lloyd Austin. Norquist supported Trump’s decision to unlawfully allocate Defense Department resources to build the wall on the US-Mexico border.
Wall Street has responded favorably to this dynamic. David Bianco, chief investment officer for the Americas at DWS mutual fund management, told CNBC Thursday, “I think we’ve gotten the Biden stimulus and more priced in. The way I’m describing Bidenomics is spend now, tax later and don’t tax until the bond market objects... The markets are seeing things are better now and we’ll see if there’s payback down the road with higher interest rates.”
Senate Democrats have also recently made clear they will secure Austin’s confirmation despite the fact that he requires a waiver because of his recent military service, a further erosion of the democratic principle of civilian control over the military. Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, who will soon become chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the Washington Post Wednesday, “We now have a clearly qualified candidate and a declaration by the president-elect that he needs General Austin for the safety and security of the nation.”
Within the military, there is also talk of Biden integrating and maintaining connections to the extreme right. According to a report in the Military Times, incoming Biden officials are considering granting press credentials to far-right publications like OAN News, Newsmax and Breitbart.
One former Obama administration official told the Military Times: “My personal view is it would be all too easy to shun these outlets, to rightfully claim that they don’t apply themselves to the same journalistic standards that your outlet does, or the wire services or the daily newspapers, and you could use that critical view against them to limit their access. I personally believe that would be self-defeating.”
The Socialist Equality Party calls for the independent mobilization of the working class in this crisis through a general strike to stop the danger posed by the far-right. This must be coupled with the demand for an open, full-scale investigation into the coup of January 6 and the plans for future far-right violence in Washington DC and across the country.