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Draft tweet and secret messages reveal Trump had ‘deliberate strategy’ to lead Jan 6 crowd to Capitol

National Archives received draft despite it having never been sent

John Bowden
Wednesday 13 July 2022 02:37 BST
Donald Trump planned to speak to his supporters from outside the Supreme Court, according to a draft tweet
Donald Trump planned to speak to his supporters from outside the Supreme Court, according to a draft tweet (Getty Images)

President Donald Trump planned secretly days before January 6 to lead his supporters from the Ellipse outside of the White House down to the US Capitol, where he hoped to deliver remarks outside of the building.

Mr Trump’s plans were revealed on Tuesday for the first time by the January 6 committee, whose members obtained private text messages between White House officials and far-right figures, including MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, as well as a draft tweet which Mr Trump apparently planned to send days before his supporters arrived at the Capitol.

Together, the messages outline what Rep Stephanie Murphy referred to as a “deliberate strategy” to concentrate Mr Trump’s supporters at the Capitol as the Electoral College results were being certified.

“I will be making a Big Speech at 10AM on January 6th at the Ellipse... Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the Steal!!”, read the draft tweet Mr Trump apparently intended to send. A stamp on the document indicated that it was approved by the president himself

And in the messages to Mr Lindell, from a member of Mr Trump’s team, the MyPillow CEO is told that “POTUS is going to have us march [to] the Capitol”, a move that was supposedly being called “unexpectadly” in the hopes of avoiding angering the National Parks Service and other federal agencies.

Coupled with the now wide range of statements indicating that the White House knew that the likelihood of violence breaking out on Jan 6 was high, the newest messages paint a picture of a White House and president that were less interested in avoiding that violence and more interested in encouraging it, stoking it, and geographically focusing it on Congress.

Those will be important points for investigators at the Justice Department as the agency determines whether it will charge Donald Trump or anyone else from the White House for inciting the attack on Congress that day.

Mr Trump and his allies have continued to insist in recent days that Democratic leaders did not do enough to prepare for a security breach of the US Capitol even as more evidence comes out indicating that the White House both knew or suspected that an attack or riot was coming and did nothing to warn Congress, law enforcement agencies or anyone else as the president continued his illegal effort to overturn his defeat.

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