Soloway at the Insurrection
Currently Susan Soloway is a Hunterdon County Commissioner. On Tuesday, January 5, 2021 She sworn an oath to uphold the constitution and laws of our county, state and national government, and to serve the citizens of Hunterdon County.
On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, Susan Soloway mounted a bus in Hunterdon County along with other members of the Hunterdon County Federated Republican Women and she was driven to Washington DC for the “Stop the Steal” rally, where the January 6thinsurrection took place. She has publicly admitted this transgression against democracy.
This bus trip required perhaps weeks of planning; it was not an impulse action. It is probable that Soloway had days to consider and reconsider joining this rally and marching to the insurrection. Further, someone had to organize the bus. To this day, the citizens of Hunterdon County do not know who paid for the bus service and trip. The citizens of Hunterdon do not know the names of who else was on the bus, and went to the insurrection, for they too deserve condemnation and may be prosecution.
The Stop the Steal rally on January 6th was the culmination of months of politics by Trump and his far right extremists. For months prior to the insurrection, anti-democracy politicians had been proclaiming that the election would be and had been stolen from Trump. Far right extremist and terrorists have been threatening and preparing for violence since the election campaign. Candidate Trump himself, on national television, asked the far right extremist and anti-democracy group the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand ready” on September 29. On October 8, 2020, the FBI announced the arrests in connection with a domestic terror plot to kidnap the Governor of Michigan, and to use violence to overthrow the state government. Beginning during the campaign, then after the election, and in the days leading up to the insurrection, national public media and various government and law enforcement agencies were widely reporting the continuous and escalating threat of violence from the far right and domestic terrorists. In the days leading up to the Stop the Steal rally on January 6th, the federal government and law enforcement agencies were aware of and preparing for, the real possibility of violence at the rally. The potential for illegality and violence from the Stop the Steal supporters and the far right was real, widely recognized and anticipated. The documentation of this is extensive and conclusive, and will not be reiterated here. In spite of this knowledge, Soloway still attended both the Stop the Steal and march to the Capitol with the insurrections.
Since this was not an impulsive action, Susan Soloway should not have had any doubts where she was going and for what cause, or who she was associating with, who she was supporting and what she was participating in.
The “Stop the Steal rally, which occurred at the Ellipse at the Mall, began at 11 AM. Trump began speaking at 11:50 and speaks to about 1:10PM. At 12:53 insurrectionist had already pushed past barriers at the Capitol. By 1:30 the Capitol Building breaches began.
The permit for the “Stop the Steal” rally was granted for the location of the Ellipse, not the Capitol Building. Marching to the Capitol, in itself, may constitute an illegal act.
Soloway has provided almost no details to the public concerning her actions during the “Stop the Steal” rally and insurrection. If we take her few public words for it, she attended the “Stop the Steal” rally and insurrection to “support her President”, then it may be assumed that she stayed to hear Trump’s entire speech. It has been reported that many attendees of “Stop the Steal” rally left before the end of Trump’s speech and had begun marching to the Capitol. By 12:28 there were already official reports of over 10,000 protestors moving towards the Capital. Soloway likely, or should have, observed this.
Soloway has publicly admitted that she both attended the rally and marched to the Capitol Building with the insurrectionist. From the location of the rally, the Ellipse, to the location of the insurrection, the Capitol Building is approximately a distance of 1.5 miles and a 30 minute walk. If Soloway left the Ellipse at the end of the Trump speech, then she would have been at the Capitol at approximately 1:40 pm. This is some 30 minutes after the first reports of the rioters achieving their first beaches. She has written that she was recording video of the insurrection, at the “railing” at the Capitol. Soloway has never publicly released her videos and photos of the day to the citizens of Hunterdon. We can infer this was at about 2 PM. She has not reported how long she stayed.
Again this 30 minute march reveals a deliberate decision, to join people marching to an unauthorized location, for an activity that was widely proclaimed and understood to be violent, illegal and undemocratic, and that at this very moment had already turned violent. Yet she continued.
Photos show Soloway smiling in front of the Capital Building at the time of the Insurrection. She was smiling at the very moment, at the very location, that our Capitol was under siege by anti-democratic extremists and breaches were occurring with the intention of hanging political opponents and over throwing the results of a legal and fair election. Remember that the purpose of the Stop the Steal rally was, at best, to deny the facts and reality that the results of the election were legal and fair, and was, at worst, to over throw our democracy. Yet, Susan Soloway’s own selfie photo shows her smiling at this event and location, as she participates.
Soloway has never released publicly her photos and videos of that day. In fact, sadly, none of the entire bus load of people on her bus trip have publicly released their photos and videos. None of the other Hunterdon bus travelers or the insurrections have come forward to collaborate or refute Soloway’s activities that day, and to serve Hunterdon county with objective reports. The rest of Hunterdon can only wonder if their allegiance is to Hunterdon or far right extremists. The people of Hunterdon have a right to know what she did at the insurrection, but instead she and her comrades are hiding the evidence. She claims that she turned hers over to the FBI. The people of Hunterdon have no proof of that.
Soloway claims, after the fact, that she did not approve of the siege and breaching of the Capitol. Yet, she had multiple opportunities over the course of following months to stand against such actions and politics. Instead she choose to attend with, march with, smile with traitors. Susan Soloway reported after the fact that she feared for her safety during the insurrection. However the photo of her smiling at the Capitol was taken while the riot was already 1 hour underway. Soloway has never properly answered or explained to her constituents for and about her actions leading up to and during the insurrection. To this day, she has refused the acknowledge that Biden beat Trump fairly and legally. The Citizens of Hunterdon county are left to fear that she still believes that Biden stole the election from Trump and that violence and insurrection are appropriate political expressions in our country.
It may well be that Soloway was surprised by the violence at the Stop the Steal rally. She has written that it never occurred to her that Trump and other Republican leaders have called for the use of violence in their rhetoric. But this demonstrates a profound lack of judgement and insight. It may also be that she is making claims of fear of personal safety to create a political cover. Either leaves the voters in Hunterdon believing that she does not have the requisite level of judgement to serve our county.
It is true that Americans have a right to free speech. Soloway has claimed she had a right of free speech to attend the Stop the Steal and to march on the Capitol. But there are legal and constitutional limits to speech, even in American. Soloway has exceeded her rights. No American has a right to violence, violence-inciting speech, unlawful public behavior, and insurrection. Trump and others were inciting violence because they believed and wanted others to believe the election was stolen. They rationalize free speech to incite violence. They believe violence is justified because their democratic election was stolen. But since the election was fair and legal, violence is not justified. Soloway has no right to claim the election was stolen. Soloway is aiding and abetting the incitement of violence when she merely attends the Stop the Steal rally. At best, Soloway is aiding and abetting the incitement of violence and exceeding her legal rights to free speech, and/or showing catastrophic lack of judgement, when she marched to the Capitol. At worst, Soloway may be claiming free speech rights as political cover, when she may have been a full supporter and even an active participant in the insurrection at the Capitol. Since the citizens of the County have been denied a proper investigation and reporting of her activities that day, they do not know.
All this raises fears for the future of Hunterdon’s safety and democracy. When Soloway loses her election fairly and legally, will she or her supporters deny the fact, incite insurrection, and attempt to violently seize the historical County court house? Is there now a possibility, when before there was none, that violence will ensue in Hunterdon County and that someone will be killed, that someone will be shot dead? As long as Soloway remains, these fears now have a possibility.