It has now come to light that there are multiple first hand sources who have testified that Donald Trump watched the rioting on television on January 6 for hours and did nothing to mitigate it. In other words Republicans can’t just just disparage Keith Kellogg’s reputation and be done with it. Multiple people besides Mr. Kellogg were in the room where it happened, and Republicans and their spear-carriers in the rightwing media are going to have to find a unique way to defend Trump.
The implications of this are staggering. The usual attempts to explain away the havoc the January 6 insurrection caused simply no longer work. Four police officers on duty that day committed suicide. Police officer and Trump supporter Brian Sicknick died from injuries sustained as a direct result of his defending the Capitol. Numerous other police officers were injured that day, or suffered debilitating post traumatic stress disorders.
Private citizen and insurrectionist Ashli Babbitt, the Republican answer to Horst Wessel, was fatally shot by a police officer when she attempted to breach the Speaker’s Lobby. Now when the grimly sardonic slogan “Who killed Ashli Babbitt?” is asked, the unavoidable conclusion is that much of the blame must be laid at the feet of Donald Trump.
And what about the idiotic conspiracy theory that January 6 was a “false flag operation” staged by everyone from Antifa to the FBI? How are Republicans going to square that fairy tale with the now certain knowledge that Donald Trump sat and watched it all happen — for hours — and did absolutely nothing to stop it?
There simply is no way out of this for Donald Trump. Sandra Garza, the late Brian Sicknick’s girlfriend and a Trump voter, thinks Trump belongs in prison for what he did that day. She believes he started the riot and failed to stop it when he clearly had the power to do so. She also thinks that had Sicknick lived he would agree with her.
There really can be only one credible explanation for what Trump was doing that day. He was waiting for the outcome of the rioting and hoping that it would end in a successful coup d’etat, the overthrow of Joe Biden and himself installed as dictator for life. When none of that happened he came out many hours later and very reluctantly told everyone to go home. But he didn’t do any of that until it became clear beyond doubt that the insurrection failed to thwart the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
The narrative endlessly repeated by Trump suck-up Sean Hannity, that Trump wanted the protest at the Capitol to be “peaceful and patriotic,” is given the lie by the now known fact that Trump watched it turn ugly and violent for hours on end and refused to intervene, despite being begged to do so by several people, including his children.
We also know that not only did Trump start the riot, he proved himself to be a craven liar when he told the crowd that he would go to the Capitol with everyone else. Instead he cowered in the dining room next to the Oval Office and watched it on TV.
Now hundreds of rioters are either under criminal indictment or are being sought by the FBI as persons of interest for their part in the rioting that day. I submit, given what we now know from witnesses, that there is one more January 6 insurrectionist that needs to be hunted down and arrested by the FBI. The man who started the rioting and refused to stop it when it became deadly and violent, Donald John Trump. It’s time to indict him for his crimes that day. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.