Trump defends Capitol rioters, says there was 'zero threat'
(Sourced from PTI)
Former President Donald Trump on Thursday defended some of his supporters who rioted at the US Capitol on January 6, saying they posed zero-threat to the lawmakers who had assembled there to certify the Electoral College vote that confirmed Joe Biden's victory in the presidential race. Trump had allegedly urged a mob of his supporters to fight like hell for him at the Capitol.
Trump complained to Fox News's Laura Ingraham that law enforcement was persecuting the Capitol rioters, while nothing happens to left-wing protesters. Trump did acknowledge that those who stormed the Capitol went in and they shouldn't have done it.
Trump further said, "Some of them went in and they're hugging the police and the guards. You know, they had great relationships. A lot of the people were waved in and then they walked in and they walked out." Reportedly, over 300 people have been charged in connection with the riot. Authorities have said that they believe at least 100 more could face charges.
The rioters swarmed inside the Capitol Hill building, breaching the walls and clashing with cops. The riots left four people dead. The session was adjourned and the building was secured. According to NBC, improvised explosive devices and five weapons were found inside the premises of Capitol. The riots were condemned by both Democrats and Republicans. Several countries including India condemned the riots as well.
In light of the riots, Trump became the first US President to be impeached twice with many Republicans supporting his impeachment. Following November 3 elections, Trump had repeatedly leveled false allegations regarding the election ballots. Thus the article of impeachment underlined that Trump repeatedly issued false statements. In 2019, Trump was impeached for abusing the power and obstruction of Congress.
On February 14, Senate acquitted Trump on the charge of inciting the attack. In the trial, Senators had voted 57 to 43, including seven Republicans to impeach Trump. However, the Senate fell short of 10 crucial votes for the required 67 for the conviction.
The former US President had earlier this month suggested his third presidential bid. Trump said, "I stand before you today to declare that the incredible journey we began together four years ago is far from over. Who knows, I may even decide to beat them for the third time." However, he said that he has no plans of launching a new party.
Following January 6 riots, social networking site Twitter had permanently banned Trump's Twitter account to reportedly prevent further risk of incitement. It must be noted that during his years as the President and during the elections, Trump had used Twitter religiously.