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The House select committee on Tuesday revealed that it had obtained the draft of an undated tweet suggesting that then-President Donald Trump was planning to explicitly direct his followers to march to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, even before he urged them to do so during his speech at the rally that preceded the attack.
"I will be making a Big Speech at 10AM on January 6th at the Ellipse," reads the draft shown at the hearing. "Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the Steal!!"
Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., said the committee had obtained the draft tweet from the National Archives. It was marked with a stamp indicating that Trump had seen the draft.
“Although this tweet was never sent, rally organizers were discussing and preparing for the march to the Capitol in the days leading up to Jan. 6,” Murphy said.
The committee obtained a text message dated Jan. 4, 2021, from Kylie Kremer, one of the Jan. 6 rally organizers, to one of Trump's confidants, Mike Lindell, the founder of MyPillow. In it, Kremer informed Lindell that Trump “is going to just call for it ‘unexpectedly.’”
“The end of the message indicates that the president’s plan to have his followers march to the Capitol was not being broadly discussed,” