xii Introduction they can steal the election from us” (Kessler & Rizzo, 2020, para. 58). In the weeks following the election, Trump, his family, and his legal team repeat- edly encouraged his supporters to “rise up against the outcome of the national election” (Ballhaus et al., 2021, para. 2). When the Electoral College con- firmed Biden’s victory on December 14, Trump called for Republicans to “get moving,” stating that “this fake election can no longer stand” (Ballhaus et al., 2021, para. 6). Trump then began targeting January 6, the day Congress was scheduled to certify the Electoral College count, as a day for his supporters to intervene to prevent the transfer of power to Biden. On December 19 he told his followers, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6. Be there, will be wild” (Ball- haus et al., 2021, para. 7). Trump’s efforts to overturn Biden’s victory included scores of lawsuits, many litigated by vocal Trump supporter and ally L. Lin Wood, who repeat- edly stoked the flames of political violence. Wood said the country was “on brink of civil war” (Ballhaus et al., 2021, para. 17) asked, “Do you think our country is on the verge of an attempted coup/revolution in the disguise of a civil war or is it just me?” (Ballhaus et al., 2021, para. 20) and publicly encouraged Trump to declare martial law (Ballhaus et al., 2021). At a “Stop the Steal” rally, Wood said, “We’re going to slay Goliath, the communists, the liberals, the phonies, Joe Biden will never set foot in the Oval Office of this country” (Ballhaus et al., 2021, para. 25) and predicted there would be “vio- lence in our streets soon” (Ballhaus et al., 2021, para. 26). Sidney Powell, another legal ally of Trump, sent 116 tweets about election fraud in the time between the day of the election and the Electoral College certification, according to an analysis conducted by The Wall Street Journal (Ballhaus et al., 2021). Powell called the efforts of Trump and his supporters, “essentially a new American revolution,” encouraging “anyone who wants this country to remain free needs to step up right now” (Ballhaus et al., 2021, para. 22). On Twitter, she encouraged supporters to “rise up” and “swarm the state capital, Congress” (Ballhaus et al., 2021, para. 27). In a rally in Georgia on January 5, Trump led his supporters in a “fight for Trump” chant and delivered a speech in which he said, “When you win in a landslide and they steal it and it’s rigged, it’s not acceptable. . . . They’re not taking this White House. We’re going to fight like hell” (Ballhaus et al., 2021, para. 35). On January 6, the violent rhetoric reached a crescendo. Wood told sup- porters, “The time has come . . . time to fight for our freedom. Pledge your lives, your fortunes, your sacred honor . . . TODAY IS OUR DAY” (Ballhaus et al., 2021, para. 38). Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told the January 6 crowd, “If we are right, a lot of them will go to jail. So let’s have trial by combat” (Ballhaus et al., 2021, para. 40). In his speech, Trump told his supporters “We’re going to have to fight much harder” (Rupar, 2021, para. 2). “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength,” he said (Rupar, 2021, para. 3).
Previous Page Next Page