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Did Donald Trump Really Attempt a Coup?

Donald Trump
President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with supporters at an "An Address to Young Americans" event hosted by Students for Trump and Turning Point Action at Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona.

Salon: January 6 Could Happen Again Thanks to Donald Trump, and Be Worse – What was January 6 in your eyes?

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Was it an insurrection, an attempted coup, a riot, or just a bunch of hotheads trespassing at the Capitol Complex?

One political analyst believes it was a definite effort by the Conservative ecosystem to overthrow the government, and he thinks it could happen again.

One Writer Has the Answer

Chauncey DeVega is no stranger to politics. He serves as a political analyst for Salon magazine and has two weekly podcasts.

DeVega is convinced January 6 was such a dark period in American history that it should be shrined off and used as a cautionary tale against the excesses of the MAGA movement and Donald Trump’s unwillingness to leave power peacefully.

DeVega thinks January 6 was a violent, armed coup attempt.

All Conservatives Are Guilty of Something

DeVega’s premise is that Donald Trump has so far not been indicted for his actions on January 6 and that the former president deserves to be in jail.

He calls what happened a “coup plot.”

DeVega wrote in a January 19 commentary that this coup “intended to involve Congress, the court system, the national security state, right-wing militias and paramilitaries, conservative think tanks, lobbyists and funders, and the right-wing ‘news’ media.”

He Asks Some Good Questions

Throughout this hyperbole, DeVega dredges up some old but useful questions about that infamous day.

For example, he asked who set up the bombs that were targeted at the Democratic and Republican National Committees?

Were the Secret Service involved?

Was there a stand-down order that influenced some law enforcement to allow the rioters to enter the Capitol unabated?

And would Trump have instituted martial law through the Insurrection Act and refused to step down?

These are mostly fair observations and queries. It is interesting this column ran after the January 6 Select Congressional Committee released its final report on the event since their findings were the definitive word that should have addressed the questions above.

Soldiers and Thugs Came to Overthrow the Government 

DeVega has some choice words for those who have been arrested for their deeds on January 6 – calling them “Trump foot soldiers”; “street thugs”; and “rightwing paramilitaries.”

Fascists Are at it Again

Since the Republicans are now in control of the House of Representatives and some of these members are loyal to Trump, DeVega believes the group is still a threat to democracy. “America’s democracy crisis, in other words, continues largely unabated. The Republican fascists are destroying the system from within,” he wrote.

The Guilty Are Still Serving in Government

The rest of the column is a long list of grievances against various House Republicans like Marjorie Taylor-Greene, who are now in positions of power.

These complaints get lost in his larger point regarding whether the assault on the Capitol could happen again.

It Happened in Brazil

For example, Brazil was recently rocked by a group of rioters who attacked buildings housing the branches of the Brazilian government. This happened because their beloved leader Jair Bolsonaro lost an election.

So, January 6 may have inspired insurrections in other countries.

What About ANTIFA?

DeVega, of course, does not mention current leftwing agitators such as ANTIFA – a group that calls for outright violent action against its enemies on the right.

He does not include in his analysis that the Left has engaged in activities to overthrow the federal government in the 1970s, such as the communist-inspired Weather Underground.

These revolutionaries used domestic terror to advance their political goals for American regime change. They once even bombed the State Department.

I Admit My Own Bias

My view on January 6 – and I may be considered biased because I once worked in the Senate – is that it was an insurrection and that Donald Trump deserved to be impeached.

But I have ties to people in Congress, and I worried about their safety, and I hated the vandalism. I don’t represent the views of a significant part of the electorate that considered the event as only a riot instigated by some bad apples who got out of hand.

Go After Bigger Issues

Many others are ready to move on from January 6 and hope that Congress tackles more critical issues such as inflation, the economy, the ballooning debt, and illegal immigration and drug smuggling at the southern border.

Analysts from the Left, like DeVega, have not taken the temperature of the people who think that January 6 was a one-off event that is not likely to happen again. DeVega clearly wants vengeance and a reckoning that is just not possible on his terms.

The committee filed its report, law enforcement arrested the accused, and the courts delivered prison sentences. For many Americans, this is enough.

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Author Expertise and Experience: Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.



  1. Paddy Manning

    January 19, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    A guy who references a tit from SALON is an editor? Are you trying to kill your site?

