The president, his family and his allies made no shortage of disturbing remarks in the run-up t0 Wednesday’s siege
The violent riot inside the US Capitol on Wednesday by a pro-Trump mob and far-right groups seeking to overturn the results of the presidential election have led to calls for those who incited the insurrection to be prosecuted.
Were federal agents to investigate the matter, they would find no shortage of examples of inflammatory remarks coming from Donald Trump, his family and close circle in the immediate run-up to the mayhem:
At 1.42am in the early hours of 19 December Trump tweeted the lie that it was “statistically impossible” for him to have lost the presidential election. He gave his first notice of a “big protest in DC” on 6 January. “Be there, will be wild!” he said.
Within hours, fervent Trump supporters began to heed Trump’s rallying cry. Kylie Jane Kremer, founder of a Stop the Steal group banned by Facebook, picked up the notice about the march and ran with it. “The calvary (sic) is coming, Mr President!” she said.
Louie Gohmert, a Republican Congress member from Texas, responded in inflammatory terms to news that his federal lawsuit seeking to force the vice president Mike Pence to block certification of Joe Biden’s victory had been dismissed.
“The bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this. You have no remedy’,” he told the right-wing outlet Newsmax. “Basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you got to go to the streets and be as violent as Antifa.”
Ted Cruz, the US senator from Texas who became a leading proponent of challenging the electoral college vote in Congress to overturn Trump’s defeat, addressed a rally in Georgia. “We will not go quietly into the night. We will defend liberty. And we are going to win.”
Eric Trump, the president’s son, made a direct political threat to any Republican member of Congress who dared vote in favor of Biden’s electoral college victory at the following day’s ceremonial joint session. “I will personally work to defeat every single Republican Senator / Congressman who doesn’t stand up against this fraud – they will be primaried in their next election and they will lose.”
Trump’s eldest child, Don Jr, appeared as the warm-up act at the “Save America Rally” on the National Mall, a walk away from the US Capitol. Yelling at the crowd he turned on the Republicans who, as he spoke, were preparing to vote on certifying the election result.
“The people who did nothing to stop the steal. This gathering should send a message to them: This isn’t their Republican party any more. This is Donald Trump’s.”
Then the president’s son said: “If you’re gonna be the zero and not the hero, we’re coming for you and we’re going to have a good time doing it!”
Trump’s personal lawyer, the former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, who has been a leading proponent of the falsehood that the election was fraudulently rigged, addressed the rally.
“If we’re wrong, we will be made fools of,” he said. “But if we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail. So let’s have trial by combat.”
Trump himself then addressed the crowd just outside the White House for more than an hour, urging them to march on the Capitol building. “We will not take it any more,” he said.
“You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong … I know everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building. To peacefully, patriotically make your voices heard.”
On Wednesday afternoon, as the crowd of agitated Trump supporters was gaining in strength and anger on the east side of the Capitol, Josh Hawley greeted them with a raised left fist. The Republican from Missouri was the first US senator to announce he would vote against the certification of Biden’s electoral college victory.
News – Incitement: a timeline of Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric before the Capitol riot