The stories coming from people who lived through it show the atmosphere of violence in which Sicknick was killed. The governors of Maryland and Virginia have recounted the calls from congressional leaders pleading for help, but, strikingly, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s story involves having to tell House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer that he didn’t yet have permission to deploy the National Guard.
”I was actually on the phone with Leader Hoyer who was pleading with us to send the guard,” Hogan said. “He was yelling across the room to Schumer and they were back and forth saying we do have the authorization and I’m saying, ‘I’m telling you we do not have the authorization.’” The leader of the Maryland National Guard had to ask for authorization repeatedly, and it was only 90 minutes later that the authorization came, not through the usual channels.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam described getting a direct personal call from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who he doesn’t know well and would normally arrange a call through their respective staffs. “She said they needed help, and I assured her that we had deployed the Guard and we’d sent the Virginia State Police. She said: ‘Ralph there’s glass being broken around me. I’ve heard there’s been gunfire. We’re just very, very concerned right now.’”
New York Times journalists who were in the Capitol described their harrowing experiences, with one, photographer Erin Schaff, having been assaulted and robbed by Trump’s terrorist mob.
”Suddenly, two or three men in black surrounded me and demanded to know who I worked for,” she wrote. “Grabbing my press pass, they saw that my ID said The New York Times and became really angry. They threw me to the floor, trying to take my cameras. I started screaming for help as loudly as I could. No one came. People just watched. At this point, I thought I could be killed and no one would stop them. They ripped one of my cameras away from me, broke a lens on the other, and ran away.”
That assault left her wandering the Capitol without the credentials identifying her as press, and ultimately she was held at gunpoint by police and only let go when other journalists saw and told the police she was a journalist.
Emily Cochrane, a Times reporter, describes Rep. Ruben Gallego “jacketless, standing on a chair and yelling instructions on how to use the masks” as people in the House chamber were told to be prepared to put on emergency hoods.
As account after account makes clear, this was absolutely a terrorist attack—and a deadly one. And the terrorists were gently escorted out of the site of their attack by police, leaving anything approaching justice for later, after they’ve dispersed to their homes.
Reprinted with permission of the Daily Kos and authored by Laura Clawson