Guns, bombs, restraints

The arrests are up to 20.

Twenty federal criminal defendants related to last week’s deadly pro-Trump riot at the US Capitol have been rounded up across the country since the insurrection, with the allegations showing the danger of the mob.

Some of the defendants are accused of bringing weapons and bombs to Capitol Hill, indicative of the extremism of parts of the crowd. Others were photographed ransacking the building, smiling while posing with congressional items such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern or at her staffer’s desk, or publicly bragged about the crowd’s violent and destructive joyride.

The most unsettling of the allegations so far appear to be those against Lonnie Coffman, an Alabama man charged after authorities found 11 homemade bombs, an assault rifle and a handgun in his truck parked two blocks from the Capitol. The truck had sat there all morning during the pro-Trump rally, and Coffman was arrested as he tried to return to the vehicle after dusk.

Another guy allegedly sent text messages saying he wanted to shoot Pelosi, and brought hundreds of rounds of ammunition and three guns to DC from Colorado. That’s a hefty drive.

On Sunday night, authorities arrested two more men, Eric Munchel of Tennessee and Larry Rendell Brock of Texas. Both had drawn attention online because of photos showing them wearing body armor inside the Capitol building and carrying plastic ties that could restrain a person.

Brock is the ex-military one.

As new details emerge, it has become obvious that lawmakers faced more imminent danger than was understood as the attack unfolded on live television.

As in lots of the insurrectionists really did intend to murder those lawmakers and did have the means to do so.

The top federal prosecutor in Washington, DC, Michael Sherwin, said he expected hundreds of people could be charged in the aftermath of the attack, and investigations may take months to understand it fully.

“I would not be surprised if we find loose affiliations of groups that were organized and had plans in place,” Sherwin said Sunday. “We saw in some of these individuals we identified — they look paramilitary almost, right? You’ve got the uniform, you’ve got communication, you have all the paraphernalia. Those show indications of affiliation and a command-and-control. So I believe we are going to find those hallmarks.”

This wasn’t a protest that spiraled out of control. Many in that mob were not playing.

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