I've probably spent 10 hours reconstructing what happened at the Capitol. Censorship has made this process more difficult, but I think I've gotten about as far as I'll get at this point. Unpreparedness and chaos are both good words to describe what happened inside the Capitol. There were members of radical groups, including some sympathetic with Antifa who were present and did help instigate along with angry Trump supporters.
Hundreds of Trump supporters made it into the Capitol. The police were totally unprepared. In some instances the police let protestors near or inside the Capitol. In others, they retreated after struggling with protestors. The vast majority of the those who made it into the building were angry but peaceful, staying in walkway areas, picking up trash, etc.
Many thought they were allowed in. Some of this is due to the fact they were not at the front of the line where, if there was a struggle, few witnessed it. Police officers giving directions and allowing selfies to be taken with protestors, etc. also contributed to this sense.
It is important to realize that those in the front at the Capitol, where agitation occurred, could NOT have been present for all of Trump's speech, and most were probably not present for any of it. Those who listened and followed Trump's instructions arrived much later.
Trump called for a peaceful march, but some mainstream media reported that Trump supporters were storming the Capitol before his speech was even complete. The most loyal Trump supporters (who cared about his words) were not present for any of the initial confrontations.
The motive of the majority, as represented in video testimony, seems to be a somewhat naïve and sincere attempt to inform their representatives to not certify fraudulent electoral votes. There was a very small, but evil minority who stole items and disheveled offices etc.
The hundreds of thousands outside the Capitol, of which I was a part, had no idea of what happened inside. If the goal of the majority had been to have an "insurrection" there would have been one, and no one present could have stopped the crowd. The crowd did NOT want that.
This is further reinforced by the fact that many videos show Trump supporters tackling or confronting individuals they believe to be Antifa members who are damaging property outside the Capitol. We witnessed no property destruction and neither did hundreds of thousands.
I can't speculate about why most riot police were hours late, why Capitol police were ill prepared, and allowed and directed protestors to enter in some instances, why some of the outfits (helmets, tactical gear, etc.) worn in videos by protesters weren't present at the Trump rally, why the riot police who were present stood down, why multiple sources claim "Antifa" or some kind of group of radicals came from a different direction than those streaming in from the Trump rally (and the list goes on).
But, there are some conclusions I CAN reach that do not fit the media narrative.
1) Trump did not call for violence. He called for peace in his speech, and again in a video Twitter deleted.
2) 98% of attendees had no participation or knowledge about what took place inside.
3) Most of the hundreds who made it inside had no desire to harm anyone or anything and remained civil.
4) After a young lady, who was not behaving violently, was unexpectedly killed by an officer those inside left and seemed both shocked and surprised violence occurred.
5) The lack of preparedness and incompetence on the part of whoever(s) controlled law enforcement can only be due to extreme negligence or evil intent.
6) Condemning Trump or his supporters as a group for what happened is simply lying.
Jonathan Harris lives with his wife in Lynchburg, Virginia. He has a B.A. in history from Thomas Edison State University and an M.Div. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jonathan enjoys outdoor activities (he is a member of the Catskill 3500 club, an honor he values more than any of his academic accolades), playing guitar, and fixing furniture. Jonathan, growing up in a the home of a pastor, gave his life to Jesus Christ at a young age and has been involved in music and college ministry since he was 18.