  2. Joe smith

    January 19, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    January 6th a coup . Hahaha that is hilarious. Hahahaha . You actually believe this is what makes even more rich. Hahahah

  3. Jeff

    January 19, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    Salon is a rag. As for a coup attempt, remember that Trump offered the National Guard to protect the capitol on Jan 6. Nancy turned them down, most likely hoping that people would storm the capitol with a little help from people like Ray Epps.

    Rioting, arson, looting and killing people in the streets is the liberal way and happened enormously in 2020. The capitol kerfuffle does not even hold a candle to the democrat supported riots.

  4. Byron

    January 19, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    It’s quite interesting when people like you say President Trump won’t leave office peacefully—yet President Biden is in office in a peaceful transfer of power. What insurrection has ever ended in a peaceful transfer of power?

    If you work in the Capitol building, you work for us. You are not some monarchy protected from us. Congressional staff members work for the people, too.

    Before you complain about safety again, look at who occupies the White House and tell me when the Capitol been broken into since January 6th., 2021.

    I’m surprised this website considers you qualified to write about anything when you can’t speak basic truths without bias. How did the New York Times miss out on you?

  5. wasted quarter

    January 19, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Yes, he tried. But like everything else he tries, his incompetence prevailed. All of his horses and all of his men didn’t help much. Clown show.

  6. Walker

    January 19, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    The answer is very simple. All you have to do is ask a simple question. What did Trump hope to achieve on Jan 6? What did the rioters hope to achieve?

    The answer is even more simple. The rioters hoped to get Congress to change the outcome of the election. You can hear about how 90% of the crowd was peaceful. You can hear about how it was all a couple bad apples. It doesn’t matter. The intent was there. In both Trump and the rioters. That is an attempted coup. That it failed doesn’t change facts.

  7. El Gato

    January 19, 2023 at 8:56 pm

    If that was coup attempt, that was the poorest attempt ever made.
    Where’s the guns, tanks, buildings on fire, dead people? Just the unarmed protestor, for who the shooting policeman was never held accountable for.

  8. Manuel

    January 23, 2023 at 11:41 pm

    There was no coup. There was no insurrection. President Trump even specifically stated to “remain peaceful” and even offered the National Guard as added protection.

    It was Nancy Pelosi who declined the protection. It was Antifa busting windows (we even have video evidence of someone recognizing an Antifa who then proclaimed “I’m not here as Antifa today”). Another person trying to destroy a glass window was immediately grabbed by other protestors because they did NOT want to destroy anything. Protestors entering the building were even courteous enough to move the posts away so that nobody would trip over them. It looked more like a guided tour where most people behaved very respectfully. Also, that building belongs to THE PEOPLE! I wish these representatives remember that. They serve their constituents yet behave like they are above everybody else.

    To me this was a False Flag Op set up by the Democrats; and all the evidence is plain as day. Yet somehow it’s all Trump’s fault and Adam Schiff will present those piles of evidence … any day now (oh wait, his clearance and intel committee positions got removed for continuously lying about everything for over 4 years straight.

    The Capitol Police even removed the barricades and held the doors open to intentionally let people in. The only person who died was an unarmed civilian called Ashli Babbitt who imo was murdered in cold blood by a cop who just opened a door wanting to kill somebody. He shot her in the neck without provocation. That was just straight up murder yet it seems the cop just got away with it. He was never interviewed and never faced any charges. Guess as long as you’re a Democrat you can get away with murder.

    That tale about a cop being assaulted with a fire extinguisher was also a lie. The only cop who died did so due to natural causes in the hospital 2 days later.

    So this was all a setup from the Democrats because they hated President Trump and they needed something (anything) to prevent him from being to use his executive privilege during his final days in office. To even entertain the notion of this being an insurrection or proclaiming that it was “worse that 9/11” is just plain ridiculous.

    The only ‘coup’ here was done by the Democrats as you can’t tell me that Biden hiding in his basement and not even campaigning got more votes than Obama during his second term. Also all those Dominion machines all malfunctioning in key states at the exact same time. Claiming they weren’t connected to the internet when they were. Windows boarded up and Republican watchers having to stand 30ft away. That’s the real coup here.

    By the way, I’m not even from the US but even I could see that this thing was rigged in favor of the Democrats to put that demented puppet Joe “10% for the Big Guy” Biden in the WH. Now the question is; who controls the puppet?

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