Seth Abramson

Seth Abramson



(THREAD) Media has yet to do a deep dive on precisely what Trump *said* in his January 6 speech in DC—a speech now called an "incitement to insurrection," and the basis for an article of impeachment coming Monday. This thread unpacks the speech. I hope you'll read on and RETWEET.

1/ First, many don't realize that while the name of the *rally* was "Stop the Steal," Trump spoke flanked by banners that read "Save America March"—Save America being the PAC Trump has used since the election to scam voters out of more than $300 million for "election defense."

2/ It appears, therefore, that the link between Trump, his opposition to Biden's January 6 certification in Congress, and the insurrectionist march on the Capitol is one that comes, incredibly, with a paper trail—as it appears Trump *paid for* the seditious "Save America March."

3/ Seconds into his speech, Trump says, "These people are not going to take it any longer. They're not going to take it any longer...They came from all over our country. I just really want to see what they do." It's an astonishing admission he thinks something is going to happen.

4/ Trump then seems to catch himself, repeating the phrase "I just really want to see" but now adding "how they [media] cover it [the Save America March]." It's hard to know, therefore—perhaps deliberately—whether "what they do" means "what media does" or "what the marchers do."

5/ He then falsely says "media and Big Tech" together "rigged" the November 2020 election *and* the Georgia run-off, suggesting—in the context of past Trump remarks—that a combination of pre-vote polling and post-vote vote-manipulation explains GOP losses in those two elections.

6/ "All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical Left Democrats, which is what they're doing, and stolen by the fake news media, that's what they've done and what they're doing. We will never give up." The verb tenses here are *key*.

7/ Remember, Trump excitedly tweeted about this event on December 19—the day it was moved to January 6. Trump scheduled his speech for an hour before the election certification was due to start. His words were *timed* to coincide with the "Save America March" he was paying for.

8/ So when Trump speaks in the present tense of the election being "stolen" by Democrats and the media—it's "what they're doing"—he means it literally: he's telling the "Save America March" that he and they are *imminently* facing a "stolen election" due to events at the Capitol.

9/ He then switches to the future tense: "We will never give up. We will never concede." He's directing the Save America March he paid for, which he'll shortly launch at the Capitol explicitly, to future conduct that'll encapsulate a shared commitment not to "give up or concede."

10/ "You don't concede when there's theft involved." He's telling the crowd that they *can't* do anything but march on the Capitol (as he will shortly tell them to do), and that they *must* not do anything on January 6 that would "concede" to the vote taking place at the Capitol.

11/ Trump clearly sees the crowd as an army. He crows about the size of the crowd, claiming it is "hundreds of thousands" strong. That's important for his "mens rea" (mental state) as a criminal actor: he believes he's commanding the actions of a *massive* force near the Capitol.

12/ "Our country has had enough. We *will not* take it *any more*. And that's what this [the Save America March] is all about." Trump is *unambiguously* tying his speech to the March, and the March to a dramatic action—not a metaphor or merely symbolic one—that's about to happen.

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