I first learned of the Trump terrorists’ plans to capture, “try” and execute members of Congress this evening from my friend Dusty, who posted it on Facebook. I was skeptical, but Dusty is very, very reliable. I found some info on Twitter, including a post of the horrifying picture above that was taken earlier today.

Then Mark Sumner of the Daily Kos confirmed its validity. I have my problems with DK, but Sumner is one of the most valuable, insightful, and, most importantly, reliable writers for that blog. If Mark says it, I take it very seriously.

Let’s talk about that. But first…do you remember the Montana Freemen? I do. I did extensive research on their ignorant asses for the History Commons, back when that site was a thing.

Starting around 1983, a group of far-right knuckeheads in Montana formed an “organization” called the Freemen. They combined their failures to run their family farms with interests in the anti-tax and “sovereign citizens” movements, spent a lot of time bitching and pissing at one another’s kitchen tables, started issuing fraudulent “liens” on property they had no legal claim to, and, for even more fun, made themselves “law enforcement officers” in order to issue “arrest warrants” and enforce “legal” punishments against people they didn’t llke. U.S. Attorney Sherry Matteucci said at the time:

I think their purpose is to intimidate people and to cause chaos in governmental operations.

See where this is going?

In January 1994, a group of heavily armed Freemen stormed into the tiny town of Jordan, Montana and took over the local government. They stomped into the courthouse and set up their own “common law” court. One of them named himself the presiding judge, and said,

We’ve opened our own common law court and we have the law back in the county now.

Sure they did.

They posted “Wanted” posters around the town, offering a $1 million bounty (money they did not have) for the “arrest” of Garfield County sheriff Charles Phipps. Phipps asked if he would get the money if he turned himself in. The Freemen said he wouldn’t live long enough to spend it, as they intended to try him, convict him, and hang him from a local bridge. They also threatened to a number of local judges and law enforcement officials. They even announced their intention to “annex” a large part of Montana because, well, reasons.

Naturally, their plans to carry out some good old-fashion “frontier justice” didn’t end well for them. By late 1995, two local prosecutors declared the Freemen in “open insurrection,” and in March 1996, federal authorities surrounded the ranch of the Freemen leaders and began an 81-day standoff that ended with them trudging out of their “compound” with their hands upon their heads. Lawyer Matthew Sisler said:

What we saw was a bunch of sad, middle-aged men who had lost their homes, who had not paid loans back or taxes, and wanted someone to blame.

So. What we saw tonight was a funhouse mirror version of the Montana Freemen strutting around for a couple of heady hours inside the U.S. Capitol. One of them parked his lardass in an office used by Nancy Pelosi’s staff, had a picture taken of himself with his feet on the desk, and left after stealing documents from the desk. Another waved at a camera while carrying a lecturn from either the Senate or House chambers. (Not sure whether he was allowed to leave with it.) All just harmless fun, right?

Take a look at the photo above. They also erected a ramshackle gallows, complete with a hangman’s noose, that they intended to use to murder lawmakers who drew their ire, just like the Freemen intended to do to some local LEOs. Some of them entered the Capitol with large numbers of zipties to restrain kidnapped lawmakers while they frogmarched them to the gallows they had erected and strung them up.

They also left behind multiple IEDs in the Capitol and the two adjoining office buildings.

They weren’t worried about being caught. As TPM’s Josh Marshall posted:

Insurrectionists telling journalists they’re planning to get violent tonight. The passive response to storming the capitol has clearly encouraged it. They’re not worried about repercussions since they’re showing their faces on camera.

Malcolm Nance tweeted:

WARNING: This massive national security failure at the Capitol could have led to massive hostage situation ending in executions and/or deaths. THESE STORMINGS WILL LIKELY OCCUR IN DEM STATEHOUSES IN NEXT 24-48 hours.

See the zipties? And the 24-48 hour timeframe Nance cited has barely begun.

Tonight, Sumner wrote:

The idea of capturing members of Congress and executing them as “traitors” for failing to recognize Trump as the rightful ruler, has been widespread on far right sites since the election. It’s absolutely clear that these people came to the capital with not just the intention of overturning the results of the election, but of conducting show trials and executing those they found inadequate supporters of Trump.

The definition of treason in the U.S. Constitution is constrained to only a few meanings. This easily meets that definition.

He’s totally correct. Was this a well-thought out plan that had a high probability of success? Not hardly. It’s hard to conceive of a situation where the DC police would allow them to drag Congressional members out of the Capitol and over to a gallows erected hundreds of yards away from the building — even if these selfsame police officers welcomed them into the building, posed for selfies with them, and calmly walked most of them out of the building without bothering to arrest them.

Regardless. This was an act of insurrection, inspired by and directed by Donald Trump. We will hold him, and his brownshirts, accountable.

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  1. I can’t help but wonder if the Capitol Police were ordered to stand down. If not, we have a massive security problem at the Capitol building……it wasn’t like everyone didn’t know this was planned.

    • I saw a video from tik tok, showing the police removing barricades to allow the rioters through. Something was up between cops and rioters.

        • Not every LEO is a bad cop. Yesterday things went wrong. Mistakes were made. The proverbial heads will roll-folks will lose their jobs and they should-this was horribly mishandled. There is a great deal of video/photographic evidence of this cluster-%^@k. I would imagine the officers acting in ways that endangered the people working in the Capitol Building will not only be out of jobs, they might even be in some trouble themselves.

    • I don’t think they were really aware of what was really going down. The look of terror on some of the police faces, especially that poor bloke who was trying to stand up, and not be chased up the stairs. I don’t reckon they were forewarned. Having said that , I also agree with the poster following about this. I feel a few of them MAY have been complicit, but only a few.

      • There are videos of the police opening the barricades and letting them through. There are videos of them walking with them into the Capitol. Doesn’t mean the entire police force was complicit, but some of them were.

        • I saw those videos too, Max. It’s just I’ve also heard and seen other folks standing their ground against the human tide to buy Congress enough time to GTFO. As for the former, well, what moron participates in a criminal conspiracy and posts a freaking selfie?!

  2. The GOP is at war with itself and as the images of Capitol Police and DC police enabling the terrorists have gone viral I’d imagine both the Capitol Police and the DC Police will find themselves engaged in war with each other in their respective ranks. Lots of LE did in fact try to stop the terrorists, and many wound up injured, while some of their colleagues were responsible for allowing them to be overwhelmed in the first place. Head are going to, or at least should roll in the aftermath of all this.

    One other thing. I can’t help but think of the plot to kidnap, try and execute Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. I also don’t think it’s just Democratic Governors and elected officials around the country that need a LOT of protection tonight, as well as in the days and weeks ahead. Some of us feared a day like this would come, and usually were told we were overwrought, that we were letting our imaginations run wild and fill us with unreasonable fear. I of course take no pleasure in being right. I wish to hell I’d been wrong but I believed with all my heart that Charlottesville was only the beginning. Trump has spent his Presidency emboldening these freaks, these terrorists and he spent his time before today calling on them to show up in DC and raise hell. Thousands did, and then he poured gasoline on the fire he built in getting them to DC.

    I think it’s clear that given how many much larger protests DC has dealt with there were major breakdowns today. And I believe once it’s all been looked in to the reason will be not that the Capitol and DC police didn’t have an adequate plan, but that when the DC guard wasn’t deployed, even after Trump called on his mob to march on the Capitol those plans went out the window. Backup and support wasn’t coming, at least for an undetermined amount of time and the best they could do was try to slow the terrorists down long enough for the lawmakers and legitimate visitors to be safely evacuated. That task, as I’ve noted was made much more difficult and dangerous by some of their colleagues.

  3. Basic lynch mob play…kill the “traitors”, act like it’ll magically solve the problem and then wear out their welcome when the adults come back into the scene. They may have come for the party but they’ll be staying for the funeral of what their lives could have been.

  4. Sounds like typical DK stuff — you like Sumner? Fine, I’ll agree he is one of the more rational folk writing there. Should anyone take anything there as gospel truth?

    Heck no!

    Something was up between the rioters and cops. Unless someone has better info then somebody at DK says…

    Extraordinary claims demand some type of real evidence, otherwise we are no different than the rioters today.

    • Sumner has a strong body of work behind him. Did you read his article? Examine his sources? I did. How you get to saying that we’re no different than the terrorists who attacked the Capitol building is beyond me. Don’t compare me, Sumner, or anyone at PZ to those traitors.

      • I stated he was one of the better writers there. I read the article. Extraordinary claims demand more than Sumner got — we’ll see how this shakes out.

