What happened at the Capitol Building?


Carol Leonnig tells Brian: What happened at the Capitol Building last Wednesday afternoon? How many people got inside? Why were they able to do so?

As we've frequently noted in the past week, information develops slowly, Storyline spreads very fast. We're looking forward to learning more about what happened that day.

How were people able to gain entry? Last night, the Washington Post's Carol Leonnig told Brian Williams this:

LEONNIG (1/12/21): As one former Secret Service official said to me, who'd been involved in a lot of inaugural planning, those people made it look so easy to trounce an iconic building, the symbol of our democracy, and walk right in.

Of course, they were eight thousand people strong against fourteen hundred police officers. They were wearing riot gear and helmets and gas masks and had pipes and bats, and many of the officers had none of that.

Why were Capitol Police so outnumbered? We look forward to learning more about that. If they were inadequately equipped, we hope to hear more about the planning which went into that.

Meanwhile, Leonnig went on to describe what reinforcements from Metropolitan Police saw when they arrived at the Capitol:

"Metropolitan Police Department officers who rushed to this complex, to protect it, to help their colleagues the Capitol Police" saw those colleagues "getting their heads bashed in, with pipes, with bike racks." Or at least, so Leonnig said.

Yesterday, we linked to a Washington Post report about injuries sustained by those outnumbered police. Meanwhile, for what it's worth, it seems that some of the people invading the Capitol didn't have quite so easy a time "walking right in." 

Lots of videotape seems to show the invaders struggling to gain entry by breaking external windows or by scaling exterior walls. This morning, in The Daily Beast, we read this account of the way one of these disordered people managed to gain entry, Pilar Melendez reporting:

MELENDEZ (1/13/21): A 36-year-old West Texas florist and one-time mayoral candidate, Jenny Cudd, was also arrested on Wednesday. She allegedly bragged online that “we” scaled a wall and charged down the doors to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

“We had to scale a wall to get there and we just pushed and pushed and pushed, and yelled, ‘Go’ and yelled, ‘Charge’, and we just pushed and pushed and pushed and we got in. There was a door that was open, we went through the door and we were inside,” Cudd said during a Facebook Live.

"We had to scale a wall to get there," this newly-arrested miscreant had allegedly said. For whatever it may be worth, plenty of videotape seems to show plenty of those 8,000 people seeming to have a difficult time "walking right in."

According to Leonnig, Capitol Police were badly outnumbered, and they may have been under-equipped. We look forward to learning more about how this breakdown may have occurred.

Tomorrow, though, we'll show you more of the claims which were instantly made over here in the streets of Our Town. 

With lightning speed, the New York Times published a bit of script by Roxane Gay, as we noted in Tuesday's report. According to Gay, Capitol Police "basically usher[ed] these terrorists into the building and let them have the run of the place for a ridiculous amount of time."

Gay was hardly alone. Even here, in the streets of Our Town, the ancient gods Rumor and Slander were quickly allowed to rush in.

This is the way we "humans" are wired. Or so a raft of top anthropologists have despondently, quite sadly said.

With apologies: Like Fox News, MSNBC no longer prepares transcripts of the TV shows in which it take so much pride.


  1. Why so much drama about this little incident, dear Bob?

    Recently, terrorists were holding a good chunk of Seattle for almost a month; a place where people - tens of thousands of them - actually live -- and your goebbelsian media didn't care at all. They didn't mind; some cheered.

    But when an anti-government protest gets outta hand for an hour, it's suddenly a mega-drama. WTF, dear Bob?

    1. It's like Somerby never saw a bunch of snowflakes, whining that black people's votes count in an election, try to overthrow the nation before.

    2. Nothing to see hear, right scuzball?

    3. "But when a black person's vote is counted in an election, its suddenly a mega-drama, WTF, dear entire modern conservative movement."

      Fixed for accuracy.

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  2. Somerby was suggesting that only one police officer posed for a selfie during the insurrection, accusing Gay of pluralizing for effect. Here are two more police offices who were charged with a crime and also suspended from their VA police force for taking selfies during the attempted coup:

    ""Federal authorities have charged two Rocky Mount police officers with misdemeanors resulting from their presence inside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riots, town officials said Wednesday in a statement. The town statement did not elaborate further as to what the charges are against Officer Jacob Fracker and Sgt. T.J. Robertson," The Roanoke Times reported Wednesday.

    "A selfie that Fracker took inside the Capitol shows the officers standing in front of a statue of John Stark, a Revolutionary War officer from New Hampshire who is famed for having penned that state's motto, "Live free or die." Fracker is making an obscene gesture. Robertson is pointing at Fracker while holding a wooden object," the newspaper reported."

