March 25, 2023

JANUARY 6th Reports: Part 3 — Trump’s insurrection incitement

UNPRIVILEGED: DOJ filing just SHREDDED Trump's claims of January 6 immunity

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Part Three of the January 6th Reports will concentrate on how Donald Trump riled up mobs and urged supporters to disrupt vote counts prior to January 6. It continues the story that began here with the Big Lie.

As recounted earlier, in his debate with Joe Biden on September 29, 2020, President Trump told the Proud Boys – a designated hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – to “stand back and stand by,” which the group and others took as an order to await instructions, especially if the election did not go Trump’s way.

Trump also refused to disavow conspiracy networks like QAnon, and in fact encouraged a distrust of the “deep state,” stoking claims that it would act behind the scenes to deny him the presidency.

He began doing this well before the election.

On the morning of November 5, 2020, as mail-in votes were turning the tide of the election in favor of Joe Biden, President Trump tweets out “Stop the count!”

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As is well-known, Trump will often craft his messages with just enough ambiguity for his supporters to interpret them as signals while he can still maintain a degree of deniability.

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Most assuredly, he’ll claim that this tweet calling for the stopping of vote counting was to officials he was accusing of participating in fraud.

Yet this was a clarion call to the most violent and aggressive factions of his base, many of whom had already been promoting the “Stop the Steal” message on social media, led by figures like Jack Posobiec, an OANN host and close confidant of Roger Stone; Nick Fuentes, a known white supremacist who hosts the America First podcast; Enrique Tarrio, head of the Proud Boys; Alex Jones of Infowars; and Stewart Rhodes of the Oath Keepers.

As noted in a timeline constructed by Just Security, the next day, November 6, heeding Trump’s call, pro-Trump demonstrators gather in Detroit, Michigan and Youngstown, Ohio, many of them carrying guns.

When Biden is declared the projected winner the next day, these protests grow, spreading throughout the nation.

The protests concentrate on state capitals, including one at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex.

Again, the demonstrators often carry guns.

At the same time, Fuentes and others begin promoting a “Million MAGA March” to be held in Washington, D.C. on November 14.

Trump will soon start lending his support to this effort.

On November 10, Rhodes tells Alex Jones that he already has armed men in Washington awaiting Trump’s orders.

Jones, meanwhile, is busy leading the #stopthestealcaravan effort.

The day before the Million MAGA March, Rudy Giuliani hosts his rather strange “Four Seasons” press conference (at a landscaping company – not the hotel chain).

He makes a host of unsubstantiated claims. Remember, 61 of 62 of the cases brought by the team led by Giuliani would later be tossed out.

As thousands poured into the capital for the Million MAGA March, Trump continues to offer his support, waving to the protestors from his motorcade.

Unsurprisingly, with so many Proud Boys and Oath Keepers there, violence breaks out at times. Trump later blames it on “Antifa scum.”

On November 15, Trump tells supporters in a tweet that the Georgia recount was a “scam.”

Three days later, a group led by Jones, Fuentes, and Ali Alexander, a far-right organizer, breaches the Georgia state capitol.

The threats and violence begin to reach a fever pitch – so much so that the chief operating officer in the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, Gabriel Sterling, speaks out on December 1st, 2020 against the death threats and intimidation, insisting “It has to stop,” warning that “someone’s gonna get killed.”

On December 5, demonstrators gather outside the house of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson – again, many with guns – forcing her and her family to flee their home.

Meanwhile, discussions online are blazing with calls to “stop the steal” and gather to support Trump, including for a rally planned for December 12th in D.C.

The Proud Boys are soon pouring into D.C.

Tarrio gives a speech the night before the rally, as does Roger Stone, urging listeners to “fight to the bitter end.”

The next day proves predictably violent. Trump, for his part, just praises those who had shown up for him.

He continues to spread lies about election fraud, aided by sycophants like Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who echoes baseless voting fraud claims.

On December 19, Trump posts two more tweets, one telling people to show up on January 6th and promising it “will be wild,” and another – filled with misleading images – pushing people to “fight for Trump.”

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We will continue to go over the massive amounts of evidence indicating that Donald Trump committed treason and that his actions led to people’s deaths – all to keep himself in power.

In the next installment, I’ll cover how Trump instigated violence on January 6th.

You can read the first part of the series: Trump’s criminal intent and the Big Lie at this link.

You can read the second part of the series: Pressure & cheat: Trump’s victory strategy at this link.

You can continue to get updates by following on Twitter: @RossRosenfeld or by following the hashtag: #Jan6Reports.

Ross Rosenfeld

is a news analysis and opinion writer whose work has also appeared in the New York Daily News and Newsweek. He lives in New York.

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