Trump 'incitement' tweet new focus of Jan. 6 investigators: report
Photo from Mandel Ngan via AFP

According to a report from the New York Times, Justice Department prosecutors and congressional investigators are renewing their focus on a December tweet from former president Donald Trump in December that they feel set the stage for the Jan 6th riot at the Capitol.

The report notes that the Dec. 19, 2020 tweet from Trump about the "Stop the Steal" rally where he urged supporters “Be there, will be wild!" has become central to making their case of a criminal conspiracy.

According to the report, "Federal prosecutors and congressional investigators have gathered growing evidence of how a tweet by President Donald J. Trump less than three weeks before Jan. 6, 2021, served as a crucial call to action for extremist groups that played a central role in storming the Capitol," adding that the former president's exhortation "was a powerful catalyst, particularly for far-right militants who believed he was facing his final chance to reverse defeat and whose role in fomenting the violence has come under intense scrutiny."

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The Times is reporting that filings from the House select committee investigating the insurrection indicate, "Extremists began to set up encrypted communications channels, acquire protective gear and, in one case, prepare heavily armed 'quick reaction forces' to be staged outside Washington."

Reporting, "Directly after Mr. Trump’s tweet was posted, the Capitol Police began to see a spike in right-wing threats against members of Congress," the Times adds, "The House committee has also sharpened its focus on how the tweet set off a chain reaction that galvanized Mr. Trump’s supporters to begin military-style planning for Jan. 6. As part of the congressional inquiry, investigators are trying to establish whether there was any coordination beyond the post that ties Mr. Trump’s inner circle to the militants and whether the groups plotted together."

According to Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), "It’s definitely something we’re asking questions about through our discussions with witnesses. We want to know whether the president’s tweets inflamed and mobilized individuals to take action.”

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