As former President Donald Trump’s Tuesday impeachment trial approaches, there is a growing body of evidence in criminal complaints and affidavits that the Jan. 6 Capitol breach had been pre-planned, undercutting the allegation leveled against Trump that he is guilty of “incitement to insurrection.”
A number of FBI affidavits filed in support of various charges—including conspiracy—against accused participants in the Capitol breach show evidence of pre-planning, reinforcing an argument made by critics of the impeachment trial against Trump, namely that participants couldn’t have been incited by the president to break into the building if they had earlier planned to do so.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said recently that parts of the Capitol incident had been coordinated well before Trump’s Jan. 6 speech. Trump’s accusers have described the speech as a call to storm the building.
While Trump said in his speech that “we fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” the former president appeared to be making a general reference to political activism, as he called on supporters to “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard during the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress.
Graham, in a Feb. 1 interview on Fox News, said, “There’s mounting evidence that the people who came to Washington preplanned the attack before the president ever spoke.”
“If you open up that can of worms, we’ll want the FBI to come in and tell us about how people preplanned this attack and what happened with the security footprint of the Capitol. You open up Pandora’s box if you call one witness,” Graham added, in reference to calls for witnesses to testify at Trump’s impeachment trial.
The former president’s son Donald Trump Jr. argued in a tweet last month, “If these federal law enforcement agencies had prior knowledge that this was a planned attack then POTUS didn’t incite anything.”
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