They came from across America, summoned by President Donald Trump to march on Washington in support of his false claim that the November election was stolen and to stop the congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden as the victor.
“Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” Trump tweeted a week before Christmas. “Be there, will be wild!”
The resulting takeover and looting of the U.S. Capitol building by an armed mob of Trump supporters shook the foundations of American democracy and resulted in five deaths. Trump could become the first president in history to face impeachment for a second time.
But within hours of Wednesday’s violent attack, some of Trump’s most ardent supporters sought to shift blame to left-wing antifa thugs they claimed without evidence had disguised themselves with red MAGA hats and Trump flags.
“If the reports are true,” Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz said on the House floor Wednesday night, “some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters. They were masquerading as Trump supporters and, in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group antifa.”
Gaetz’s assertion, which he said was based on a story in the conservative Washington Times