  3. How do 8000 people go through a single opened door?

    Somerby, excessively literal to the end, seems to think that the opening of a few doors to let in the insurgents means that ALL the doors were opened that way. If a single door were involved, how could 8000 people pass through it in the amount of time it took to occupy the building?

    The assault was on the entire building. That's why walls were being scaled. The steps were already occupied by insurgents.

    Has Somerby been deliberately avoiding reading anything about this insurrection? Has he not read the way in which the older female Trump supporter was crushed by the crowd of insurgents? Has he not seen the videos of insurgents scaling the walls to the side of the building using ropes? Has he not seen the pictures of insurgents breaking windows in order to gain entry to the building? All of this was going on concurrently. There is no either/or here. It is not a matter of everyone came in by a door that was opened for them, or everyone broke in, and not both happening at once.

    Somerby's pretense to know nothing about what happened is irritating when he is writing a blog column about events that any politically aware person has been following closely. Who does he think he is discrediting with his feigned ignorance? Only himself.

    1. Also, there were external doors and internal ones.

  4. "According to Gay, Capitol Police "basically usher[ed] these terrorists into the building and let them have the run of the place for a ridiculous amount of time.""

    Some did and some didn't. As of yesterday, two officers were suspended and 10 were under investigation for their actions during the insurgency. Clearly, many of the officers did their duty and were brave under difficult circumstances. Others helped the insurrectionists. That's why the chief of the Capitol police was removed.

    Doesn't Somerby wonder why one of the officers on the Capitol police force reportedly committed suicide on Thursday, after the riot?

  5. "this newly-arrested miscreant had allegedly said."

    The crimes for which these people are being arrested may be alleged, but their statements are often on video and thus not alleged at all. With news reports in which a reporter has spoken to an informant, there is no tradition of calling those statements "alleged" because (1) libel laws protect the information from being misquoted, (2) the statement was made to the reporter directly and is usually backed up by notes or recording.

    When Somerby calls such a statement "alleged," he is calling into question the integrity of the reporter. The word implies that Somerby at least thinks that reporters may be making shit up. This is another way Somerby undermines faith in our mainstream press, his underhanded way of maligning a reporter without taking responsibility for his own attack on the press.

    Who else attacks the press, calling their reports Fake News? I don't know...could it be...Trump?

  6. The insurgents reportedly had schematics and floorplans for the capitol building, and there are accounts of some of them being given tours of the building by Republican house members prior to the Wednesday insurrection, as advance planning. There are also videos of insurgents giving orders to others, directing their activities. In that sense, this was not an aimless riot with every Trumpie for himself. They came prepared to break into the building.

    Somerby, of course, never reads the news and thus is entirely unaware of what happened, pretending he would like to know more while refusing to acknowledge the information already reported.

    To borrow a phrase from Somerby, Fox viewers are obviously not being told the full truth about what happened...you'll never see reports about this advance planning over there.

  7. Bob is probably correct in that too much is being assumed over at MSNBC. He should be careful not to do the same himself, as it has caused misinformation to appear on the blog in the past.

  8. Somerby is pretending that this idea of insurrection was ginned up by the press, but the people aren't fooled:


    Polls show that both Democrats and Independents are on to Donald Trump and his Republican supporters, horrified by what happened, and want to see Trump impeached.

    Somerby is not only out of step with liberals, but he is out of step with everyone except Republican Trump supporters. What do you suppose that means?

  9. I heard one commentator say that there are some potential 400 entry points at the Capitol. Doors, windows

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  11. “Roxane Gay, as we noted in Tuesday's report.”

    Somerby calls his blog posts “reports”!

  12. Leonnig appeared on MSNBC with Brian Williams. Was she engaging in Rumor and Slander?

    Somerby’s beef, perhaps a quibble over language usage, is with Roxane Gay who said “Capitol Police” instead of “some Capitol Police”. (“I don’t think we expected to see Capitol Police basically ushering these terrorists into the building”)

    The fact that even some Capitol Police helped the insurrectionists, which seems to be the case, is ... “shocking.” Or not, depending on how much one knows about policing in America.

    Somerby has declared ‘the intersections of "race" and crime and punishment’ are “largely imagined.” Would he like to also make a dubious statement about the largely imagined intersection of fascism/authoritarianism with policing?

    1. Somerby's willful ignorance of the intersection between police, congressional members, and insurgents is a manifestation of his bruised ego, brought about by his insignificance in a world leaning ever more to the left.

      Somerby is a crybaby.

  13. “we hope to hear more about the planning which went into that.”

    I’m sure the Trump DOJ will get right on that.

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