Opinion / Politics

Was the January 6 Attack on Capitol Hill an Insurrection?

By Terry Arnold


House Resolution 503 established a select committee to investigate the hundreds of former President Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol Building on January 6 to determine who directed “an attempt to block the official ratification of the 2021 presidential election results.”

McConnell says it was an insurrection.

The Republication National Committee has stood by its view that the charges against all participants in the riot as the “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in illegitimate political discourse.” Senator Mitch McConnell, Senate majority leader, disagreed and stated that the RNC was wrong. “The event on January 6 was a violent insurrection to prevent a peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election from one administration to the next.”

Many disagreed with McConnell’s characterization of the attack as an “insurrection,” including me.
Definitions are important.

An insurrection is defined in Oxford Languages “as an organized violent uprising against an authority or government. The word “organized” is essential.

Was there a “leader” of the group who attacked the Capitol? Was it President Trump? Or was it the guy in the Indian medicine man outfit with buffalo horns on top of his head?

Maybe it was the guy who propped his feet on Speaker Pelosi’s desk and left her a note containing an insult.

Or perhaps the organizer was 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, the unarmed Air Force veteran shot by a Capitol police officer when she tried to enter the sanctity of the congressional home well after hundreds of others had already breached the entrance?

Comparisons do not match.

Was it an insurrection when violence and upheaval spread across our nation in response to the George Floyd killing by Minneapolis police officers? Before that event, demonstrators’ efforts in Democrat-controlled Portland, Ore., attempted to burn a justice building with workers inside. That building, a federal building, is a part of our established government, and this effort appears to be driven by opportunists.
Reuters reportedly saw a Homeland Security internal intelligence report that “most of the violence appears to have been driven by opportunists.”

These opportunists’ actions in both cities deserved their arrest and trial. Instead, they were given a slap on the wrist and released with minimum bail or none.

Was the attack on the Capitol different? The mob was filled with opportunists, too, and lost control of its senses and applied old-fashioned stupidity to the situation. The Capitol attackers deserve equivalent punishment judgments given to other opportunists, low bail, light sentences, and no probation. Some of the January 6 attackers were arrested and tossed into the D.C. jail with no bail. Some were placed in solitary confinement for months without charges against them. Some remain incarcerated today.
According to Business Insider reporters, there are charges against 846 people in the Capitol attack. The FBI is still looking for others to arrest. I can only wonder if they are still looking for similar opportunists.

According to ABC News, Trump urged supporters to march to the Capitol to demonstrate against Congress certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.”

I understand “to demonstrate” meant to go to the Capitol and gather to picket, yell, show placards, and protest, thereby showing their disapproval of congressional action. Many groups with a cause do this regularly, like those who support pro-abortion, pro-life, Black lives matter, selection of Justices for the Supreme Court, farmers, and just about any group that believes they have the right to demonstrate against their injustice.

In my opinion, on January 6, 2021, the assault on Capitol Hill was unplanned, undirected, unled, and merely a moment of unmatched stupidity that led to breaking into the Capitol.

Terry Arnold operates Reserve Communications Resource and specializes in politics and government operations. He is a retired United States Air Force Colonel who lives and works in San Antonio, Tex.

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Tom Claridge
7 months ago

NO it was not an insurrection and no one has been charged with that crime to my knowledge. A 1000 people were jailed illegally and the Gov’t demonstrating it’s core dictatorship tendencies as
well as it’s really poor judgment! We have no “Justice System” really it is a totally one sided org.
that arrests and charges Republicans, Flynn et al, and never saw a Democrat do anything wrong,
Biden, Clinton(s), Shiff, et al, And we are going to pay the price for not fighting hard enough to stop this trend as it will cost us the 1st & 2nd amendment to the Constitution within the next few years
as the next stolen election crushes us fully! THC

Dave H
7 months ago

Help me here!!

Did or did not the head of the F.B.I. testify under oath before a House committee that the actions of 6 Jan did NOT rise to the level of an insurrection? Anybody actually read the Congressional Record?

Tom Claridge
7 months ago
Reply to  Dave H

AMEN and no one has ben charged with that crime in my memory? Even though jailed for over a year?! THC

7 months ago

insurrection? No. protest? Yes.
You have to know some of the same people who rioted in Seattle and other cities were there to break into the Capital and riot.
If you watch the video you can see them using the same tactics they used in Seattle and other cities.

