The law and order president has crossed the line to lawlessness.

By urging his supporters to protest the joint session of Congress meeting on the Electoral College, President Donald Trump set loose a threat to security of the Capitol, the icon of American freedom and justice.

Trump deserves plenty of blame for inciting the riotous behavior of followers who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, disrupted the counting of the Electoral College votes, damaged property, and took over offices reserved as safe havens for our country’s leaders. One person was shot and reportedly died.

Washington D. C. police used teargas to combat the mob, who broke through barriers and forced members of Congress into an unprecedented lockdown for their physical safety. Some 1,100 National Guard soldiers were sent in as reinforcements.

Trump in the morning rallied thousands of supporters, telling them he will not let their voices be silenced. Trump did say after he saw the damage and threats that protesters should be peaceful and tweeted: “Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue.” He later told them they should go home.

That was all too little too late. Did he really think after whipping them up at a rally that they were going to go home and go to bed early? The damage has been done. Unnecessary chaos has ensued. The greatest institutions of American democracy have been defaced.

Trump continues to sneer at the American tradition of a peaceful transfer of power.

All of this was perpetrated with a kind of circus-like atmosphere in which dangerous people became the clowns and Trump their ringmaster in a reaction to a oft-repeated set of lies about the legitimacy of the U.S. election.

That a growing number of Republicans pushed back at the president in connection to the phony challenge of the Electoral College was one small consolation that civility and decency would prevail eventually. It’s sad that it takes a riot for 1st District Congressmen Jim Hagedorn to call out the Trump mobs that have fomented hate from the beginning. Hagedorn, a strident Trump supporter, said he condemned the storming of the Capitol in the “strongest terms” and described the onslaught as “illegal.”

The so-called “protesters” evolved into looters as they were seen taking souvenirs from the Capitol complex.

It’s a sad day in America when a president leads this kind of charge.

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