What did he know and when …
(C’mon man! You know the rest!)
Ann of Althouse, retired University of Madison law professor:
If Trump knew there was a plan to storm the Capitol building, then his speech to the crowd was an incitement, even though he never told the crowd to commit any act of violence. Two days ago, I read Trump’s January 6 speech looking for any language that could support the claim that he incited the crowd to storm the Capitol.
I wrote a post listing the seven most violence-inducing statements. They’re about fighting and showing strength and never giving up, but they’re all consistent with an idea of having a big, traditional street protest. … What if Trump knew there was a plan to storm the Capitol? Then all those words are transformed! They become an incitement to the violence.
The avoidance of references to violence would be part of a shared understanding — like winking. We know what we’re going to do. … Was there a plan or wasn’t there? If there was a plan, when did it develop and who knew about it? If it was talked about on social media … wouldn’t the FBI have seen it in advance and communicated to the President?
Capitol riot warnings weren’t acted on
Federal, state and local law enforcement pointed out alarming online discussions about weapons in the days before the Jan. 6 rally in Washington. An FBI field office reported a rallying call for war and the sharing of maps of the Capitol. Homeland Security warned about the heightened potential for violence in the rally’s run-up, though mentioned no specific threat for Jan. 6.
While the information was shared, this multipoint warning system broke down. …
Justice Department and Capitol Police officials have since said that they underestimated the potential for Trump supporters to rampage through the Capitol, thinking the event would be like two other recent pro-Trump rallies in Washington, which saw only isolated violent incidents — Wall Street Journal.
Ann’s Bottom Line: “If he was informed of a plan, then I will read all of those statements as an incitement.”