Democracy at Risk: Domestic Terrorism and Attack on the U.S. Capitol

75 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2021 Last revised: 21 Nov 2022

See all articles by Lawrence J. Trautman

Lawrence J. Trautman

Prairie View A&M University - College of Business; Texas A&M University School of Law (By Courtesy)

Date Written: March 19, 2021


The year 2022 begins with democracy hanging in the balance. On February 13, 2021 Donald John Trump becomes the only American president to be impeached and acquitted twice. His acquittal for the second time follows a violent mob, having been incited by the lame-duck president into marching down Pennsylvania Avenue to break into and vandalize the Capitol Building. It is now known that at least 138 law enforcement officers suffered from or received burns, concussions, rib fractures, heart attack--- and at least 5 deaths are attributed to this insurrection. More than 725 individuals are subsequently charged for their role in this violent crime. Here is our account of the events leading up to impeachment and the Constitutional duties and responsibilities that follow.

This article proceeds in ten parts. First, is a discussion about the tragic events of January 6, 2021 violent insurrection and storming of the U.S. Capitol Building. Second, is an inquiry into President Trump’s enablers. Third, I focus on impeachment and the relevant single article. Fourth, is a discussion of trial in the Senate. Fifth, for context and perspective, I briefly look at the first impeachment of President Trump and his four years as president. Sixth, is an inquiry into the growing threat and participation of militias and domestic terrorist organizations in the chronology of relevant events. Seventh, is a look at the role of social media in radicalization. Eighth, I discuss the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Ninth, is an inquiry into post-Capitol attack developments. And last, I conclude.

Keywords: anti-terrorism, Boogaloo Bois, Charlottesville, constitution, corruption, coup, domestic terrorism, Facebook, fake news, 14th Amendment, impeachment, incitement, insurrection, militias, misinformation, Parler, presidency, Proud Boys, QAnon, radicalization, removal, rule of law, white supremacy

Suggested Citation

Trautman, Lawrence J., Democracy at Risk: Domestic Terrorism and Attack on the U.S. Capitol (March 19, 2021). Seattle University Law Review, Vol. 45, No. 4, 2022, Available at SSRN: or

Lawrence J. Trautman (Contact Author)

Prairie View A&M University - College of Business ( email )

Prairie View, TX
United States

Texas A&M University School of Law (By Courtesy) ( email )

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX Tarrant County 76102
United States

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