After the violence at the Capitol, political tensions in the House become understandably visceral

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) sat before the camera in front of a blank wall Tuesday evening and live-streamed a remarkable set of accusations against her peers in the House of Representatives. “So Wednesday, as we know, was the president — frankly, assisted by members of Congress — incited an attack on the United States Capitol,” she said. “And this is known as an act of insurrection, an act of sedition.” That incitement is at the heart of the push to impeach President Trump for a second time, a push which will probably succeed at some point Wednesday afternoon. The Wednesday to which Ocasio-Cortez is referring, of course, is Jan. 6, the day a pro-Trump mob stormed into the Capitol to block the counting of presidential electoral votes submitted by states. The assertion that members of Congress “assisted” Trump’s incitement depends, in the abstract, on tying the elevation of Trump’s false claims about electoral fraud to the events of last week. It’s undeniable that the crowd which surrounded and then overran the Capitol was only in Washington because Trump and his allies had promoted the idea that the presidential election was somehow stolen, claims for which no credible evidence has ever emerged. The mob was in place because Trump and others had encouraged them to be there and, by not only failing to object to Trump’s claims about election fraud but even encouraging them, members of his party had similarly fostered a sense that anti-democratic action was necessary to right […]

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