Another day has brought the unfolding of yet another aspect of the multi-layered Capitol insurrection story.
Video footage secured by the Washington Post reveals that the person suspected of placing the pipe bombs that were found near the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee buildings on Jan. 6. may have put the devices in place the night before the violent attack on the Capitol.
The FBI has put out photographs of an unknown individual, with his face covered and wearing a gray hoodie, walking with a backpack near where the bombs were discovered.
The videos obtained by the Post show that the person was decked out with gloves while carrying the backpack and moving “at a brisk pace” around the Capitol on the night of Jan. 5, adding even more evidence to the theory that the violence that erupted the next day was planned in advance.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information that helps them catch the person responsible for the pipe bombs, which former chief of Capitol Police Steven Sund said may have been used to lure officers away from the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Meanwhile, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman is now calling for permanent fencing to be installed around the Capitol grounds.
“In light of recent events, I can unequivocally say that vast improvements to the physical security infrastructure must be made to include permanent fencing, and the availability of ready, back-up forces in close proximity to the Capitol,” Pittman said in a statement released on Thursday.
The acting chief’s push for increased security comes amid continuing incidents of people trying to breach the checkpoints around the Capitol or carrying out other suspicious behavior.
Capitol Police revealed that they arrested a suspect attempting to walk through a security checkpoint on Thursday morning.
“The officers advised the suspect that he could not enter the checkpoint, and the suspect attempted to bypass the officers,” said an official release. “As officers attempted to arrest the suspect, he actively resisted arrest.”
Can you imagine the degree of comfort this guy must feel in his privilege to try and force his way into the Capitol just weeks after white supremacists broke in there with an attack that left five people dead? And on top of that, to fight back against police when they stopped him?
Capitol police also reported that on Wednesday they arrested a 71-year-old man who was parallel parked at an intersection near the Capitol while in the possession of an unlicensed pistol and unregistered ammunition.
Meanwhile, Republican Senator Tom Cotton, who last summer wrote a New York Times op-ed calling for the military to be deployed against people who were protesting racial injustice (who he described as “insurrectionists”), this week wrote an op-ed for Fox News arguing that it is time to “send home the troops” from the National Guard who are still protecting the Capitol grounds.
I have to laugh. Does it even make any sense to comment on the hypocrisy and complicity when Republicans are making no effort to hide those things? But the unwillingness by GOP politicians to unequivocally condemn and support accountability for the people willing to violently disrupt the government is likely helping to encourage these people to continue trying to push boundaries. Since some of our leaders seem to want to play around with the prospect of more violence happening at the Capitol, maybe the permanent fencing makes sense.