This thorough Wall Street Journal examination of the Trump/Hawley/Cruz/McCarthy putsch is chilling reading:
The mob’s rampage last Wednesday was a rare and deadly assault by American citizens on the halls of Congress, leaving two killed, three others dead and widespread damage. The toll could have been much worse.
In the hour after they breached the building, the rioters—some carrying nooses, bats, pipes, chemical irritants and zip ties that can be used to handcuff people—were feet or seconds away from the lawmakers they sought to confront, hoping to stop them from ratifying the election of Democrat Joe Biden and keep President Trump in power.
The mob flooded into ornate, high-ceilinged halls normally populated by tourists. Some headed down a labyrinth of narrow corridors and marble staircases in the 228-year-old building. Congressional staff members and some lawmakers hid under tables in offices barricaded with furniture as rioters tried to break in.
Three Capitol Police officers have since been suspended—one seen taking selfies with rioters and another accused of directing them—and as many as 17 are under investigation.
Still, near entrances to both chambers, some outnumbered Capitol Police officers tried to slow down the mob to buy vital minutes as lawmakers inside fled.
On the Senate side, a lone officer ran up a stairway pursued by rioters, according to video posted online by a HuffPost reporter. At the top of the stairs, along a short corridor, a main entrance to the Senate stood unguarded. The officer shoved the lead rioter in the chest, an apparent bid to get his attention, then led the crowd in another direction. Senate staff scrambled to seal the doors to protect the lawmakers and others inside.
“We were very close to actually having members of Congress killed,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “Had that whole thing been breached there would have been people in really bad shape.”
What happened was bad enough; what could have happened was much worse. Impeaching Trump for his incitement was the easiest question imaginable.