Up until the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021, it was possible to argue that President Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the 2020 presidential election wouldn’t have serious consequences. By nightfall, that assumption proved false, and the often apocalyptic predictions of Democrats about the consequences of Trump’s rhetoric and actions appeared to be playing out before our eyes. Not only was the peaceful transfer of power momentarily disrupted, but the Capitol itself was desecrated as a mob of Trump supporters successfully besieged and then stormed the building, chasing legislators to shelters as the halls of Congress were trashed by rioters.
In the end, the overwhelmed Capitol Police were reinforced and rallied to retake the building, though not before rioters had the opportunity to roam it like triumphant Visigoths through conquered Roman shrines as they posed at the rostrum of the Senate or lounged in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Eventually, the House and Senate reconvened and,