Former President Donald Trump plans to mark the anniversary of the day a mob of his own loyalists attacked the United States Capitol building by continuing to perpetuate false claims of election fraud in the 2020 election.
Trump announced on Tuesday that he’d be holding a news conference at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where he would discuss the work of the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, as well as give his own interpretation of that day’s events.
Trump’s statement announcing his planned news conference was critical of the select committee, delving into attacks against the commission’s members as well as making false claims about the violent actions of his mob of loyalists at the Capitol.
“Why isn’t the Unselect Committee of highly partisan political hacks investigating the CAUSE of the January 6th protest, which was the rigged Presidential Election of 2020?” Trump asked.
The comments from Trump are false and misleading. Trump’s continued insistence that the election was fraudulent, in spite of evidence to the contrary, and his invitation to his followers to Washington, D.C. in the weeks leading up to January 6 played a significantly larger role in the Capitol attack than his electoral loss. Indeed, had Trump accepted the election results, such an attack, unprecedented in U.S. history, would likely never have happened at all.
Trump recently claimed his words on January 6 were “extremely calming.” But in reality, he engaged in highly incendiary rhetoric the morning of the Capitol attack, telling his followers that the election was “stolen … by emboldened radical left Democrats” and by “the fake news media.” He also encouraged his loyalists to descend upon the Capitol building to tell Congress, which was in session certifying the election results, how they felt.
“If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said to his loyalists.
In a separate part of his statement on Tuesday announcing his January 6 news conference, Trump listed a number of states where he claimed election fraud occurred — claims that were dismissed in dozens of courtrooms where he and his allies tried to have the election results tossed out — while also attacking Republican “RINO” lawmakers, an acronym that means “Republican In Name Only.”
The news conference on January 6, 2022, will “discuss all of these points, and more,” Trump said, adding that, in his eyes, the attack on Congress earlier this year was a simple “unarmed protest.” (Several news agencies have fact-checked that claim and found that several Trump loyalists were armed, some with guns and others with makeshift weaponry).
The statement by the former president, and his malevolent tone toward the January 6 commission, comes as sources close to him say he is becoming increasingly anxious and agitated about the select committee’s work, per reporting from The Guardian. Trump has complained more about the inquiry in recent weeks than he has before due to his former chief of staff Mark Meadows sharing thousands of documents with the commission, those sources said.
He is also reportedly upset that a number of his aides, subpoenaed to testify before the commission, have invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Trump believes that in invoking their right against self-incrimination his aides are making it look like they were complicit in criminal activity, those sources told the publication.
There’s a high probability that the commission will be watching when Trump speaks at his news conference next month. The former president has a tendency to overshare his thoughts in public, as evidenced in the fact that the many tweets he sent out while in office were frequently cited in federal court cases to help justify rulings made against him or his administration, since his social media commentaries and his government lawyers’ arguments were often at odds with each other.