These were the crimes and tragedies that captivated America because they were so horrifying, so unbelievable, so awful, we could not look away.
The Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021, is sadly — but easily — added to that canon.
Nothing made that clearer than Wednesday’s presentation at former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, where the case against him unfolded more like a true-crime documentary than a staid political trial.
The photos, the videos, the phone calls, the affidavits — some of which had never been shared publicly before — were chilling, gut-wrenching, horrifying and at times even nauseating. It was a far cry from the usual testimonies of who-knew-what-when.
It was a meticulous and forensic piecing together of a puzzle by House managers that separated this impeachment from all the others in modern history. In stark contrast, this one wasn’t just about obstruction of justice or abuse of power — though it could be argued it’s that, too — but a violent crime scene at one of our nation’s most hallowed citadels. Death and destruction.
They are the perpetrators of these awful crimes. But through all the evidence, the timeline, the visuals, the indisputable facts, it’s overwhelmingly clear that the instigator is Trump himself.
The dots were meticulously connected, linking Trump’s incitement of his supporters in the months leading up to the November election to the insurrection at the Capitol. There was Trump in his own words, telling them to fight. There were his supporters in theirs, telling him they would.
With everything we now know — and we don’t even know it all yet — it’s clear this trial is not about politics. It’s not about Republicans or Democrats.
It’s not about free speech, and whether we should lock someone up for saying things we don’t like.
It’s about the near-overthrow of our government, the deaths of five people, the assault on our law enforcement, the unimaginable danger our elected officials, their staffs and in some cases their families were put in, and the clear-as-day connection to the most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States. It’s nothing less than the “crime of the century.”