An expert explains what the U.S. Capitol attack says about the rise of domestic terrorism | Friday Morning Coffee

January 8, 2021 7:16 am

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: A protester holds a Trump flag inside the US Capitol Building near the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Good Friday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

The pro-Trump extremists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in an orgy of violence and unrest that left five people dead, including one from Pennsylvania, is just another example of a growing domestic terrorism movement that the incoming Biden administration will need to address.

“After [Wednesday], there is no question that this will need to be taken much more seriously,” David Schanzer, director of Duke University’s Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, said during a web conference with reporters Thursday, according to our sibling site, NC PolicyWatch.

“Elements like the FBI have their eye on these groups and individuals who were advocating and fomenting violence,” Schanzer said, according to PolicyWatch. The new presidential administration can bring more resources and focus to the effort, he said.

On Thursday, President Trump begrudgingly accepted the results of the vote-certification his supporters tried to upend Wednesday. But in a statement, Trump continued to spread lies about the election, and vowed that his fight was just beginning, raising the specter of future violence.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: U.S. Capitol police officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Twitter suspended Trump’s account Tuesday afternoon, and removed several of his posts. On Thursday, Facebook announced it was blocking Trump’s accounts on all its platforms at least until the end of his term, PolicyWatch reported.

Even as Twitter and Facebook acted, other social media outlets and news networks are willing to host and amplify Trump’s message, Phil Napoli, a Duke public policy professor, told PolicyWatch.

Trump can say what he wants on Parler, a social media site preferred by conservatives, Napoli said. When some networks cut away from speeches when he starts spouting falsehoods, it doesn’t mean One America News, Newsmax and Fox News won’t give him a platform.

“He’ll probably end up with his own show or his own network,” Napoli told PolicyWatch. “What Facebook has done is helpful. This is a space that’s starting to fragment. The audience will follow him. Not all of them, but plenty will.”

Combating disinformation will rely on educating news consumers and the reinvigoration of traditional mainstream media, he told PolicyWatch.

“We have to make sure the next generation of citizens and voters has a set of skill sets that current generations don’t have,” Napoli said.

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

Our Stuff.
In the absence of any evidence he entered the U.S. CapitolSenate Republicans say they won’t take any action against Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Adams, who was in Washington Wednesday, Elizabeth Hardison reports. The chamber’s Democrats have called for his resignation. 

Capital-Star Washington Reporter Laura Olson has what you need to know about the Pennsylvania resident who died Wednesday, and the reckoning that law enforcement faces in the wake of the violence.

Pennsylvania’s National Guard will be among the guard forces from several states heading to D.C. until Joe Biden’s inauguration, Cassie Miller reports. Miller also runs down how Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation voted on objections to the state’s electoral college results.

State Health and school officials are encouraging school districts to return younger students to the classroom in counties where there is still significant spread of COVID-19, your humble newsletter author writes.

A Pennsylvania appeals court on Thursday invalidated more than 2 million votes cast on Marsy’s Law, a ballot measure that aimed to strengthen the rights of crime victims that overwhelmingly passed in 2019, claiming the measure was unconstitutionally presented to the state’s voters, Stephen Caruso and Elizabeth Hardison report.

On our Commentary Page, States Newsroom Washington Bureau Chief Jane Norman reflects on the toll that the Capitol violence took on her hometownBob Lewis, of our sibling site, the Virginia Mercury, says what happened in Washington on Wednesday should never be forgotten or forgivenJay Bookman, of the Georgia Recorder, says Wednesday’s carnage was the only end for the Trump administration. And NC PolicyWatch’s Rob Schofield really doesn’t want to hear it from Republicans who are outraged over the violence.

U.S. Rep Mike Kelly.
(Oversight and Reform Committee/Flickr)

A majority of Pennsylvania Republicans stayed loyal to President Donald Trump on the darkest day of his administration, signaling Trumpism may well outlast Trump among the Keystone State GOP, the Inquirer reports.
U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb’s, D-17th District‘the truth hurts’ speech on the House floor is causing waves, the Tribune-Review reports.
A Lebanon County resident was one of 14 people arrested inside the U.S. Capitol, PennLive reports.
U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th District, talks to the Morning Call about her experience at the Capitol.
Wilkes University professor is among the 1,000 political science professors who have signed a letter calling for President Donald Trump’s removal, the Citizens-Voice reports.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:


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The insurrection at the Capitol has further divided Pennsylvania’s politiciansWHYY-FM reports.
Pennsylvania’s top law enforcement officers, including Attorney General Josh Shapiro, have vowed to prosecute the Capitol insurrectionists, WITF-FM reports.
GoErie looks at U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly’s, R-16th District, role in the objections over the Electoral College results. 
explains how the pandemic will hurt kids getting home-based care who have 24/7 needs.
With the end days away, Trump staffers are worrying about their next job, Politico reports.

Heavy Rotation.
We’ll go out this week with a swinging groove from Rilo Kiley. From ‘Under the Blacklight,’ here’s ‘Silver Lining,’ surely something we’re all looking for after this tumultuous week. And the song is an excellent excuse to dance around your home office.

Friday’s Gratuitous Soccer Link.
Another weekend is upon us. And you know what that means: More football. The Guardian has 10 things to look for during the third round of FA Cup play.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.