Law enforcement officials say the MAGA mob’s attempt to seize the Capitol and sow destruction took them by surprise, but it shouldn’t have.
Protesters flocked to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 because, in the fevered imagination of MAGA world, it represented the last chance to keep President Donald Trump in office. The protest was aimed squarely at pressuring members of Congress and the vice president to reject the reality of President-elect Joe Biden’s win and disrupt the counting of electoral votes. What brought rioters to Washington and fired them up was only taking place at one location—the Capitol.
Even if law enforcement officials couldn’t draw the inference that the Capitol would be a target of activists known to be violent, there were plenty of other clues—on social media, in the mouths of activists, and the tweets of the president himself—that indicated the protests wouldn’t be peaceful and would be focused squarely on the Capitol.