“Strong evidence of incitement”
A new video and report published by the New York University School of Law’s Just Security reveals stunningly damning evidence of how President Donald Trump’s carefully-crafted January 6 speech to rally-goers incited the Capitol insurrection barely hours later.
The video (excerpt below) includes clips of user-created recordings, most of which were uploaded to Parler, a social media platform that has attracted white supremacists and other members of the far right, showing how, in real time, Trump’s words were received and how attendees – who had been invited and urged to attend by Trump and his team and allies for weeks – responded to and interpreted his remarks.
These video clips show “how the crowd reacted in real time to some of the most potent lines in Trump’s speech at the Ellipse,” write Just Security’s Ryan Goodman and Justin Hendrix. “The videos, along with other information in the public record, provide strong evidence of a causal link between Trump’s messages to his supporters and their dangerous, illegal conduct. The collection of videos, viewed chronologically, also shows the ways in which Trump placed the life of Vice President Mike Pence, among others, in grave danger.”
Remember, Trump had tweeted about the January 6 rally weeks earlier, telling supporters it was going to be “wild.”
He also had to have known how his attacks on the results of a free and fair election were working, because his social media team reportedly monitored not only Facebook and Twitter, but far right social media platforms like Parler, Gab, numerous groups on Reddit, along with the QAnon groups.
At his Senate impeachment trial Trump reportedly will try to make the argument he was merely invoking his First Amendment rights on January 6, but he clearly had to have known the effect his words would have.
Just before his father addressed what would soon become an insurrectionist and domestic terrorist mob Donald Trump. Jr. recorded video of the President in a tent by the stage watching with glee the already ramped-up crowd, which he would explode into insurrection.
Former federal prosecutor Paul Butler tells Just Security that the “video contains strong evidence that Trump did incite the insurrection, regardless of whether that was his intent. The rioter’s words ‘we were invited here’ were exactly right, and the refrain ‘fight for Trump’ was directly responsive to Trump’s demand. In criminal law, we would say this video proves the act but perhaps not the mental state – that Trump intended to cause the insurrection or knew it would happen as a result of his words.”
Here’s a two-minute excerpt of the 10-minute video:
New video footage: shows the crowd’s immediate reactions to Trump’s most potent remarks at January 6 speech.
Verdict: Strong evidence of incitement.
Here’s a 2-min clip from the full 10-min video @just_security.
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) January 25, 2021
Editor’s note: YouTube quickly removed Just Security’s video from its platform, claiming it violates its community guidelines. If it becomes available on another platform we’ll embed or link to it when available.
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