In this daily series, Newsweek explores the steps that led to the January 6 riot at the Capitol.
The Trump campaign officially called for a recount in the state of Georgia on Saturday, 21 November. The day before, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, then Georgia Governor Brian Kemp had duly certified the nomination of a voters list, but the president-elect’s margin of victory. Joe Biden was 0.5%, which meant the campaign had the right to demand a formal recount.
By this point, the odds of overturning anyone’s electoral votes had fallen to zero. Trump’s people focused on matching signatures for mail-in ballots, but ironically the recount only involved the re-digitization of all paper ballots, without addressing the issue of signatures.
But Donald Trump’s strategy had shifted towards consolidating his supporters around a general feeling of mistrust: a belief that there had been cheating and fraud. No one in the White House really believed there was a way to overturn the election.
During the day, the President addressed his fellow heads of state at a virtual G-20 meeting, telling them he looked forward to working with them “for a long time,” was interpreted as a statement that he was not ready to concede the election. Trump went on to boast about the US military, the economy, and the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Trump tweeted in the third person: “President Trump has done a lot of great things (the biggest tax and regulatory cuts in history, Space Force, rebuild our army, fix the VA, the wall), but maybe most important of all will be what he does now, exposing massive corruption in our electoral process. “
Then he went to play golf at one of his own courses in Virginia.
COVID continued to wreak havoc on the White House. Andrew Giuliani, son of Rudy Giuliani and a White House aide, has tested positive for COVID. Donald Trump Jr. “He has been completely asymptomatic so far and follows all medically recommended COVID-19 guidelines,” a White House statement said.
An organization called Women for America First has applied for permission for a rally to be held at the Lincoln Memorial on December 12, again to protest the 2020 election results. (The group’s initial request for a rally in Freedom Plaza was turned down due to preparations for the inauguration.)
“Women for America First is a group led by pro-Trump women,” the Secret Service said in a “protective intelligence brief” released on Jan. 4, 2021. “The group was the center of organizing the November protests and of December. The group plans to host a “March for Trump” bus tour from California to Washington, DC, arriving on January 6, 2021. “
His Facebook group called “STOP THE STEAL” had already been closed, having gained hundreds of thousands of members in just a few days. Prior to its removal, the group hosted an events section, which publicized the rallies organized by several groups taking place across the country. Amy and Kylie Jane Kremer, heads of Women for America First, then took a Facebook group called “Boot Pelosi” and renamed it as the “March for Trump” group. He promoted the November 14 protests and published a list of recommended influencers, an amalgamation of conspiracy theorists, COVID deniers, white nationalists and anti-Islam activists.
Kelly O’Brien, who will then be arrested for her role on January 6, denounced in a Facebook group the silence of pro-Trump groups: “We will not be checked. It is illegal. We have a duty to Our Country and Our Constitution DO NOT COMPLY I would rather die standing than live on my knees PATRIOTS DELIÉS [sic]. “