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At a campaign rally at Dayton International Airport in Vandalia, Ohio on March 16, 2024, former President Donald Trump, during the broadcast of the rendition of the national anthem by a choir of prisoners incarcerated for their responsibility in the assault on the Capitol.


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Republican Donald Trump launched his election campaign not only rewriting the history of the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, but also positioning the violent siege and his failed attempt to overturn the 2020 election as the cornerstone of his attempt to return to the White House.

At a weekend rally in Ohio, his first as the Republican Party's presumptive presidential nominee, Mr. Trump took the stage with his hand raised in sign of salute on the brim of his red MAGA cap, while a recorded chorus of prisoners incarcerated for their role in the January 6 attack sang the national anthem.

A presenter asked the crowd to stand up for the January 6 hostages who were treated horribly and unfairly. People stood up and sang the national anthem.

They were incredible patriots.

A quote from Donald Trump, at the end of the recording of the recorded prisoner chorus

After promising to pardon the rioters, he promised to help them on the first day of our mandate.

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First relegated to a fringe theory of the Republican Party, the revisionist history of January 6, which Mr. Trump amplified during the first days of the Grand Old Party's primary campaign (GOP) to mobilize its most devoted voters, remains a centerpiece of its rallies, even if it must appeal more broadly to the general election public.

In praising the rioters, Mr. Trump rejects responsibility for his own role in the bloody siege and asks voters to absolve hundreds of them – and himself – of it. x27;Deadliest attack on a seat of American power in 200 years.

At the same time, Mr. Trump's allies are installing 2020 election deniers within the Republican National Committee, further institutionalizing the lies that sparked the violence. This warns that next year Congress will again be called upon to certify the vote.

And they are not alone. Congressional Republicans have embarked on a new investigation into the January 6, 2021, attack aimed at shielding Mr. Trump from wrongdoing, while lawmakers offer divergent theories about why thousands of his supporters descended on the Capitol in what became a brutal scene of hand-to-hand combat with police.

Five people died during of the riot and its consequences.

Overall, this is what scholars of authoritarian regimes consider a classic case of so-called consolidation, i.e. the transformation of the state apparatus around a singular figure, in this case Mr. Trump.

Jason Stanley , professor of philosophy at Yale, explains that in history, the question comes up again and again: How could people not take an authoritarian leader at his word about what was going to happen?

Listen to Trump, he said.

When a coup d'état against a democratic regime occurs and it is not punished, it is a very strong indicator of the end of the State of right and the victory of this authoritarian movement, said Mr. Stanley, author of How Fascism Works.

Americans have difficulty understanding that what is happening in most countries in the world can also happen here, he added.

For his role in the events of January 6, 2021, Mr. Trump faces a four-part federal indictment since January 6: He is accused of conspiring to defraud Americans out of his 2020 election defeat and obstructing the formal congressional process to certify the vote for Joe Biden .

As the Supreme Court considers Mr. Trump's argument that he should be granted immunity, it is unclear when the case will go to trial, raising the possibility that the case will go to trial. it will only be resolved after the election.

In January 2021, the then-Democratic House Select Committee that conducted the first investigation concluded that Mr. Trump had criminally engaged in a multi-part conspiracy to overturn the legal results of the election. the 2020 presidential election and that he failed to act to prevent his supporters from attacking the Capitol and beating the police.

He was subsequently impeached by the House of Representatives, becoming the first American president to undergo two impeachment trials.

More than 1,200 people have been charged in connection with the riot, including far-right extremists the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, and hundreds of them have been convicted. Mr. Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and lawyer John Eastman face legal challenges over their work on the 2020 election.

Mr. Trump's campaign, in response to an Associated Press query, highlighted the work of House investigators trying to expose inconsistencies in the special committee's investigation and its witness principal, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide who had a front-row seat to the inner workings of the White House.

Mr. Trump's national press secretary, Karoline Leavitt, said the Justice Department spent more time pursuing the former president and targeting Americans who were peacefully protesting on January 6 than #x27;other criminals.

President Trump will restore justice for all Americans who have been treated unfairly, she said.


Although Republicans privately worry that Mr. Trump risks turning away the women and independent voters he would need in a general election rematch against Mr. Biden, senior aides have admitted that #x27;there wasn't much to do, because Mr. Trump was going to be Mr. Trump.

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Liz Cheney, who co-chaired the House Select Committee on the January 6, 2021 assault, is part of the 10 Republicans who voted in favor of the second impeachment of Donald Trump.

Over the weekend, Mr. Trump focused his attention on Liz Cheney, the former Republican congresswoman who was vice chair of the investigating committee and who personally obtained Ms. Hutchinson in 2022.

She should go to jail with the rest of the no-selection committee!, Mr. Trump posted on social media.< /p>

Ms. Cheney responded with a message: Hello Donald: You know these are lies, as she has worked to dispel the falsehoods about January 6.

If your response to Trump's attack on our democracy is to lie and cover up what he did, attack the brave men and women who revealed the truth, and defend the criminals who violently attacked the Capitol, she said in a message, you have to ask yourself whose side you are on. Hint: It's not America's.

Many Republicans are deliberately ignoring the issue, especially in Congress, although that lawmakers ran for cover and took cover when rioters stormed the Senate chamber and ransacked the Capitol offices.

Senators who strongly criticized Mr. Trump after the January 6 attack, such as Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and John Thune, the number two Republican in the Senate, have now reluctantly supported him.

Others still refuse to support Mr. Trump, including Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, who voted to convict Mr. .Trump in his second indictment for inciting insurrection in connection with the January 6 attack.

But the recalcitrants are in the minority.

A Republican ready to speak out is Mike Pence, the former vice president, whom rioters shouted wanted to hang that day, as a makeshift gallows stood on the west front of the Capitol.

I was there on January 6th. “There's no doubt in my mind […] that some people got caught up in the moment,” Pence said on the network's Face the Nation CBS.

But the attacks on police officers, which ultimately cost people their lives, were something tragic that day. And I will never minimize them.

With information from the Associated Press

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