Bannon wanted to “raise the temperature” after the violence of January 6

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Former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon had floated the idea of ​​more violence in the days following the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to text messages obtained by the House Select Committee that investigated the attack.

The House January 6 committee released its latest set of documents on Monday about its investigation into the uprising and the political actors who planned it, including the former president. The committee last month formally recommended that the Justice Department indict Trump on several charges related to the attack, including incitement to insurrection.

One of the testimonials released by the commission on Monday is from Alexandra Preate, who served as Bannon’s spokeswoman from 2016 to 2020.

A text exchange between Preate and Bannon on January 8, 2021, which was obtained by the House Select Committee, revealed that the former Trump adviser wanted to “turn up the heat” in the days following the uprising. murderous. Despite efforts by Trump supporters to block Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence from certifying the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden on January 6, the majority of lawmakers did their duty that day.

According to the texts, Preate Bannon then sent a message that Trump still lives in Washington and asked when the Republican president planned to leave the city ahead of Biden’s inauguration.

“He’s not staying in the White House past the 20th,” Bannon replied, referring to Biden’s inauguration date. “But who said we don’t have a million people the next day?”

Preate told the select committee she didn’t know what Bannon was referring to when he mentioned the million people, but said she thought he was talking about people “walking or standing there or something”.

The committee then showed a later text from Bannon to Preate in which he said, “Well, I’d surround the Capitol in complete silence.”

Preate testified that she couldn’t remember Bannon talking to her more about bringing people back to Washington, even after the riot at the Capitol.

Preate said there was a period when Trump and Bannon did not speak, but the two resumed communication before the 2020 election. She said Bannon was “very private about his conversations, not just with the president but with other people in in general”.

She also testified that her work with Bannon didn’t focus much on his “War Room” podcast, where he and right-wing guests often amplified baseless accusations that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump and sparked calls for rebellion.

A federal jury convicted Bannon in July of acting contrary to Congress, and he was sentenced in October to four months and a $6,500 fine. Trump’s ally refused to turn over communications and other documents to the House of Representatives committee on Jan. 6 and refused to appear before the bipartisan panel of lawmakers for statements in their investigation.


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