        Sumner nor anyone else there does not actually break big stories — they blog about it for Kos (who i will call out as a shifty character and not someone to take at face value)

        • Piss on Markos. DK still has some excellent writers, regardless. Sumner, Hunter, Dartagnan (who isn’t a front pager but should be), Pennyfarthing, Eleveld when she takes the notion, others. DK isn’t a news site per se, so it can’t be expected to break big stories. That isn’t what that site does.

    • Except they’ve got evidence. What you saw today is the effect of no one in the courts being willing to even hear it. People tend to get pretty pissed when they feel like they have no voice

      • Who’s got “evidence?” Rudy? Maybe it’s on Hunter’s laptop? Lin Wood? Sidney Powell? Bullshit. What we saw yesterday was treason and insurrection, pure and simple. If you support it, then you, little MAGAt, are also a traitor and insurrectionist. Take your bullshit to Parler, where the other traitors hang out. Real Americans want nothing to do with the likes of you.

      • Laughable– we have heard what they say is “evidence” and it’s utter nonsense– a collection of blog posts by con artists (which Powell called “affadavits” LOL) and third-hand maybe-could-have-been guesses at things they didn’t understand!

  5. I know you’re a strong advocate for bringing Trumpists to justice even if it might be politically inconvenient. I think we will have millions more behind that sentiment after today. It’s more evident than ever that we cannot let Trumpism slink off into the dark in two weeks…its wrongdoing must be investigated, indicted and prosecuted.

    • After this BS? I’m fairly confident that examples will be made of MANY folks who participated in this stupid-as-hell display. The minnows will go first, of course. My question is if the sharks at the top go next.

      • That is a good question. We can’t let it be just arrests of the mob members. That feels too much like the Civil War, where a great mistake was made in refusing to prosecute the traitors.

        In this insurrection, the instigators need to be prosecuted even more than the participants.

  6. Mark always does his homework and gets it right. And the images that are emerging are revealing just how serious these goons were. There is one person dead and several in hospital. Their blood is on Trump’s hands. Tomorrow he may be forced out of office.

  7. Why don’t they just come clean and wear brown shirts with red, white and black armbands already.

    “No! a coup can’t happen to the Anglo-American superpower, that’s impossible! God wouldn’t allow it!”


    If that wasn’t a coup attempt I don’t know what is. As for Trump saying there will be a peaceful transition on the 20th, I would argue he can change his mind 20 times a day, and we’ve got 13 days to go.

    I say, as I’ve said since January 20th 2017 – He will call upon his supporters to occupy the WH lawn with their AR-15’s to prevent the “SS” as he lovingly calls them, from taking him away and handing over the country to the Commie Feminist brown and black Freemasons, or some such nonsense.

    • One major difference between then and now, Simon: GOP Congress critters just got to see this up close and personal. Even if they’re onboard with the American Apartheid Project, they realize Trump will never EVER be able to pull it off. So either he plays nice over the next few days or it’s a mortal lock that they’ll hurry up and finish him off now.

      • “GOP Congress critters just got to see this up close and personal.”

        How so? Lou Dobbs, the GAGA people still say they simply protested peacefully, certainly nothing like when BLM and antifa burned everything in sight down.

        “they realize Trump will never EVER be able to pull it off.”

        Trump may be the one to ring in the American Apartheid Project as you call it – I would call it Jim Crow 2.0, it rhymes, but another would have to be the responsible leader, do the work and be the possible scapegoat, while Trump is state of head, gives out medals, receives the MAGA virgins and whatnot, the spiritual leader if you will, what Hitler called the artistic statesman; a genius steered by his feel and his stomach.

        “So either he plays nice over the next few days or it’s a mortal lock”

        Please elaborate – I see no straight jacket, cuffs or ball-gag in his future, regardless of his actions as president, because everyone is scared it might become something one side will try at least once during each term, if for nothing else than for the crime of asking for mustard on a burger or for wearing a tan suit.
        Pence wont do nothing, not even if Trump invites 3000 of his most beloved patriots to camp on the WH lawn for the next 100 days

        • Lou Dobbs is an idiot on the order of Ted Cruz. Trump blew his one and only chance to make this work, going by the mass resignations currently taking place. And he was never going down while he was in office, which is why people suddenly want him OUT of office, including folks on his side. So, in summary, kindly refrain from mistaking your outrage for logic.

