UNL Political Scientist: Pro-Trump Mob Breaching Capitol Is Unlike Anything Before in History

Jan. 6, 2021, 4:51 p.m. ·

Prof. John Gruhl (Courtesy: University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

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A Nebraska political scientist says Wednesday's storming of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump extremists is unlike anything he's ever seen.

"The Capitol has seen protests but I've never seen a masked riot and an invasion of the Capitol like this," said John Gruhl, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Gruhl says even people who expected protests to happen Wednesday didn’t expect this level of violence.

"Already we knew that a lot of Americans didn't believe that the election was legitimate because of President Trump's claims," Gruhl said. "But this just underscores the extent to which some people feel like this."

Gruhl says during Trump's presidency, but especially during the last six months, political scientists have talked about a "civil war" within the Republican Party.

"It is possible, I think, to see the possibility of the [Republican] party breaking apart sometime down the road if these two factions of the party cannot come together. So that would have an impact on Nebraska as well as the rest of the country."

Listen to the full interview with Prof. Gruhl above.