January 6 Was Not a Coup

Supporters of then-President Trump climb through a window as they storm the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., January 6, 2021. (Leah Millis/Reuters)
The Capitol riot was an outrageous and embarrassing assault on our democratic institutions. Let’s also be clear about what it wasn’t.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W hen several hundred extremists mobbed Capitol Hill on January 6, they engaged in a deplorably un-American act of criminality. It was an embarrassing day for the nation, and a dangerous one for the many innocent people and officials engulfed in the mayhem.

Here’s what January 6 wasn’t:

It wasn’t the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” Nor did it veer anywhere near the vicinity of being as dangerous as 9/11. Nor was it a “coup” or an “insurrection” — not in any way we commonly understand those words. It wasn’t a putsch. Nor did it, as the chairman of

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