Capitol siege aftermath
In the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, "a picture has emerged of entropic forces coming together on Trump's behalf in an ad hoc, yet calamitous, crash of rage and denial," The New York Times reports in a detailed look at "the 77 democracy-bending days between election and inauguration" of President Biden. "But interviews with central players, and documents including previously unreported emails, videos, and social media posts scattered across the web, tell a more encompassing story of a more coordinated campaign," ultimately "summoned and directed by the departing president" in "one final norm-defying act of a reality-denying presidency."
The Jan. 6 rally at the Ellipse that led to the mobbing of the Capitol was originally organized by a pro-Trump group called Women for America First. After Trump decided on Dec. 18 that trying to get Congress to overturn his loss on Jan. 6 was his last best hope, the group, founded by Tea Party veteran Amy Kremer and led by her daughter, Kylie Jane Kremer, put together a multi-state bus tour to Washington, D.C.
Two activists with close ties to Stephen Bannon — Jennifer Lawrence and Dustin Stockton — helped organize the effort, the Times reports, with funding from Bannon's "War Room" podcast and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. Trump tweeted on Jan. 2 that he would be at the event, and though "Kremer held the permit, the rally would now effectively become a White House production," the Times reports. Publix supermarket heiress Julie Jenkins Fancelli donated $300,000 and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones chipped in another $50,000; Caroline Wren, a former deputy to Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson joined the organizing of the event.
Stockton, a hard-right gun activist, told the Times "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 violent assault on the Capitol, followed by Congress certifying Biden's victory, spelled the end of Trump's post-election campaign, the Times reports, but "the same cannot be said about the political staying power, the grip on the Republican faithful, of the lie he set in motion," that the election was stolen from him. Read more at The New York Times.