Editorial: Are those who attacked the U.S. Capitol ‘hostages' or not?

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Editorial: Are those who attacked the U.S. Capitol ‘hostages' or not?

Former President Donald took the stage in Dayton, Ohio, two weeks ago to the words “Please rise for the horribly and unfairly treated January 6 hostages.”

This was a reference to the hundreds of rioters convicted of felony charges, including seditious conspiracy, for an attack on the U.S. Capitol intended to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Trump’s first words at the rally were: “Thank you very much, and you see the spirit from the hostages. And that’s what they are – hostages”

The Republican Party's presumptive candidate for president then suggested he’d be issuing pardons on his first day if elected president.

Trump also said that if he doesn’t get elected, “it's going to be a bloodbath for the country.”

Our question: Do you agree or disagree with the former president?

Are the hundreds of rioters convicted of crimes that included beating Capitol and District of Columbia police and threatening the life of the vice president and House speaker “hostages?”

For this to be true, the people who assaulted the Capitol need to have been engaging in “legitimate political discourse” as the Republican National Committee said previously.

Or they were “patriots” seeking justice in a “rigged” election that was stolen from Trump, as the former president has continued to say to this day despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary?

Trump later said his “bloodbath” comments only applied to the U.S. auto industry.

But given his comments about the people who assaulted the Capitol on Jan. 6 and his many other calls for violence on his behalf, it seems a safe assumption that Trump will say the election was rigged if he loses again in 2024. And call on his supporters to oppose the results.

The question of who the people who assaulted the Capitol are - criminals or patriots - raises the stakes for the 2024 election not only for the president but down the ballot - for state Assembly, state Senate and especially Congress.

The Constitution says Congress members' role in certifying a presidential election is purely ministerial - they are to open the electoral certificates and count them.

But two years ago, 139 Republican House members cast votes against certifying the results of the presidential election - just hours after the mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.

Trump had lost election challenges in more than 60 state and federal courts with 10 Trump appointees among those sitting on the bench.

And many of those voting not to certify the presidential election had won on the same ballot that Trump had lost. But they had no hesitation in being sworn in three days before.

Why did the sinister forces that were supposed to have changed the ballots not change the votes in congressional races and give Democrats the majority as well? That was never explained.

Those voting against certifying Biden as president included then-Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-1), a prominent Trump supporter from Suffolk County who a year later would be the Republican nominee for governor.

Congressman Tom Suozzi (NY-3) voted along with all Democrats in the House and Senate to certify Biden as president as did then Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (NY-4).

Suozzi is now running for re-election against the winner of a Republican primary race that pits former state Assemblyman Mike LePetri, the pick of the Nassau GOP, against Greg Hach, a small business owner who touts himself as a strong supporter of Trump.

Republican Congressman Andrew Garbarino (NY-2), who had just been sworn in and is now running for a second term, voted to certify the presidential election.

“I took an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution,” Garbarino said in a release on Jan. 6. “Because of this oath, I will not object to the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

Former Hempstead  Supervisor Laura Gillen, a Democrat, is running this year against Congressman Anthony D’Esposito, (NY-4) whom she lost to two years ago.

D’Esposito, a former New York City detective who has frequently expressed support for the men in blue, has not commented on Trump’s calling people convicted of beating police with flag poles  “hostages.”

But he did defend Trump after the Republican Party’s standard-bearer said “any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion, they hate everything about Israel, and they should be ashamed of themselves.”

“Far too many elected Democrats are willing to throw Israel under the bus in order to appease pro-Hamas leftists, including Senator [Charles} Schumer,” said D'Esposito in a statement to Axios, referring to the Senate majority leader and the highest ranking Jew in the United States government.

Is this antisemitic? We think so.

Do Jews really need Trump to tell them who a good Jew is? The man who said there were good people on both sides when neo-Nazis clashed with protesters at a “Uniting the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2022 when he was president?

Does questioning the response of the far-right government of Israeli Prime Bibi Netanyahu under whose watch the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust took place, mean Jews hate their religion and Israel? Or are supporting Hamas?

By this logic anyone who opposes Trump is un-American? Which may be the point.

Trump is not running as a traditional Republican. He is running as a would-be dictator against President Joe Biden, who vows to protect democracy.

How do we know this? Trump said so.

In a live interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Trump said he would be a dictator if re-elected but only on day one.

Does anyone out there believe that Trump would give up his powers as a dictator after one day?

Some will say we are attacking all Republicans. No. Just Trump.

A significant minority of Republican voters cast their ballots in favor of former Gov. Nikki Haley in the Republican presidential primary and say they won’t support Trump in the general election.

Trump is also opposed by many former Republican elected officials such as former Congress members Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger as well as members of previous Republican administrations and Trump's own.

Twenty-six-year-old Cassidy Hutchinson, assistant to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, gave some of the most damning testimony against Trump in the bipartisan Jan. 6 Committee hearings that almost exclusively featured Republican witnesses.

Most recently former Vice President Mike Pence,who refused to participate in one of several schemes to overturn the election, said he would not support Trump.

Trump is also opposed by those who know him best – those who served in his cabinet. More than 40 have expressed opposition to Trump being elected.

Republican candidates now running for office know Trump has a powerful hold on a large portion of their party. They also know that opposing Trump would almost certainly result in their defeat at the ballot box.

But we believe defending the Constitution is more important than getting or keeping a job.  No matter whether you are running for Congress, the state Assembly, the state Assembly or even town and county races.

All take an oath of office to defend the Constitution of the United States.

There are many issues voters will be asked to consider in the races for president and Congress this fall.

We think none is more important than whether those convicted of attacking the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are hostages or not.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. This is a prime example of the author prioritizing bashing Republicans over reporting the truth, as he inaccurately paints an alternate reality within which Laura Gillen served as Congresswoman in CD-4. In this reality, in the race to replace Rep. Kathleen Rice, Laura Gillen lost her bid for Congress to Anthony D'Esposito by nearly 10,000 votes in a Biden +13 district. This inattention to accuracy for details in furtherance of a personal vendetta is exactly why local news is dying a slow death.

    • The editorial states that Gillen lost to D'Esposito. “Gillen is running again this year against Congressman Anthony D’Esposito, whom she lost to two years ago.'

      • You're so delusional you don't even realize it, as you CLEARLY refer to her as “then-Congresswoman Laura Gillen.” Absolute hack.

          • While we're at it, you also listed the incorrect Congressional District for Garbarino. Maybe a simple proof read next time before posting?

  2. Of course the January 6th insurrectionists are NOT hostages. Anyone who thinks they are is a dangerous fool. Any Jewish American who conflates riot participants with Israelis taken into captivity by Hamas murderers and degenerates is deserving of contempt and shunning by fellow tribesmen.

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