Three Things Last Week That Showed the January 6 Attack Was an Attempted Fascist Coup



As we brought out last week in Three Things This Week That Tell You The Rulers of This Country Are in Deep Shit, “the sharp divisions among the ruling powers in the U.S. can no longer be resolved within the framework of capitalist democracy that has existed for the past 150 years.” This continues to be true—here are three more examples:


One: Damning and compelling evidence has come out around the murderous, white supremacist nature of the January 6 attack on Congress. And new evidence has confirmed that this attack was not a mere “riot,” and certainly not a normal tourist visit—it was a coup, the culmination (so far) of months of work by Trump and other fascists to overturn Trump’s election defeat.

On July 27, four officers from the Capitol Police Department (CPD) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)—the agencies that fought off the attack for five hours until National Guard forces arrived1—testified before the House Select Committee investigating January 6. Referring to the mob as “terrorists” carrying out an “attempted coup,” cops described a “medieval battlefield” in which thousands of attackers armed with bats, metal pipes, rocks and chemical weapons assaulted, beat and even tortured them.

MPD officer Michael Fanone described being pulled out of police lines into the crowd, and—though he was no longer an obstacle to the mob—repeatedly kicked, beaten and tased. He suffered a heart attack and traumatic brain injury, until he finally begged for his life, telling attackers, “I have kids.”

MPD officer Daniel Hodges was crushed between two doors and told, “You will die on your knees.” Hodges, who is white, said the crowd was mainly white supremacists, and that some tried to “recruit” him to their cause, asking, “Are you my brother?” Black and Latino cops were taunted, including with the N-word.

Cops testified that the mob told them they had been sent by Donald Trump and acted on his authority. Hodges said there was “no doubt in my mind” that they were there to kill members of Congress. Dunn challenged the Committee to investigate and hold Trump and others to account: “If a hit man is hired and he kills somebody, the hit man goes to jail. But not only does the hit man go to jail, but the person who hired them does. It was an attack carried out on January 6 and a hit man sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that.”

On July 30, notes were released by the Department of Justice (DOJ) of a December 27 conversation between then-President Donald Trump and then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and his deputy, Richard Donoghue. On this call, Trump demanded that the DOJ falsely brand the November elections as fraudulent to support Trump’s mounting effort to overturn them and hold onto power. “Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” Trump is reported to have told them, and threatened to replace them if they didn’t. Trump insisted on this in spite of being told repeatedly—by officials he had appointed—that all allegations of significant electoral fraud had been investigated and shown to be false.

This report comes on top of previous reports about Trump’s January 2 call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger demanding that he just “find 11,780 votes”—enough for Trump to win the electoral votes in Georgia—and similar encounters with election officials in Michigan and elsewhere.

All of this was aimed at whipping up Trump’s base in the run up to January 6. As Politico reported in late December 2020, Trump held three three-hour meetings with fascist Congresspeople where they “strategized over a last-ditch effort to overturn the election results next month.” One participant told Politico, “It was a back-and-forth concerning the planning and strategy for January the 6.”


Two: Although the January 6 coup was unsuccessful, leading Republicans continue to legitimize the illegal and likely violent seizure of power by the fascists.

July 25: Trump spoke to a rally of thousands in Phoenix, Arizona (where a fake “audit” of election ballots has been ongoing for months in an effort to “legitimize” the lie that the election was stolen). A report at described Trump’s followers as “willing to kill or die for him,” and Trump presenting himself to the crowd as expecting “to be returned to power by any means necessary.”

Trump’s speech was filled with straight-up fascist lies. He warned “our country is being destroyed … by people who won an election illegally.” He said that “we are becoming a communist country” and that “the survival of our nation depends on holding [the people who “stole” the election] responsible.” He said that “America is the most just and virtuous nation in the history of the world. And I tell you, you’re not going to have a country very much longer. You’re not going to have a country.”

What is this, other than agitation for fascist violence and coups directed at both the ruling Democratic Party-dominated federal government and at oppressed and progressive people?

July 28, Rep. Jim Jordan, a key Congressional fascist leader, admitted that he spoke to Trump on January 6 but refused to say what they talked about. And Jordan bragged that he continues to talk to “the President” (note, not “former-president”) regularly.