  8. I’ve been making the point for years that we are in a struggle with fascism. Maybe because my granma had 4 sons & her oldest daughter’s husband serve in WW2, an uncle who was an original green beret & was wounded in vietnam, a father that served in air force during korean war, & myself a navy vet, I do not believe fascism responds to reason. Some have rolled their eyes when i have brought up germany time & again. Mostly, i believe the disbelief was from those who’ve never served. Easy to fool yourself standing on the sidelines.i will say again, tje Democrats need to wield power by actually taking the law seriously enough to prosecute these traitors, including trump. We lock up thousands of americans daily for having no money, so if these folks walk, the law no longer invites compliance, but scorn.

    • I for one won’t be surprised if Trump on the 19th invites 3000 of his “wonderful” MAGA “patriots” to stay camped out on the WH lawn with their AR-15’s to “save the republic and find those lost votes” for Trump.

    • Thank you, have been saying the same for months! I have posted every damn day for six weeks that Trump WILL call on his supporters for violence when he realizes the military will NOT back his coup

  9. Interesting how DC cops were so deferential to these white boys. Same as with that punk-ass Kyle Shittenhouse. Had the “protestors” been POC, they would’ve been shot on sight.

    • I have to believe that there will be some major firings and possible criminal charges brought against the cops who let those assholes in. Four people are dead because of that incursion. There are going to be massive lawsuits. The Capitol Police and DC Police will be defendants.

      • I think I read someplace that the DC police are responsible for everything around the capital (streets, etc.), and Capitol police are responsible for everything on the grounds.

        • Considering you have DC police, capital police, park service police, Dept. of Homeland Security, secret service, CIA/FBI, Border Patrol and ICE, and the National Guard, where the hell was everybody??? We have a few hundred mostly non-violent protesters in the streets of Portland and we had more LEO than we knew what to do with. Of course we had POC mixed in so that requires scary force. In DC there were THOUSANDS of thugs attacking the Capitol, many with guns, but they were all white and voila! Hardly any cops to be seen. No problem, nothing to see here. Yes, there were some LEO’s doing the right thing, but too many of them simply weren’t there, and that’s going to require some investigation to find out who shut it down since we knew for weeks this was going to happen, and many of us have known for years something like this would happen. Who told law enforcement not to show up. Who told LE to go easy on these white guys. You know damned well if it had been black or brown people, the place would have been covered in bodies and blood. I’m still really, really pissed at what I watched yesterday. We all should be.

          • There is evidence coming through that Trump’s minions in the Pentagon were keeping the National Guard from being authorized to act.
            Seeing the full picture of what happened emerge over the next few days is going to kill some careers as well as put people in jail.

  10. I was listening to Here and Now this afternoon. One of the folks was asked about charges and expulsions of the representatives and senators who also participated in this disgrace yesterday. Already folks are trying to sweep it away. This guy, reporter, was going on about how busy everyone was going to be. I’m thinking to myself ” these folks don’t get a handle on this, they’re going to busy running or dying next this happens ’cause there damned sure will be a next time unless they punish these yahoos now”.

    I don’t think it has sunk in apparently-use whatever freaking terminology you want. Stealing an election, a coup attempt, sedition, insurrection, hell treason even. Nothing that went on yesterday bodes well for our nation. Domestic terrorism raised its head after its leaders called it out-Trump, Cruz, Hawley, Daines,etc. If they want something looking like an election in 2022 or 2024, they’d better expel these HOR’s and senators and prosecute them. Trump, Rudy, Flynn, Donnie Jr….them too but let’s not do the “we have to get work done, we have a lot to do” bullshit dance. No, we have a democracy to save because without it not a damned thing will get done. If those terrorists yesterday actually HAD kidnapped the people they wanted-how much work would have gotten done then?

    Someone needs to sit these clueless fools down and put it to them syllable by syllable. Talk very slowly. Something but they really have to understand-this was very bad.

    • The reporters want things to go back to How They Think They Were.
      At least one member of Congress is going for expulsion of the leaders in Congress.

  11. Those zipties they had were heavy-duty, too – not the kind that cops use on wrists. The gallows is rickety and would have collapsed fairly quickly – but the intent is clear.

    • Those gallows might’ve been rickety, but they could’ve been reinforced well enough to start running a few of the Trump gang up those steps. And they better do it fast along with those who planned that fucking disaster. And don’t tell me one agency or another doesn’t know who they are. Anytime the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and thugs like them have a meeting, don’t tell me Wrays phone isn’t wringing….


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