Former president Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he would be hosting a “news conference on January 6” from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, one year after his failed coup attempt, when thousands of fascist supporters attacked the US Capitol.
Trump reiterated his bogus claims the 2020 presidential election was “rigged.” He told his supporters and other Republican politicians, “remember, the insurrection took place on November 3rd, it was the completely unarmed protest of the rigged election that took place on January 6th.”
As a matter of fact, Trump lost the election resoundingly by over 7 million votes and 306-232 in the Electoral College.
That is not the first time Trump has characterized the election as the true “insurrection,” a declaration that places 81 million Americans, who voted for his Democratic opponent Joe Biden, in the position of outlaws rebelling against the sovereign ruler of the country. If the election was indeed an insurrection, then presumably Trump would have been justified in mobilizing the military to crush it—and he did in fact make an effort to do so.
Furthermore, the mob was not “completely unarmed” on January 6. While militia members and Trump supporters did not show up with firearms—they had to pass through metal detectors to enter the Ellipse, near the White House—the crowd that stormed the Capitol was still armed with a plethora of deadly weapons, including knives, axes, batons, tasers, poles, and stolen police equipment like shields and metal bike racks. Over 140 police were injured in the attack, and by August, the Capitol Police department had announced that four officers who responded during the attack had died by suicide.
Moreover, just last month, federal prosecutors charged 56-year-old Mark Mazza of Indiana with five federal crimes, including bringing a loaded gun onto US Capitol grounds and assaulting police officers with a baton during the January 6 attack. According to court documents, Mazza lost his gun, a Taurus revolver, which was loaded with two shotgun shells and three hollow-point bullets, as he was battling police on the West Front Terrace of the Capitol.
Mazza might not have been identified had he not filed a false police report two days after the attempted coup, claiming his gun was stolen from inside his car while traveling in Ohio on January 5. In a March interview with two Capitol Police investigators, Mazza admitted that he attended the “Stop the Steal” rally outside the White House before marching to the Capitol.
In the same interview, Mazza apparently lamented that he did not get a chance to assassinate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “I thought Nan and I would hit if off,” Mazza told investigators. “I never did get to talk to Pelosi.
“I was glad I didn’t, because you’d be here for another reason and I told my kids that if they show up, I’m surrendering, nope they can have, because I may go down a hero.” Mazza allegedly told investigators.
In addition to Mazza, at least five others have been charged with carrying firearms onto Capitol grounds on January 6, including a former Drug Enforcement Agency employee. In November, 71-year-old Lonnie Coffman of Alabama pleaded guilty to bringing five loaded firearms and 11 Molotov cocktails in his truck to the Capitol. Coffman brought a rifle, shotgun, two 9mm pistols and a .22-caliber pistol, all loaded, to Washington D.C. on January 6.
In the course of his statement, Trump targeted the few “weak Republican RINOs [Republicans In Name Only]” who refused to prosecute sham “forensic audits.” Citing Detroit, Michigan, where Biden actually received fewer votes compared to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, Trump claimed that vote “numbers are horrendously corrupt in Detroit” but that the “Republican RINOs in the Michigan House and Senate don’t want to touch the subject.”
Outside the Lansing Capitol on Tuesday, a few dozen Trump supporters, including a rifle-bearing self-proclaimed “Michigan 3%,” rallied in support of a so-called “forensic audit.”
Trump also attacked the January 6 House Select Committee charged with investigating the attack on the Capitol, complaining that the “Unselect Committee of highly partisan political hacks” was refusing to investigate the “CAUSE of the January 6th protests, which was the rigged Presidential Election of 2020.”
This is not the first time Trump has referred to the Select Committee as the “Unselect committee” and claimed that the “real insurrection” happened on Election Day 2020. In October, following the Select Committee’s decision to cite Trump’s fascistic adviser Steve Bannon for criminal contempt of Congress, Trump released a statement which read: “The Unselect Committee of partisan Democrats, and two very weak and pathetic RINOs, should come to the conclusion after spending many millions of dollars, that the real insurrection happened on November 3rd, the Presidential Election, not on January 6th—which was a day of protesting the Fake Election results.”
Likewise, in an earlier December interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, Trump said that January 6 “was a protest. The insurrection took place on November 3rd, which was election day. This was a protest and a lot of innocent people are being hurt. A lot of innocent people are being injured.”
In the same interview, Trump claimed he had “nothing to hide” from the Select Committee and that he “wasn’t involved” in the attack on the Capitol, adding, “if you look at my words and what I said in the speech, they were extremely calming, actually.”
In Trump’s “extremely calming” January 6 speech to the mob outside the White House, he told his supporters, “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”
Openly inciting them to violence, he added, “We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Joining Trump in rejecting the legitimacy of the select committee on Tuesday was Republican Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania. A member of the ultra-right House Freedom Caucus, Perry announced on Twitter that he would not appear before the committee for a voluntary interview.
“I stand with immense respect for our Constitution, the Rule of Law, and the Americans I represent who know that this entity is illegitimate, and not duly constituted under the rules of the US House of Representatives,” Perry wrote on Twitter.
“I decline this entity’s request and will continue to fight the failures of the radical Left who desperately seek distraction from their abject failures of crushing inflation, a humiliating surrender in Afghanistan, and the horrendous crisis they created at our border.”
In response a select committee spokesperson said, “Representative Perry has information directly relevant to our investigation. While he says that he respects the Constitution and Rule of Law, he fails to note that multiple federal courts, acting pursuant to Article 3 of our Constitution, have already rejected the former President's claims that the committee lacks an appropriate legislative purpose.”
Perry was the lawmaker who spearheaded efforts to install former Department of Justice lawyer Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general, in place of acting attorney general Jeffery Rosen, who refused to weaponize the Justice Department in furtherance of Trump’s fraudulent election claims. The select committee has text messages, provided by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, proving that Clark communicated directly with already-subpoenaed Meadows.
While Trump rants and raves, the congressional Democrats and President Biden continue their policy of ignoring or downplaying the increasingly open appeals to fascist violence emanating from the Republican Party.
House Speaker Pelosi announced on Monday that her office will be planning a “prayerful vigil” and a discussion among historians in preparation for the one-year anniversary of the coup.
In an email reported by The Hill, Pelosi said, “while the House will not be in session that week, a number of Members have expressed interest in being involved in commemoration activities.”
These “activities” will provide “an opportunity for Members to share their experiences and reflections from that day; and a prayerful vigil in the evening.” Pelosi said that this “solemn observance” will be live-streamed, unlike several of the select committee hearings which have been held behind closed doors.
That Trump can continue to incite and cultivate a fascistic movement based on the premise that the 2020 presidential election was illegitimate and that Biden is a usurper is entirely the fault of the Democratic Party, which has yet to hold accountable any of the leaders, starting with Trump, for the attempted coup.