On July 31, Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told an interviewer that he was at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where they were holding “cabinet meetings” to discuss “what comes next.” While Meadows framed this in terms of the upcoming elections in 2022 and 2024, there is the same insistence as with Jordan that Trump is the current President.

Also on July 31, the New York Times published an analysis of the further transformation of the Republican Party into the Party of Trump. The article notes that after January 6 many Republican Congresspeople expressed outrage about the mob assault, including publicly blaming Trump and demanding that he be held accountable. Now, however, Republicans have (with only a very few exceptions) “completed their journey through the looking-glass, spinning a new counternarrative of that deadly day… a version of events in which those accused of rioting were patriotic political prisoners and [Democratic] Speaker Nancy Pelosi was to blame for the violence.” The Times reports, “From his private club in New Jersey, Mr. Trump suggested that Ms. Pelosi should ‘investigate herself,’ yet again falsely insinuating that antifa and Black Lives Matter—not his followers—caused the destruction on Jan. 6 and that a democratically decided election had been stolen from him.”

GOP leaders are joining in the chorus: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed that “responsibility” for the Capitol attack “rests with” Pelosi. Another leading Republi-fascist, Rep. Elaine Stefanik, called Pelosi “an authoritarian who has broken the people’s house.” And while MPD and CPD officers were testifying to Congressional investigators, a group of Republi-Nazis protested outside the Justice Department (DOJ), claiming that Ashli Babbitt (part of the mob on January 6, who was shot and killed as she attempted to break through a glass door) was a “patriotic martyr” whose “execution” was “premeditated,” and to accuse the DOJ of “mistreating” the 500 mob-members who were arrested.

All this points to the reality that the fascist forces are continuing to prepare their millions of followers for further violent and illegal action if needed to re-seize power, punish their enemies and consolidate fascism.


Three: In the face of all this, the Democratic Party continues to “reach across the aisle,” seeking “bipartisan agreement” with the party of rabid fascism and white supremacy. Passage of a “bipartisan” infrastructure bill (not defeating the fascist forces, not defending the voting rights of Black and Brown people, not limiting police brutality and murder, not protecting the planet) remains Biden’s most cherished stated objective.

It’s true and important that the opening session of the House Select Committee on January 6 was powerful. And Biden (as we noted last week) has given passionate speeches about “protecting voting rights” and “defending democracy,” saying that these are “existential” struggles. And some lower-level elected Democrats (like the members of the Texas legislature who fled the state to prevent the passage of fascist anti-voting laws) have taken action that is at least somewhat commensurate with the grave danger and dire situation.

But this is not reflective of what Biden and the Democratic Party as a whole are actually doing. For instance, the Democrats opted not to schedule the Select Committee hearing during prime time, when it would have a much broader audience, doing it on a weekday morning instead. So the explosive testimony did not break through and become the major story of the day (and week) that it should have been, except on liberal cable networks.

Biden also turned down a request to meet with the fugitive Texas legislators—which would have elevated what they are doing to a major story—and instead had them meet with Vice President Harris. And Biden is openly defending the filibuster (the Senate rule that allows the Republi-fascists to block "progressive" legislation, and specifically right now, block voting rights legislation), telling Don Lemon on CNN that getting rid of it would “throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done.”2


1. The Chief of CPD first sent a call for National Guard assistance up his chain of command around 1 p.m. on January 6. The request was apparently stonewalled at multiple levels, including the Department of Defense, which did not formally authorize the deployment until 5:45 p.m. This is further evidence of an organized coup. [back]

2. Writing in the New York Times, columnist Charles Blow took apart Biden’s response to Lemon, pointing out that “Getting rid of [the filibuster] to protect Black people’s ballot access is getting something done. Something enormous.” [Emphasis added] Blow also righteously ripped into Biden’s blasé comment that no matter what the Republicans do, “the American public, you can’t stop them from voting.” Blow wrote, “This is patently false. You absolutely can stop people from voting. We have seen this over and over again throughout American history. And, these laws won’t harm all Americans. They’ll harm minorities in America.” [back]

On January 6, a group of thousands, with armed and organized fascist forces at its core, stormed Congress in an attempt to stop it from confirming Joe Biden as the new president. Photo: AP

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