Tag Archives: sedition

Videos keep worsening Jan. 6 tragedy

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

So help me I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

The New Yorker magazine today released a video from the Jan. 6 invasion of Capitol Hill by the horde of terrorists. It sent chills up my back; it made the hair seemingly stand up. Videos such as this provide ample and graphic evidence of what Donald Trump incited that morning while exhorting the crowd gathered in front of him.

Oh, and then we had Don Trump Jr. saying something like “coming after you” those who don’t turn from “zeroes to heroes” and Rudy Giuliani calling for “trial by combat.”

It just gets more repulsive daily, it seems, as video after video surfaces to show the world — yes, the entire planet — what kind of moron this nation saw fit to elect as its president four years ago.

The latest video shows terrorists busting through windows at the Capitol Building. They are marching under Old Glory, wearing those hideous MAGA hats, yelling “Where’s f***ing Nancy (Pelosi)!” They chant “Hang Mike Pence!” The video shows rioters pulling a police officer into the crowd and beating him within an inch of his life with flagpoles.

And  they scream “USA, USA, USA!” while attacking the very seat of our national government!

How in the name of decency does any of this make any godd*** sense?

The House impeached Trump one week later. He now will stand trial in the Senate. Trump will be out of office. Following true to form Trump said his conduct was proper. He takes no responsibility for the “incitement of insurrection” that he clearly and without any serious question is guilty of committing.

A Senate conviction won’t remove him from office. It can bar him from ever seeking public office again. That punishment would be good enough for me, even though I preferred a conviction during the first impeachment a year ago would have prevented all of this tragedy from unfolding in the first place.

Three days to go before President Biden takes the reins.

Oh, my. Let’s hold on for dear life.

Biden facing tough prosecutorial call

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Joseph R. Biden Jr. laid down an important marker a while back when he said he had no interest in pursuing federal criminal charges against his predecessor as president of the United States.

I’ll just get this off my chest: I think that was the correct course for President Biden to take. However, Biden made that judgment prior to the events that occurred on Jan. 6, which is the insurrection that Trump incited with that hideous speech on The Ellipse.

The House of Representatives impeached Trump a second time just one week after that tragic event. Joe Biden will take his oath of office just one week after the impeachment.

Trump will stand trial in the Senate. What the senators do, of course, remains the Question For the Ages. A conviction won’t remove Trump from office; he’ll be long gone from the White House. It would deny Trump the ability to seek public office ever again.

Should the Justice Department pursue criminal sedition charges against a former president if it determines there is evidence that he committed a crime by telling the mob to walk down the street and “take back the government”? If it doesn’t pursue them, does that let Trump off the hook, letting him get away with a punishable felony?

Here’s another question. Would a federal prosecution put the soul of the nation — which President Biden vowed to restore — in even more dire peril? Would such a prosecution inflict mortal wounds on our national psyche?

I now am officially undecided on the pledge that President-elect Biden made, that he has “no interest” in prosecuting Trump.

Joe Biden might have to assess the national mood in real time as he faces whether DOJ should proceed with prosecuting Trump.

I am not suggesting that Trump should avoid all prosecution. State authorities are looking into myriad other allegations leveled against the president. They involve campaign finance violations, his personal finances, the activities of his closest advisers and even his own family and a host of other matters. Local prosecutors’ ability and willingness to prosecute Trump are beyond the federal government’s reach, which renders DOJ’s view irrelevant.

What’s more, I also believe that local authorities need to keep looking until they determine whether they have enough to level charges. And if they don’t …

President Biden’s lengthy political career, burnished by his legal background, prepared him to ponder the decision he likely must confront.

If only Donald Trump had exhibited a scintilla of decency on Jan. 6 by telling the rioters to stand down. He didn’t. He incited them to attack the bastion of the government of this great nation.

That’s why President Biden faces an agonizing decision.

Riot looks more chilling

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

You know, the more I see videos of that calamitous riot on Capitol Hill the other day, the worse it looks to my eyes each time I see it.

