New focus on how Trump tweet incited far-right groups ahead of Jan. 6
The next day, according to prosecutors, Mr. Reffitt began making arrangements to travel to Washington and arrive in time for “Armageddon all day” on Jan. 6, he wrote in the Three Percenters group chat. He told his compatriots he planned to drive because flying was impossible with “all the battle rattle” he planned to bring – a reference to his weapons and body armor, prosecutors say.
Some members of the group seemed to share his anger. On Dec. 22, a member wrote in the chat, “The only way you can do anything in DC is to get the mob to bring the traitors out.”
Mr. Reffitt replied: “I don’t think anyone going to DC has another schedule.”
The House committee also highlighted 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 coordination beyond the post that links Mr. Trump’s inner circle to the activists and whether the groups conspired together.
“This tweet could be taken as a call to action,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar, a California Democrat and committee member. “It’s certainly something we ask questions about in our discussions with witnesses. We want to know if the president’s tweets have ignited and mobilized people to take action.
On the day of publication, participants in TheDonald.win, a pro-Trump discussion forum, began sharing tactics and techniques for attacking the Capitol, the committee noted in a report released Sunday recommending contempt of charges. of Congress for Dan Scavino Jr., Mr. Trump’s former deputy chief of staff. In a forum thread linked to the tweet, the report pointed out, an anonymous poster wrote that Mr. Trump “can’t exactly tell you openly to revolt.” It’s the closest he’ll ever get.”
Lawyers for the activists have repeatedly said the groups were simply acting defensively as they prepared for January 6. They were genuinely concerned, the lawyers said, that left-leaning counter-protesters would confront them, as they had at previous pro-Trump rallies.
Mr Trump’s post came as his efforts to cling to power shifted from the courts, where he had little success, to the streets and challenging the certification process that would take place on January 6.