Officer Harry Dunn made a great point during his testimony to Congress today. The MAGA types had previously held protests in DC but they weren’t violent. What made January 6th different is that they had “marching orders.”
This isn’t to minimize the heinous nature of what these people did. They committed domestic terrorism. They tried to violently overthrow the government of the United States. But as we’ve seen in their previous rallies, the MAGA types aren’t automatically violent in nature. Something was different on January 6th. They were specifically told – by the President and multiple members of Congress no less – to go to the Capitol and overthrow the results of an election.
In terms of who’s to blame for issuing those marching orders, the facts are not in dispute. Donald Trump and a number of House and Senate Republicans gave those marching orders in plain view. Trump and these Republicans are, by definition, domestic terrorists and insurrectionists.
A court of law is a different matter, of course. To convince a jury to concede beyond a reasonable double that Trump and the Republicans were specifically looking to incite violence in the Capitol, it’ll likely require the cooperation of low level Capitol invaders who have cut plea deals. That process is still playing out. But in the court of public opinion, these hearings are going to help prove to the average American that Trump and several Republicans really did conspire to carry out a domestic terrorist attack.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report