Donald Trump, as the former President of the United States, was impeached for his role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th while Congress met to count and affirm the electoral vote. Now, information about a meeting held at his own property on January 5th is raising new questions about exactly how much he was involved in the planning stages of the attack.
Individuals directly involved in the attack are being charged and prosecuted, but one serious question to immediately arise was about how premeditated the insurrection attempt might have been, and who was involved behind the scenes. Right-wing influencers deleted tweets after the fact, where they had previously boasted of their involvement, and the then-president was impeached for incitement of the riot.
However, it turns out that invocation of violent rhetoric at the pre-riot rally and in tweets and other rallies leading up to the event might not have been the extent of Trump’s involvement in the planning. According to Seth Abramson’s Proof newsletter, Trump held a meeting at his D.C. hotel on the night of January 5th, that included attorney Rudy Giuliani, MyPillow exec Mike Lindell, Republican Attorney Generals Association (you may remember this is one of the groups that helped fund the January 6th event) executive director Adam Piper, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and others.
In fact, oddly, Abramson points out, at least one person who was named in social media posts by others as an attendee, Senator Tommy Tuberville, and shown in photos that night, now claims not to have been present. It’s not clear what the motive would be for denial, if the meeting was merely a gripe session about Trump’s election loss, or a discussion of the plans to object to electoral votes the next day.
According to AL Reporter, one attendee, Charles W. Herbster, a Trump appointee to the Agriculture and Rural Advisory Committee, described the meeting in a Facebook post as part of “a battle for justice and truth” — largely echoing sentiments that would be expressed by rallygoers and speakers, including Trump and Rudy “trial by combat” Giuliani, in describing the event in military and battle terms, and as a fight for good against evil.
There has been no explanation offered for why a meeting of politicians, allies, and advisors to the then-president would be held secretively at a private property, rather than at the White House, and there is no available record currently of what was discussed.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com