Thereâs also the natural human reluctance to take a stand that puts you in conflict with your own political tribe, your colleagues, your friends. And thereâs this: Over the course of the Trump presidency a lot of Republicans repeatedly â sometimes daily â quarantined their conscience in order to justify to others, and to themselves, their support for an unscrupulous man.
For people who are not themselves deviant to publicly defend a person who is creates cognitive dissonance and psychological conflict. It puts people at war with themselves. But over time, one step at a time, people condition themselves to make compromises. They twist themselves into moral knots as a way to justify their stance. They create a community to reinforce their rationalizations. And with each step down the moral staircase, it gets easier.
The impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump largely focused on his actions leading up to the violent attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6. But there was a crucial period that day of nearly five hours â between the end of Mr. Trumpâs speech at the Ellipse urging his supporters to march to the Capitol and a final tweet telling his followers to remember the day forever â that remains critical to his state of mind.
Evidence emerged during the trial about what Mr. Trump was doing during those hours, including new details about two phone calls with lawmakers that prosecutors said clearly alerted the president to the mayhem on Capitol Hill. Prosecutors said the new information was clear proof of Mr. Trumpâs intent to incite the mob and of his dereliction to stop the violence, even when he knew that the life of Vice President Mike Pence was in danger.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader who on Saturday voted to acquit Mr. Trump but offered a sweeping endorsement of the prosecutorsâ case, backed them up: âThereâs no question â none â that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it.â
Still, many crucial questions remain unanswered about the presidentâs actions and mood from roughly 1 to 6 p.m. Jan. 6. Here is what is known so far:
Mr. Trump concluded his incendiary speech on the Ellipse at 1:11 p.m. He had repeatedly told the crowd that the election was stolen from him and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol in a last-ditch effort to stop President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.âs victory from being certified. Mr. Trump said twice that he would go with them. And days before the march, he had told advisers that he wanted to join his supporters, but aides told him that people in the crowd were armed and that the Secret Service would not be able to protect him.
Six minutes later, Mr. Trumpâs motorcade began heading back to the White House. He arrived there at 1:19 p.m. as the crowd was making its way up Pennsylvania Avenue and beginning to swarm around the Capitol. Television news footage showed the mob as it moved closer to the doors.
At some point, Mr. Trump went to the Oval Office and watched news coverage of a situation that was growing increasingly tense.
At 1:34 p.m., Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington made a formal request for assistance in a phone call with the Army secretary, Ryan D. McCarthy. At 1:49 p.m., as the Capitol Police asked Pentagon officials for help from the National Guard, Mr. Trump tweeted a video of his incendiary rally speech.
It was around this time that some of Mr. Trumpâs allies publicly called on him to do something. Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, told ABC News that Mr. Trump needed to say something to stop the rioting.
At 2:12 p.m., the same moment that the mob breached the building itself, Mr. Pence â who had defied the president by saying he planned to certify Mr. Bidenâs victory â was rushed off the Senate floor. A minute later, the Senate session was recessed. Two minutes after that, at 2:15 p.m., groups of rioters began to chant, âHang Mike Pence!â
The Housevoted 232 to 197 to approve a single article ofimpeachment, accusing Mr. Trump of âinciting violence against the government of the United Statesâ in his quest to overturn the election results. Ten Republicans joined the Democrats in voting to impeach him.
Without a conviction, the former president is eligible to run for public office once again. Public opinion surveys show that he remains by far the most popular national figure in the Republican Party.
Nine minutes later, at 2:24 p.m., Mr. Trump tweeted a broadside at Mr. Pence for moving ahead to certify Mr. Bidenâs win: âMike Pence didnât have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!â
At 2:26 p.m., after Mr. Pence had been whisked away, a call was placed from the White House to Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, according to call logs that the senator provided during the impeachment proceedings.
The president had made the call, but he was actually looking for Senator Tommy Tuberville, Republican of Alabama. Mr. Lee gave the phone to Mr. Tuberville, who has told reporters that he informed Mr. Trump that Mr. Pence had just been escorted out as the mob got closer to the Senate chamber.
This was a significant new piece of information. House prosecutors used it to argue that Mr. Trump was clearly aware that the vice president was in danger and that he had a callous disregard for Mr. Penceâs safety. On Friday, Mr. Trumpâs defense team had insisted that Mr. Trump was not aware of any peril facing Mr. Pence.
Back at the White House, advisers were trying to get Mr. Trump to do something, but he rebuffed calls to intercede, including those from people wanting to see the National Guard deployed. The president, several advisers said, was expressing pleasure that the vote to certify Mr. Bidenâs win had been delayed and that people were fighting for him.
âAccording to public reports, he watched television happily â happily â as the chaos unfolded,â Mr. McConnell said on Saturday. âHe kept pressing his scheme to overturn the election. Even after it was clear to any reasonable observer that Vice President Pence was in serious danger, even as the mob carrying Trump banners was beating cops and breaching perimeters, the president sent a further tweet attacking his own vice president.â
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Republican ally of the presidentâs, told The Washington Post that he called Ivanka Trump, Mr. Trumpâs eldest daughter, to try to get her to reason with her father. Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, also called Ms. Trump to see if she could talk to her father. A short time later, she arrived in the Oval Office, urging Mr. Trump to issue a statement.
The White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, hammered at Mr. Trump to understand that he had potential legal exposure for what was taking place.
Finally, at 2:38 p.m., Mr. Trump tweeted, âPlease support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!â
A short time later, at 3:13 p.m., Mr. Trump added a note, âI am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order â respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!â
Ms. Trump quoted her fatherâs tweet when she sent out her own, telling âAmerican Patriotsâ to follow the law. She quickly deleted it and replaced it when she faced blowback on Twitter for appearing to praise the rioters as âpatriots.â
Around 3:30 p.m., Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican leader and another ally of Mr. Trumpâs, told CBS Newsâ Norah OâDonnell that he had spoken that afternoon with Mr. Trump as the Capitol was under siege.
