Did Trump incite a violent demonstration at the Capitol?
He did not. Just one line of his January 6 speech scotches that claim:
"I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. "
So he did incite a demonstration but he wanted it to be peaceful. And it mostly was. It was just a few hotheads and hangers-on who messed up.
Below is the best than the Left can do to make something different out of Trump's speech. I have inserted some comments in italics to counter the false accusations
New York Times best-selling author, journalist and lawyer Seth Abramson dissected the President’s speech on January 6 and found numerous examples of incitement — some subtle, and others far more direct.
Abramson says Trump almost immediately hints at what is to come.
“Seconds into his speech, Trump says, ‘These people are not going to take it any longer. They’re not going to take it any longer … They came from all over our country. I just really want to see what they do’. It’s an astonishing admission he thinks something is going to happen,” Abramson writes.
Yes. He wanted to see them demonstrate but he said it would be their decision about what they did. It was not under his direction
He says Trump is very deliberate with his use of verb tenses. He stresses the urgency that the election is being “stolen”, not in general terms but very specifically by those counting ballots for the Georgia run-off at the US Capitol.
“So when Trump speaks in the present tense of the election being ‘stolen’ by Democrats and the media — it’s ‘what they’re doing’ — he means it literally: he’s telling the Save America March that he and they are imminently facing a ‘stolen election’ due to events at the Capitol.”
Abramson argues that Trump “clearly sees the crowd as an army”.
“He crows about the size of the crowd, claiming it is ‘hundreds of thousands’ strong. That’s important for his ‘mens rea’ (mental state) as a criminal actor: he believes he’s commanding the actions of a massive force near the Capitol.
“The action Trump is demanding isn’t a protest-type action. It’s not a let-your-voice-be-heard action. It is explicitly an intervention — the ‘steal’ will be ‘stopped’ by the assembled army marching on the Capitol as Trump will shortly direct them. There’s no fuzz on this.”
He simply wanted a really big demonstration
The Harvard Law School graduate and author of Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America says the “strangest line in (Trump’s) speech) involves a call for “military, Secret Service, police, law enforcement” to “come up please”.
Trump says: “If those tens of thousands of people would be allowed — the military, the Secret Service, the police, law enforcement, you’re doing a great job — but I’d love it if they could be allowed to come up here with us. Is that possible? Can you just let them come up please?”
Abramson says the line is “beyond a doubt the strangest line in the speech”.
“When he says ‘come up here with us’ he couldn’t be referring to the stage he’s standing on, as he says he’s referring to ‘tens of thousands’ of military people and cops. So where does he want them to ‘come up’ to?
“The obvious answer — indeed, the only answer — is that, as he’s about to reveal, he is well aware (and was pre-speech) that the Save America March he paid for is a march on the Capitol to ‘stop’ the certification, and that ‘we’/‘us’ will be making that march. And therefore he is asking ‘the military, the Secret Service, the police, [and] law enforcement’ (his words) to march with ‘us’ to the Capitol.”
Rubbish. If you read the speech carefully, you will see that Trump was referring to the big crowd in front of him, including many law-enforcement personnel. He was asking them to come up towards the front of the crowd
Abramson’s analysis ends with this: “America must know what this man did/said. He incited insurrection. Just as the article of impeachment says.”
Trump, of course, denies he did anything of the sort. He distanced himself from such accusations in a statement through his spokeswoman, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
“Donald Trump condemns in the strongest possible terms” the violence, she said Thursday.
“Let me be clear: The violence we saw yesterday at our nation’s Capitol was appalling, reprehensible and antithetical to the American way.
“We condemn it — the president and this administration — in the strongest possible terms.”
The Babylon Bee has a good satirical comment on the false accusations