At this rate, the riot launched by terrorists against the federal government might take its place with the 9/11 videos we all have watched for nearly 20 years. That is to say that the 9/11 images are virtually unwatchable for me.

I have difficulty watching the planes fly into the World Trade Center without — at a minimum — swallowing hard as I fight back tears of grief.

So it might be as we seek to digest what happened on Jan. 6.

The terrorists gathered on The Ellipse in Washington, D.C. Donald Trump stood before them and said they needed to take back the country. Don Trump Jr. urged them to get violent if need be. The man formerly known as America’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, said it was time for “trial by combat”; indeed, it is ironic that Giuliani, who once captured the nation’s imagination with his strength post-9/11 has now been reduced to this caricature of a lawyer.

I watch the videos daily on the news, given that as a retired guy I spend a lot of my time watching TV news and trying to stay current with issues of the day.

The images of that insurrection are making me sick to my gut. It doesn’t get any easier to watch them and learn more about what law enforcement authorities are revealing about the events that preceded the deadly riot.

Despicable!

And stomach-churning!

We live in frightening times

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

My head is spinning, but my heart is, oh, filling ever-so slowly with hope for a better day.

Donald Trump is six days from exiting the nation’s most glorious, exalted and powerful public office. Joe Biden will take the oath and along with Kamala Harris will start the task of rebuilding what Trump has damaged.

Trump supporters keep yammering about the need now to “unify” the nation rather than put the impeached president on trial in the Senate. Two thoughts cross my mind on that matter.

First, unification will arrive when we hear the evidence produced for senators to consider. The entire nation should be unified in its outrage over the sight and sound of Trump fomenting the riot that damaged Capitol Hill, the Capitol Building, put our elected representatives in peril and threatened the very core of our democratic system of government.

Trump will be gone when the Senate gets down to brass tacks and starts hearing the evidence. It is there for all of us to see.

Second is my belief that the Trumpkin Corps should have called for “unity” when their man — Trump — kept telling the bald-faced lie about voter fraud in the 2020 election. Let’s be clear: The entire insurrection effort was built on a lie that came from Donald Trump’s mouth. For his frothing, fervent and fanatical followers to say now it is time for unity is to pretend that the Big Lie doesn’t exist.

I am saddened to realize that the Big Lie will live far beyond Trump’s time in the public spotlight. That’s how conspiracy theories exist in the first place. Those who adhere to the Big Lie will continue to gin up anger where they can find it. Their success in producing more violence, such as what we saw this past week, will depend on whether enough of us call them out for what they are: lying cowards. 

I will continue to believe that this anger will subside eventually, which of course could mean anything you want it to mean. It might tamp down soon, in the medium term or it might take years or — God forbid! — decades to vanish.

Donald Trump’s post-election behavior, culminating in the riot and the impeachment, has cemented his place in history. Whether he survives another Senate trial is moot. He will be forever scorned as a failed president who sought to destroy the very government he took an oath to protect.

That is some legacy. Don’t you think?

More to the D.C. riot story?

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A North Texas chief of police blurted something out the other day that caught me by surprise.

I won’t reveal his identity, as he doesn’t know I am writing this, but he sent a chill up my spine when he said it.

He mentioned a conversation he had with a classmate who attended the FBI Academy with him; the classmate is now employed by a D.C.-area police agency. He said “there’s a lot more to the story” behind the Capitol Building insurrection than we’ve been told.

A lot more? I asked. Tell me the rest of the story, I implored the chief. He couldn’t speak candidly with me at that moment, so I let the conversation lapse.

It comports, though, with what is beginning to be reported about theories regarding the source of the riot that erupted after Donald Trump incited the rioters to march on Capitol Hill the morning of Jan. 6. We’re hearing investigations into possible collusion — yep, there’s that word again — between members of Congress and leaders of the mob that had descended on Washington to contest Congress’s constitutional duty to ratify President Biden’s victory over Donald Trump.