7 months ago

Any intelligent person who watched the videos should be able to tell the difference between Trumpers waving their flags at the rally and the thugs pushing into the building. It was a planned set up.

7 months ago
Reply to  Nancy

and nanny pee let it happen.

7 months ago

Not on your life. The insurrection started under obummer and it continues today. The folks jailed for the 1-6 riots have had their due process violated, denied bail and treated as a political prisoners just like Hitler, Stalin and Chairman Mao Zedong.

Ted L.
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark

AMEN. It was unfair when they did it to Hitler and it’s unfair when they are doing it to people who are simply trying to spread his doctrine.

Tom Claridge
7 months ago
Reply to  Ted L.

You are not welcome here or anywhere in the USA Sir!

7 months ago

I absolutely agree. This was no where NEAR an insurrection! Has anyone looked into whether or not Antifa or BLM were employed to purposely create / instigate chaos? Jan 6 was people expressing their right to protest. There is AMPLE evidence to prove the Presidency was outright stollen by fraudulent actions and voting machines, not to mention illegal mail in ballots. Anyone who says otherwise is an outright liar, or totally a biblical “fool”! They are the “traitors” to this Democratic Republic, and as such should be tried and sentenced as such. The liberal progressives did absolutely NOTHING during the many destructive incidents following George Floyd. Talk about insurrection!!!! Where were they then??? They encouraged them, and called it “mainly peaceful” demonstrations!! BULL!! This whole thing is a Scam by both sides.
President Trump exposed the Swamp although it’s more extensive than he even imagined!!! That’s exactly why our forefathers instituted the “right to bear arms”!! To enable us -we the People-to protect ourselves from a Tyranical gov’t!!

7 months ago

SAVE THE U.S.A…..Exterminate all demonrats, commies, and nazis….It’s time for a new civil war against the leftie loonies!!!,,,,…

7 months ago

IMHO: The reaction to the Jan 6 protest was planned and is being orchestrated by the Pelosi/Schiff/Schumer/McConnell anti-Trump-obsessed, USA hating, mob assisted by the DOJ/FBI radicals. The Mass Formation Psychosis brainwashed liberals will still back them and vote for them even though they are being massively sh!t on by these people because they are just blind followers and useful idiots. The whole thing is little more than a Trump-bashing three-ring-circus of illusions and lies. A very taxpayer expensive farce.

7 months ago

That was not an insurrection by any definition of the word. It started out as peaceful protesters!!!! The whole country knew at the time the election had been stolen by the very means they tried in 2016. Instead of Hillary we have an idiot in charge who is being manipulated by others like a puppeteer. The people behind everything are more known to the public than they would like to believe.

Dan W.
7 months ago
Reply to  Helen

Nothing says peaceful protest like bear spray and body armor.

7 months ago
Reply to  Dan W.

Yes by Antifa plants and FBI informants. We have the proof. The leftist wackos only want us to see what they present as so called evidence.

7 months ago
Reply to  Dan W.

No no, you have to understand that BOTH these things are SIMULTANEOUSLY true:

(1) It was a completely peaceful protest during which no one did anything wrong at all.

(2) It was a violent orgy of biblical proportions, all caused by Antifa agitators.

7 months ago

To answer the questioin posed by the title, the answer is no. The FBI even came to the conclusion that January 6th was NOT an insurrection. The protest, which is what is was that had some violent instances, lacked all the criteria necessary to qualify as an insurrection.

Dan W.
7 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Maybe it was simply a 21st century version of Woodstock minus the peace, love and understanding.

7 months ago
Reply to  Dan W.

It was actually far less violent and destructive than the ANTIFA and BLM “peaceful protests” that were carried out in 20 Democrat run cities as they burned over the summer. The Capitol wasn’t burnt down like so many small businesses, police stations, and court houses. Congress was actually back in session before midnight to rubber stamp the election results. The only person killed on January 6th was Ashley Babbitt, who was unarmed and didn’t pose an imminet threat to the life of the officer that kiled her. He just panicked, fired and then was given a medal for it. Go figure. A number of former Police Commioners and Chiefs of Police said that after reviewing the officer’s report and listening to his TV interview, he should have been charged with either manslaughter or negligent homicide. Go figure.

