Analysis | With Trump moving closer to renomination, rewriting Jan. 6 attack gains urgency

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he said There is no secret About the Capitol Rebellion. There is no intangible, invisible engine behind what happens. There is no certainty of what happened and why.

But because it’s all about what happened January 62021, the Republican Party marks the cultural leader — and pretending to be a mystery. Benefits He – we present the third anniversary of that day with a new effort to rewrite history.

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Donald Trump In the year They lost the 2020 presidential election and refused to accept it. Any questions about the legitimacy of the vote, fueled by Trump for years, evaporated within days, if not weeks. Many of his partners turned to vague arguments about how The system He was working on it. But Trump did not. Trump’s enemies have argued that there is a cover-up fraud and, growing desperate, have called on his supporters in Washington and elsewhere to come to his defense.

After a few hours of heated Oval Office debate trying to figure out how his team should take power, he shared a post on social media on January 6 asking supporters to come to Washington. The objection of the day, “He promised to do it.” Be wild” this message itself It comes again and again While watching the triggers for participants to be at the Capitol that day.

Thousands came. Trump is still trying to figure out how to suspend the certificate Joe BidenHe spoke out against those making more false claims about the election, including those rigged, and encouraged people to march on the Capitol. you did. A commotion ensued. People have died. Several policemen were attacked. A few hours later, Trump’s loss became normal.

In short, the violence of the day was carried out by Trump supporters and supporters of Trump politics. They were there not only because Trump had designated that day and place as the site of a “protest” but because he constantly argued that protest was needed. The intention was clearly to challenge the outcome of the 2020 election. Trump’s use of the word “peacefully” once in his speech doesn’t make it any less shocking that thousands of Trump supporters weren’t violent and didn’t march into the Capitol. There was violence and there were powerful actors; Trump was there, saying voters rejected him.

Trump’s tenure in politics was a point where this might seem like a coda. Trump lost the election and then reacted strongly to the transition. If not Hollywood, the history books would suggest that they spent the rest of their lives in exile in the wilderness.

But he never emigrated. Less than two weeks After Trump left Washington, the Republican leader of the House paid a sycophantic visit to the former president in order to consolidate his own power. Since 2015, Republicans have known that even valid criticism of Trump can work to his and their advantage, and the uprising was no different. So they did, and after 1,000 days of turmoil, Trump found himself the clear front-runner for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination.

This adds new urgency to efforts by Trump allies to depoliticize their response to the 2020 election. Trump’s opponents, President Biden, have focused on Trump’s rejection of the election results — his efforts to sideline democracy — as the main reason to oppose him in 2024. Evidence Many voters view 2024 through this lens. While many of Trump’s defenses have focused on the short-term rewards of going along with his rhetoric, some are clearly more tactical.

These defenses take many forms.

The most deluded focus on the idea that the violence is not really the work of Trump supporters or a desire to see Trump take office. Two alternative perpetrators are generally presented: federal agents or left-wing actors.

The latter thought was heard. immediately after It is violent and quickly destroyed. But it will be delayed: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.) who sells books. They spoke Donald Trump Jr. said on a recent podcast that “no one could tell me those were Trump supporters” and that she believed “they were Antifa.” [Black Lives Matter] rioters”

There is no evidence for this. In fact, it defies any logic. But for Greene, this is a long-standing debate. During the riots she An article was written White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said that she and others “think they are Antifa… [d]They are considered Trump supporters. Of course, that was 90 minutes after she texted Meadows to advise him, “[p]Tell the president to calm people down[.] This is not the way to solve anything.

Greenie’s response to Jan. 6 was as comfortable and convenient as Trump’s. The rioters were Antifa – even those who had been arrested for violent acts. Political prisoners They were targeted by the evil Joe Biden for their support of Trump.

This argument depends on the explanation of benefits Prisoners really did. Many of those in prison have agreed to plead guilty – meaning they are guilty. Others were charged and convicted of assaulting police officers. Still others were members of groups like the Pride Men or Oath Keepers who actively planned to disrupt the transition or help Trump do it. Lumping everyone together as a victim of punishment makes it easy to overlook what you did.

It also makes it easier to target Trump himself as an enemy of the Deep State. Of course, this has been his line for years, but this year it reached a new high after the many accusations against him. Many Trump supporters think he is being unfairly targeted by leftist prosecutors. It would not be too difficult to suggest that this would extend into the weeks before January 6, 2021. There is no more evidence (much less rational reason) to support the idea that federal agents instigated the riots than to believe that Antifa did. But whenever there is a person By mistake Identified as a federal agent or He only asks questions There is a new place for Trump to argue that all this is to hinder his power.

An increase in suspense is a major factor in many of them. You don’t need to know exactly what federal agent made January 6th happen, but if you’re open to the idea that someone did, maybe you’ll be less compelled by Trump’s dangerous-to-democracy arguments. If the House Select Committee, which is investigating the scandal, is convinced that it is trying to bring Trump down, it will be easier to shake the evidence that shows Trump’s guilt. And then, by extension, raise similar or overlapping evidence from Special Counsel Jack Smith.

Raising suspicion, in fact, offers its own political rewards. Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) recently announced that he will release thousands of hours of security footage from the Capitol that day – this image It has already been used Except that most of the footage showed empty corridors, to suggest that there were sleazy, non-Trump actors and that the violence of the day was exaggerated. Cameras in the back of the Titanic showed calm scenes until they went under water.

The day after the 2020 election, Republican votes against redistricting are getting tighter.

“Anyone who makes the argument that Jan. 6 is an unguided tour of the Capitol is lying to America,” Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Sunday. “Anyone who says that the prisoners who are currently being prosecuted for participating in January 6th are somehow political prisoners or that they haven’t committed a crime, those people are lying to America.”

Buck may feel more free to tell these truths now that he has announced that he will not seek re-election. Former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney (R) was free to challenge Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) misinformation about Capitol security footage because she no longer had to appeal to Republican voters. Lee does.

No one is happier than Trump to raise suspicions about Capitol turmoil. He is afloat by showing mercy to those involved in the rebellion, who strengthen their ideals – like him, of course! – They are being unfairly targeted. He argued that what happened that day was not his fault and attacked critics who suggested otherwise.

Put another way: What Trump is doing right now, 340 days before the 2024 general election, is promoting falsehoods for his own benefit and finding an audience hungry for them. That’s what he had been doing in the weeks leading up to the Capitol riots.

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