Former President Donald Trump wrote a tweet on Dec 19th saying “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
Trump’s tweet was read by Gina Bisignano, a Beverly Hills salon owner. Bisignano, one of millions who saw the summons to Washington to battle Trump’s election defeat, responded “We’ll be there”.
As leaders of the extreme-right Proud Boys, Ethan Nordean in Washington state and Enrique Tarrio in Florida, were online making their Jan 6th plans in the meantime.
On Dec 27th, Nordean appealed to followers for funds to buy protective gear and communications equipment, according to a court filing.
Followers were told by Nordean and Tarrio in a podcast to wear black a week later. The podcast also said they would have to be prepared to fight.
Tarrio said “We are looked at almost like soldiers of the right wing.” “This stuff is real. We are in a war.”
Increasing evidence in court filings shows the attack on the US Capitol was premeditated. The evidence is mounting as Trump stands trial in the US Senate for incitement of insurrection.
Many Trump supporters announced plans to travel to Washington after seeing Trump’s tweet. Some went simply to attend one last pro-Trump rally.
However, others did speak of inflicting pain on “traitors” in Congress, as well as halting the certification process itself.
Trump supporters came well-armed. They purchased body armour, combat helmets, stun guns, communications equipment, and bear and pepper spray. Firearms were the deadliest weapons bought by a few supporters.
Pipe bombs were planted by someone at two different locations near to the Capitol the night before. However, the bombs did not explode. There is a possibility they may have been planted as decoys to draw police away from the Capitol at the start of the assault.
According to court filings, the alleged leaders of the attack are the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. These two groups were apparently well-organised.
Thomas Caldwell, a “commander” of the Oath Keepers, was organising for serious violence in Berryville, Virginia, about 100 kilometres west of Washington in late December.
The Oath Keepers is a violent far-right group comprising mostly ex-military and police. With members of armed militia from around the region, Caldwell planned to meet just outside Washington.
On Facebook, Caldwell said “Let them try to certify some crud on capitol hill with a million or more patriots in the streets. This kettle is set to boil.”
He added “They have morphed into pure evil even blatantly rigging an election and paying off the political caste. We must smite them now and drive them down,”.
Kenneth Grayson, a 51-year-old QAnon and Proud Boy follower, was also preparing himself in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania.
Grayson texted to family and friends according to what court filings show on Dec 23rd. Grayson wrote “I’m there if Trump tells us to storm the f**king Capitol … they are not going to steal this election.”
Attorney William Calhoun from Georgia was angry over the election being stolen by Biden. Calhoun was already reported to the FBI after the election, for calling for an armed attack on Washington.
He posted: “Being physically present in Washington on January 6 is of key importance. We the people have no other realistic option to communicate our unwavering intent to demand fair elections now and forever – or else” on Dec 29th.
He announced he was on his way to Washington “to let them know this is their last chance to Stop The Steal – or they are going to have bigger problems,” a week later.
10th February 2021 23:00
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