On Wednesday, the House of Representatives debated whether to impeach outgoing President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the unprecedented assault on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump extremists which left at least five people dead.
After weeks of peddling the lie that Democrats orchestrated widespread election fraud to "steal" the election from Republicans for President-elect Joe Biden, Trump spoke at a "Save America" rally as Congress convened for a joint session to certify Biden's victory in the 2020 election.
Trump urged the supporters to "fight" for him or they wouldn't "have a country anymore." He then told the supporters.
Trump then said:
"I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. ... Our country has been under siege for a long time, far longer than this four-year period."
Shortly after, these supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing the Vice President and other lawmakers to evacuate, shattering windows and ransacking offices.
Exactly one week later, Trump's allies in the House of Representatives decried the article of impeachment charging Trump with inciting an insurrection.
One of their central arguments was that the words "peacefully and patriotically" absolved Trump of direct responsibility for the riots, despite Trump urging attendees in the same speech to "fight like hell" and not "take it anymore."
Rep. Jim Jordan: "Democrats can say, 'You know there needs to be unrest in the streets,' while there is unrest in t… https://t.co/GM34YqiYwN— The Hill (@The Hill)1610568412.0
GOP Rep. Tom McClintock says Trump merely called for the mob to protest "peacefully and patriotically." He adds, "E… https://t.co/LrdXvZX6kG— David Corn (@David Corn)1610560326.0
In one memorable moment, pro-Trump Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL) asked his colleagues if any of the rioters arrested said the President brought them there.
Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) not having the speech he thought he'd have. https://t.co/n6JWgh3a4Y— The Recount (@The Recount)1610568435.0
None of his colleagues answered because Mast was the only lawmaker recognized to speak and because none of the rioters' full testimonies have been released.
But new video answers Mast's question, revealing that at least one faction of the President's supporters told Capitol police they were invited by the President.
Very telling video of rioters outside the Capitol shouting at police: "We were invited here. We were invited by the… https://t.co/FNnRWbIsgz— Drew Harwell (@Drew Harwell)1610565763.0
With others echoing him, one of the rioters shouted to Capitol police:
"We were invited by the President of the United States!"
It further reinforced the argument made by third-ranking House Republican Liz Cheney (R-WY): The riot would not have happened without the President.
This is all we need to know about WHO LED THE INSURRECTION. https://t.co/1A94svQ34L— CCBee 🐝 Wear a mask for the love of God 😷 (@CCBee 🐝 Wear a mask for the love of God 😷)1610570938.0
When the mob says: "We were INVITED HERE!! We were invited here by THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!" Then....… https://t.co/eCwoI8i6GI— Jake Lobin (@Jake Lobin)1610571624.0
While republicans saying Trump didn’t send his mob "We were invited here. We were invited by the president of the… https://t.co/3i2Nu18GhR— BallerAlert (@BallerAlert)1610569987.0
People were quick to contrast Mast's statements with the shouts of the rioters.
Dying that Brian Mast just stood up and said “well none of the rioters have said they were invited by the president… https://t.co/KttYFD5rVn— blaire erskine (@blaire erskine)1610572679.0
Florida Rep. Brian Mast making what seems, to him, to be a dramatic point: Standing silently after asking if any ri… https://t.co/c8VpVrmqQf— Dave Weigel (@Dave Weigel)1610567873.0
Brian Mast just demanded to know if anyone who attacked the Capitol would say that they came because of the Preside… https://t.co/092hn28CiR— Joe Patrice (@Joe Patrice)1610567927.0
Tweet this to Brian Mast since he doesn’t think these folks were doing this because of the man in charge https://t.co/alB3PtrIvo— Lex, the Mess (@Lex, the Mess)1610567988.0
One could argue that this negates Representative Mast’s ludicrous grand standing. Of course they were there for Tru… https://t.co/Pk9xKjfYWL— Adam Errington 💙 (@Adam Errington 💙)1610568276.0
For Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) or really anyone questioning whether rioters specifically said the president incited the… https://t.co/V3IGyJ0Xqu— Jenni Monet (@Jenni Monet)1610569536.0
On Wednesday, the House voted to impeach Donald Trump, making him the only President in U.S. history to be impeached more than once. With 10 Republicans voting in favor of impeachment, it is the most bipartisan impeachment in American history.