I really do understand that Democrats and Never Trumpers want to try and ensure that Donald Trump can never run for POTUS again. He scares the h*** out of both, because he won’t play the Washington two-step game and just agree to continue the managed decline of the United States.

The Democrats want Trump neutralized to clear the field for a more “progressive” candidate in 2024 and the Never Trumpers want someone in the mold of a Bush, Kasich, Graham or Rubio, who will “go along to get along” and knows how to “lose with dignity”. Honestly, I have my doubts that Trump will decide to run again in 2024, even though we’ll need someone like him to clean up the damage 4 years of Biden will have inflicted on the country. Especially if McConnell and McCarthy happen to be running Congress. Trump has been there and done that with a Republican Congress in 2017 and 2018, that drags its feet on virtually everything but what benefits the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. So why would he want to put himself through another 4 years of having to do everything by executive orders and deal with countless Clinton, Obama and Biden federal Judges issuing a stay on everything he does only to have the Supreme Court ultimately rule in his favor 99 percent of the time. Huge waste of time. To me, it would be a massive headache that would all be for naught the next time the country is stupid enough to elect another Democrat POTUS and he or she quickly trashes the country again.

By the way, if DeSantis decides to run, if Trump chooses not to, he will face the same unceasing assault Trump faced from all sides for the same reasons. The MSM will run the same playbook. The Democrats will run the standard “DeSantis is Hitler” script just like they screamed Trump is Hitler, Bush is Hitler and so on and so on. DeSantis doesn’t strike me as someone who tolerates fools well and fools is the most charitable description I can use for McConnell and McCarthy. DeSantis wouldn’t view the continuous obstruction from McConnell and McCarthy any more favorably than Trump did. The same goes for string of Democrat nominated federal Judges deciding their job is to legislate from the bench and then have them all reversed on appeal by the Supreme Court.

So by all means try and conflate January 6th to be something far bigger and more important than it was, if it makes you feel better. I understand some people prefer style over substance in who they vote for. It’s OK. By the way, January 6th was far less deadly that the shootings of 5 Congressmen in the Capitol in 1954, which wasn’t classified an insurrection either.

Dan W.
7 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Agree that whatever it was, it wasn’t an insurrection. Most in the crowd didn’t have a specific endgame for the day’s events and those that did, didn’t have the means to carry it out.

As for Trump vs. DeSantis, I would prefer Trump because I think that he could make more progress getting legislation through Congress than DeSantis. Still hoping that Biden comes to his senses shortly after this November’s mid-terms and decides not to run for reelection.

7 months ago

Calling the protest against the fraud in the 2020 election an insurrection is blatant political manipulation. The Democrats and their lapdog media do this constantly and Republicans and others just go along. STOP IT! January 6 was a justified protest and the Democrats would have done much worse and have. I am sick of the evil hypocrisy of the Left. It is time for them to be held accountable. Their Guile knows no bounds. The only thing they will understand is defeat and punishment. If you cannot see how the Democrats seek to manipulate then you are a total fool. The Democrat Party is a clear and present danger. They now call evil good and good evil.

7 months ago

This committee is simply a big FARCE…..all designed to prevent Donald Trump from seeking office agai in his life…….the committee is made up of oafs who have been feeding at the public trough for decades collectively……….they have the intelligence of a snail……that’s right…..a snail……and the person who was responsible for appointing people to this committee is an old h**……..

Steven Coughlin
7 months ago
Reply to  Walt

That’s highly insulting to snails????

Dan W.
7 months ago

Terry, I crown you king of the hair splitters.

7 months ago

The lack of legal consequence against illegal actions, riots not protests, was the fuel that lead to the riot at the Capitol. Stupid will always follow the path of least resistance. The DNC and every member of the Democtatic party are at fault for the misdirection of lawful demonstrations into an acceptance of violence, which always leads to property loss and worse, the lost of life. That’s what the riots across America have done over and over again. History show the facts and fact is truth. The truth is, violence is not democracy, its authoritarianism and fascism that use ignorance to weponize stupid actions.

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