The House of Representatives, of course, took swift action Wednesday by impeaching Trump for the second time, just a week before he exits the office and clears the way for Joe Biden.

Something tells me — I don’t know what that “something” is — that we might, indeed, learn a lot more than we ever thought we would learn about what transpired immediately prior to the rebellion we witnessed in real time.

Respect for the flag?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Millions of us have seen the videos of the rioters storming into the Capitol Building.

One segment is particularly galling. You see images of rioters beating a Capitol police officer … with a pole attached to Old Glory. Yes! The rioter in that sequence is using the Stars and Stripes itself to bloody and injure a law enforcement officer who was trying to prevent the riot from spilling into the halls of our government.

It is ironic in the tragic extreme.

The mob descended on the Capitol Building at the urging of Donald J. Trump, who now stands set to be impeached a second time on a charge of “inciting an insurrection” against the very government he swore to protect and defend.

Think, too, of the hideous hypocrisy of the terrorists who profess some sort of perverted “love of country” while using the very symbol of our beloved nation as a cudgel to batter public servants who are charged with, um, protecting the public.

This is just one more example of the tragedy that unfolded in real time this past week and why we need to be on guard against those who proclaim faux piety about how much they love our nation.

VP ‘boasts’ worst job in D.C.

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A lot of jobs in Washington, D.C., during the Trump administration can qualify as the worst of the bunch. I want to offer my latest suggestion: vice president of the United States.

VP Mike Pence suffered perhaps the most frightening experience of his political life this past Wednesday when he scurried for cover in the face of the riotous mob that stormed the Senate, which was in the midst of ratifying Joe Biden’s election as president.

Pence was huddled with congressional leaders while the cops cleared the chamber and the entire Capitol Building of the insurrectionists who sought to overthrow the government.

Some of them yelled “Hang Mike Pence!” 

How long did it take for Donald Trump to call the VP? To talk to him? To, perhaps, ask him if he was OK? Oh, let’s see. The two of them spoke finally on Monday. Five days after the act of sedition.

Let’s remember, too, how Trump hectored Pence prior to the ratification, suggesting publicly that the VP had the power to overrule the votes of states, that he could just declare Trump to be elected. Pence had to remind Trump, uh, no Mr. President, I cannot do that. The Constitution doesn’t allow it, which reportedly pissed Trump off royally.

So, with that, Vice President Pence has been delivered a real-time reminder that Donald Trump’s loyalty goes only in one direction, which is that those who report to him must demonstrate it. Trump does not believe in reciprocity … you know?

Congressional leaders are pressuring Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, enabling for the removal of a president because he is no longer able to carry out the duties of the office. Pence so far is balking, although there are reports that he hasn’t removed it from the list of options to take.

Still, despite all that, despite the hideous snub from the president, Pence remains loyal to Donald Trump. His office said after the two men met that the VP is intent on showing to the world that the United States has a functioning executive branch of government. Therein lies the outward display of loyalty.

Do you think that privately, deep down in his gut that Pence is seething? I would think so. I would hope so, given the conduct that Trump has demonstrated throughout his term as president.

Vice President Pence now finds himself in the vise-grip of political options, none of which is attractive.

The good news? Pence and Trump will be out of office in eight days.

Yep, Trump is, um … consequential

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald J. Trump has redefined the term “consequential,” as in he has been a “consequential president” for most of the four years he held the office.

The greatest consequence of the Trump tenure as president is about to occur this week. The U.S. House of Representatives is a lead-pipe cinch to impeach for the second time. To be clear, it appears to be equally certain that this impeachment won’t result in Trump’s removal from office. He’s only got nine days to go before President Biden takes the oath of office.

However, the guy who always wanted to make a name for himself — whether it was in business, in entertainment and now in politics — is going to hit the big time, if you know what I mean.

