The second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump begins next week. And despite whatever people are saying right this moment, we have zero idea what's going to happen.

And yet news just keeps breaking on how bad the Capitol terrorist attack was, and just how much Trump was personally involved in making sure it went down the way it did, both in his day-of incitements to violence, and in his months of machinations spreading his fascist Big Lie that he won an election he lost.

This weekend, Jim Rutenberg and a host of others published a stunning long-read investigation in the New York Times, called "77 Days: Trump's Campaign to Subvert the Election." We don't want to summarize the entire report here, but rather highlight something specific about how that January 6 rally actually wasn't meant to include a violent march to the Capitol — until the Trump White House got involved.

Wait What? Yes! Read On!


You see, as the Times reports, many of these rallies across America to spread Trump's big lie were organized by an outside group called Women For America First, founded by an old Tea Party hack named Amy Kremer. They had been around for a minute, fighting for Amy Comet Ping-Pong's Supreme Court seat and rousing the rabble against Trump's OG impeachment. Kremer's daughter, Kylie Jane, who served as Women For America First's executive director, used to work for Hannity. Some Steve Bannon-affiliated hacks, Jennifer Lawrence and Dustin Stockton, were helping out. Stockton had militia ties. Lawrence had Trump ties. The January 6 Trump terrorists had zip ties. But we're getting ahead of ourselves!

Point is, these folks were organizing these rallies going all the way back to November. They were doing bus tours, trying to stop states from certifying the results of their free and fair elections, which Trump lost like a loser. They were getting MyPillowBucks to bankroll their efforts, we guess from inside Mike Lindell's MyPillowCases. Also BannonBucks. Because if you're going to do a cross-country redneck Almost Famous bus tour to destroy democracy in service of your authoritarian Dear Leader, you had better do it WITH A MYPILLOW LOGO ON YOUR BUS.

In short, this was their jam. Their rallies were stuffed to the gills with literally the most deplorable people in this entire country. Proud Boys, QANazis, COVID deniers, other white supremacists, etc. You know, typical Trump rally.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, originally the Women for America First were not planning their big DC rally for January 6. But wackass extremist Ali Alexander's "Stop the Steal" shit was pushing January 6, and Trump himself pushed January 6 on Twitter on December 19, saying it was going to be "wild." So Women For America First regrouped and pulled a permit for January 6.

As the big day came closer, Women For America First focused its ire on getting senators to overthrow the election, and let's just say the talk was getting LI'L BIT MORE VIOLENT:

The cavalry "is coming, Mr. President," Kylie Kremer tweeted to Mr. Trump on Dec. 19. [...] [T]he Kremers, Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Stockton visited the Tactical Response marksman training center in Nashville. Its owner, James Yeager, had had his gun permit suspended in 2013 after posting a video in which he threatened to "start killing people" if the Obama administration banned assault rifles.

At the training center, Kylie Kremer and Ms. Lawrence taped an episode of Mr. Yeager's "Tactical Response" YouTube show, promoting their tour. They also documented the afternoon with a campy Facebook video of themselves cradling assault weapons and flanking Mr. Stockton, who narrated.

In Louisiana, the founder of Cowboys for Trump, Couy Griffin, told the gathered dregs that "We need our president to be confirmed through the states on the 6th." He added, "And right after that, we're going to have to declare martial law."

January 6 was the main event for the Women For America First folks. Or at least it was supposed to be, until the Trump White House stomped in, grabbed it by the pussy, took it furniture shopping, and stole it.

And that is when the idea for "let's march to the Capitol and fuck shit up!" really came to life.

AND THEN THE MURDERS BEGAN. No, Literally. People Got Murdered That Day.

As the Times notes, Kylie Kremer tweeted a thing January 2 promoting the DC rally, and Trump retweeted it, saying "I'll be there! Historic day."

Kremer had pulled the permit, but now Trump was barging in and January 6 would "effectively become a White House production," according to the Times. Trump focused on who would talk that day, what music they would play, and Trump people were getting involved in the planning.

And now they were ... marching to the Capitol suddenly? Huh?

Mr. Stockton said he was surprised to learn on the day of the rally that it would now include a march from the Ellipse to the Capitol. Before the White House became involved, he said, the plan had been to stay at the Ellipse until the counting of state electoral slates was completed.

The Wall Street Journal has more on the actual permit Women For America First pulled for the rally:

The Women for America First Ellipse permit said the group wouldn't conduct a march but noted: "Some participants may leave to attend rallies at the United States Capitol to hear the results of Congressional certification of the Electoral College count."

Kylie Kremer, co-founder of Women for America First, said the group didn't file for a march permit because it went against Covid-19 guidelines and a march wasn't in its plans.

But then the Trump White House got involved and other groups got involved, some planning their own January 6 festivities, and suddenly they were marching to the Capitol. (To be clear, according to the Journal, no group that pulled a permit for that day pulled a permit for a march.) We don't know for sure, but we are guessing that if Trump was picking the shitty music speakers would walk out to, the march was his own personal idea. He's kind of a micromanager.

We feel like that might be an important fact for Trump's impeachment trial.

The night before the rally, there was a "warm-up rally at Freedom Plaza," because since the Trump people had taken over, a lot of Women For America First's original speakers had been kicked off the agenda. At that point, it seemed pretty clear where this was all headed:

As the rally wound down in a cold drizzle, groups of young men wearing Kevlar vests and helmets began appearing toward the back of the plaza. Some carried bats and clubs, others knives. Some were Proud Boys, but more sported the insignia of the Three Percenters.

One of the men, with a line of stitches running through his ear, told a reporter: "We're not backing down any more. This is our country." Another, holding a bat, cut the conversation short. "We know what to do with people like you," he said.

Mr. Trump took the stage at the Ellipse the next day shortly before 1 p.m., calling on the tens of thousands before him to carry his message to Republicans in the Capitol: "You'll never take back our country with weakness."

As he spoke, some protesters, with Proud Boys helping take the lead, were already breaching the outer security perimeter around the Capitol. Inside, when [Paul] Gosar stood to raise the first objection, to results in his home state of Arizona, several Republican lawmakers gave him a standing ovation.

Less than an hour later, the lawmakers would flee to a secure location as the mob streamed into the building.

Never forget the day domestic terrorists with weapons and tactical gear, upon the orders of the losing presidential candidate Donald Trump, attacked the United States Capitol in order to overthrow democracy as Congress did its constitutional duty. And now, also, never forget that the event wasn't even supposed to feature a march to the Capitol, not until Trump got involved.

Trump's new lawyer David Schoen whined to Sean Hannity last night about House impeachment managers' plan to play footage of the Capitol attack at the Senate trial of Trump, who was impeached for inciting the Capitol attack. He argued that "President Trump has condemned violence at all times," which is a lie, and exhorted us to "read the words of his speech," which "calls for peacefulness." Yeah, OK.

Except for how it turns out Trump and his White House had a bigger role in making sure the terrorists marched to the Capitol that day than we even knew.

Good luck excluding all this new evidence, champ.

[New York Times / Wall Street Journal]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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