âI told him he needed to talk to the nation,â Mr. McCarthy said. âI told him what was happening right then.â
The call became heated, according to a Republican congresswoman, Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington State, who said that Mr. McCarthy told her that Mr. Trump had sided with the mob as the Capitol attack unfolded, suggesting he had made a choice not to stop the violence.
In a statement on Friday night that was admitted into evidence in the trial on Saturday, Ms. Herrera Beutler recounted that Mr. McCarthy had a shouting match with Mr. Trump during the call.
Mr. McCarthy had told Mr. Trump that his own office windows were being broken into. âWell, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,â Mr. Trump said, according to a report by CNN that the congresswoman confirmed.
âWho do you think youâre talking to?â Mr. McCarthy fired back at one point, CNN reported, including an expletive.
Meanwhile, the violence continued. At 4:17 p.m., Mr. Trump posted a video on Twitter of him speaking directly to the camera in the Rose Garden. âI know your pain,â Mr. Trump said. âI know youâre hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us, it was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now.â
He added, âWe have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We donât want anybody hurt.â
The violence continued. Well before the Capitol Police announced at 8 p.m. that the building had been secured, Mr. Trump put out a final tweet at 6:01 p.m.: âThese are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!â
Maggie Haberman is a White House correspondent. She joined The Times in 2015 as a campaign correspondent and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on President Trumpâs advisers and their connections to Russia.
Jonathan Martin is a national political correspondent. He has reported on a range of topics, including the 2016 presidential election and several state and congressional races, while also writing for Sports, Food and the Book Review. He is also a CNN political analyst.
........ This is the beginning of the end for him...I hope.
My question and lasting worry is what about the Trump movement? Is this the beginning of the end of that movement or will it rear its ugly head in the near future? Will a new champion of that movement â one with more grace and dignity â come forward?
Any movement that still counts on Trump to be the figurehead of... should die the inglorious death it deserves. Quite frankly a lot of that will be determined by how involved Trump will still want to be in politics. All indications now are that he does want to be involved if not to push his own presidency again then possibly for Ivanka. And since he's been shielded from all fallout of previous actions he will do whatever he pleases in the future without any real worry of any repercussions while operating under the cover of the GOP cowards who fear losing his base.
I thought that Trump's "house-of-cards" would have toppled by now but never count out the cowardice of the Republican party I suppose....
........ This is the beginning of the end for him...I hope.
My question and lasting worry is what about the Trump movement? Is this the beginning of the end of that movement or will it rear its ugly head in the near future? Will a new champion of that movement — one with more grace and dignity — come forward?
Location: Half inch above the K/T boundary Gender:
Feb 13, 2021 - 4:05pm
Thank you for reminding me of why I donate money to wikipedia.
SO much more will be revealed. The GOP's desperation has attached itself to a minefield that is inherently guaranteed to keep blowing up into 2022.
Bring on the Popcorn. The BIGGEST LOSER SHOW will have more episodes.
Rep's are no longer so afraid of Trump but rather his voters. They will avoid the worst of Trumpers' anger by acquitting today. Then, they can go to work on marginalizing his influence on the party, and the political culture. The Impeachment will help with that. Nikki Haley started the ball rolling to minimize Trump with her Friday critique in Politico. Trump is potentially facing a very wide spectrum of legal woes. His loss of his Twitter platform is quite significant, imo. He will turn 75 in June. This is the beginning of the end for him...I hope.
Banning Trump Didnât Change How Much People Use Twitter, New Data Shows
Trumpâs presence on Twitter had no impact on how much people used it, contrary to the popular narrative.
as long as Donald Trump was president, there was a common misconception that Twitterâs fate was tied to his. That without his presence, Twitter would lose truckloads of users and engagement, and it was, therefore, beholden to him. Now that Twitterâs banned Trump though, the data shows he had no discernable impact on how much people used it.
Daily use of Twitter has remained remarkably consistent after it banned Trump last month, according to new data from mobile research company Apptopia. Across January, Twitter barely registered a blip in the number of times people used its app. The day of the ban itself is impossible to pick out when looking at the trend line.
The best thing about this post is that when I went to find the thread...I had to search for it!
It appears the addiction to social media is stronger than any drug of choice.
A New York Times examination of the 77 democracy-bending days between election and inauguration shows how, with conspiratorial belief rife in a country ravaged by pandemic, a lie that Mr. Trump had been grooming for years finally overwhelmed the Republican Party and, as brake after brake fell away, was propelled forward by new and more radical lawyers, political organizers, financiers and the surround-sound right-wing media.
In the aftermath of that broken afternoon at the Capitol, a picture has emerged of entropic forces coming together on Trumpâs behalf in an ad hoc, yet calamitous, crash of rage and denial.
But interviews with central players, and documents including previously unreported emails, videos and social media posts scattered across the web, tell a more encompassing story of a more coordinated campaign.
Across those 77 days, the forces of disorder were summoned and directed by the departing president, who wielded the power derived from his near-infallible status among the party faithful in one final norm-defying act of a reality-denying presidency.
Throughout, he was enabled by influential Republicans motivated by ambition, fear or a misplaced belief that he would not go too far.
Something that caters to your likes or only what you approve of ?
So what do the people that disagree with you do then ?
Listen. Compromise. And not threaten them with lynching and bullets in the brain in the name of "freedom." Not spread easily disprovable falsehoods about how the President isn't a real citizen and therefore can be ignored.
We've had politics for a very long time where people argue and compromise. Civilized nations around the globe have done it. But this GOP driven by pig-headed ignorant bullying is not welcome.