President Andrew Johnson got impeached and came within a single vote in the Senate of being convicted. President Bill Clinton got impeached and the Senate never came close to convicting him on any of the three articles it considered. Then came Trump’s first impeachment. He, too, skated clear with little to worry. Why? Because the GOP caucus in the Senate — except for Mitt Romney of Utah — lacked the guts to do what needed to be done; Trump needed to be convicted for seeking dirt on Biden from a foreign government.

Now he’s done it! He incited the riot that damaged the Capitol Building. It killed five people, including a D.C. Metro police officer. Trump called for an insurrection against the government. It’s on the record. We all saw him do it. We heard the words. He wanted the mob to prevent Congress from ratifying Biden’s election as president in 2020.

Now the House is going to make history by impeaching Trump a second time. House members will make the case that Trump must be barred from holding any federal office in the future. I am not at all confident they will persuade enough Republican senators to show the courage they need to keep this presidential idiot out of public office for the rest of his life.

But … by golly, Donald Trump has shown himself to be a “consequential president.” 

Put ’em on the record

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I suppose it’s time to face reality.

The U.S. House of Representatives is going to impeach Donald J. Trump for a second time, making him No. 1 in the annals of presidential infamy as the only POTUS ever to be impeached twice.

Trump certainly deserved to be impeached and then tossed out for soliciting dirt on Joe Biden from the head of a foreign government. That didn’t come to pass in 2019. The Senate acquitted him because only one Republican senator — Mitt Romney of Utah — had the courage to stand up against Trump and stand for the Constitution.

Now, though, comes the second impeachment on a charge of inciting an insurrection against the federal government. As Trump’s former friend/ally/confidant Chris Christie — the former New Jersey governor — said, if that isn’t an impeachable offense, “then I don’t know what is.”

The reality though is that the House impeachment won’t result in a Senate trial in time for Trump to be booted out of the White House. He’s only got 10 days to go before President Biden takes the oath along with Vice President Kamala Harris.

An impeachment, though, does have value. Once the Senate gets the articles of impeachment, House and Senate defenders of Trump will have been forced to explain why in the name of love of country they oppose impeaching and/or convicting him of the crime for which the House will contend he committed.

They all will cast their votes. Some of them might make public statements. Whatever the case, the public will know who these individuals are and will be able to hold them accountable for their statements and (in)action.

Trump’s inciting of the mob this past Wednesday is, as CNN commentator John Avlon noted, “history book stuff.” That single act will be written into our nation’s history, where it will stand forever as a testament to the ugliness of the time that we ushered with the election of Donald John Trump as president of the United States.

So, let’s have that debate, shall we? I am looking forward to laughing my a** off listening to those try to defend such despicable — and seditionist — behavior from the president of the United States.

No, ‘both sides’ aren’t responsible for this tragedy

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Here comes the Trumpkin Corps’s defense of what Donald Trump did Wednesday morning to incite the rioters to attack the seat of our democratic system of government.

They are now pointing to “both sides” being complicit in this hideous demonstration of sedition that borders on treason. They suggest that the heated rhetoric coming from the left in defense of the Black Lives Matter protests is as responsible for the outbreak as the lunatics who stormed the Capitol Building after getting the virtual “go ahead” from their guy, Donald J. Trump, to do what they did.

No! The seditious act we witnessed, the storming of the Capitol with the intent of stopping Congress from ratifying President-elect Biden’s victory over Trump, will stand alone in the annals of infamy in this country.

Just as President Roosevelt declared the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 to be a “date which will live in infamy,” so will Jan. 6, 2021 stand as an infamous chapter in this nation’s glorious saga.

What’s more, it belongs to Donald John Trump and the morons who have swallowed his lie about the 2020 presidential election thievery.

We must not tolerate the attempts by the extremists who insist that both sides share the blame for what erupted in our nation’s capital this week. The act of treachery staged by the mob that ransacked the halls of Congress must stand alone as an act of betrayal of all that we cherish as a free nation.

That treachery rests with Donald Trump.