Although we acknowledge that these definitions vary and some are arguably broader than others, for purposes of deciding this case, we need not adopt a single, all-encompassing definition of the word “insurrection.” Rather, it suffices for us to conclude that any definition of “insurrection” for purposes ofSection Three would encompass a concerted and public use of force or threat of force by a group of people to hinder or prevent the U.S. government from taking the actions necessary to accomplish a peaceful transfer of power in this country. 100 The required force or threat of force need not involve bloodshed, nor must the dimensions of the effort be so substantial as to ensure probable success. In re Charge to Grand Jury, 62 F. 828, 830 (N.D. Ill. 1894). Moreover, although those involved must act in a concerted way, they need not be highly organized at the insurrection’s inception. See Home Ins. Co. of N.Y. v. Davila, 212 F.2d 731, 736 (1st Cir. 1954) (“[A]t its inception an insurrection may be a pretty loosely organized affair. . . . It may start as a sudden surprise attack upon the civil authorities of a community with incidental destruction of property by fire or pillage, even before the military forces of the constituted government have been alerted and mobilized into action to suppress the insurrection.”).
¶185 The question thus becomes whether the evidence before the district court sufficiently established that the events of January 6 constituted a concerted and public use of force or threat of force by a group of people to hinder or prevent the U.S. government from taking the actions necessary to accomplish the peaceful transfer of power in this country. We have little difficulty concluding that substantial evidence in the record supported each of these elements and that, as the district court found, the events of January 6 constituted an insurrection.
¶186 It is undisputed that a large group of people forcibly entered the Capitol and that this action was so formidable that the law enforcement officers onsite could not control it. Moreover, contrary to President Trump’s assertion that no evidence 101 in the record showed that the mob was armed with deadly weapons or that it attacked law enforcement officers in a manner consistent with a violent insurrection, the district court found—and millions of people saw on live television, recordings of which were introduced into evidence in this case—thatthe mob was armed with a wide array of weapons. See Anderson, ¶ 155. The court also found that many in the mob stole objects from the Capitol’s premises or from law enforcement officers to use as weapons, including metal bars from the police barricades and officers’ batons and riot shields and that throughout the day, the mob repeatedly and violently assaulted police officers who were trying to defend the Capitol. Id. at ¶¶ 156–57. The fact that actual and threatened force was usedthat day cannot reasonably be denied.
¶187 Substantial evidence in the record further established that this use of force was concerted and public. As the district court found, with ample record support, “The mob was coordinated and demonstrated a unity of purpose . . . . They marched through the [Capitol] building chanting in a manner that made clear they were seeking to inflict violence against members of Congress and Vice President Pence.” Id. at ¶ 243. And upon breaching the Capitol, the mob immediately pursued its intended target—the certification of the presidential election—and reached the House and Senate chambers within minutes of entering the building. Id. at ¶ 153. 102
¶188 Finally, substantial evidence in the record showed that the mob’s unified purpose was to hinder or prevent Congress from counting the electoral votes as required by the Twelfth Amendment and from certifying the 2020 presidential election; that is, to preclude Congress from taking the actions necessary to accomplish a peaceful transfer of power. As noted above, soon after breaching the Capitol, the mob reached the House and Senate chambers, where the certification process was ongoing. Id. This breach caused both the House and the Senate to adjourn, halting the electoral certification process. In addition, much of the mob’s ire—which included threats of physical violence—was directed at Vice President Pence, who, in his role as President of the Senate, was constitutionally tasked with carrying out the electoral count. Id. at ¶¶ 163, 179–80; see U.S. Const. art. I, § 3, cl. 4; id. at art. II, § 1, cl. 3. As discussed more fully below, these actions were the product of President Trump’s conduct in singling out Vice President Pence for refusing President Trump’s demand that the Vice President decline to carry out his constitutional duties. Anderson, ¶¶ 148, 170, 172–73. ¶189 In short, the record amply established that the events of January 6 constituted a concerted and public use of force or threat of force by a group of people to hinder or prevent the U.S. government from taking the actions necessary to accomplish the peaceful transfer of power in this country. Under any viable 103 definition, this constituted an insurrection, and thus we will proceed to consider whether President Trump “engaged in” this insurrection.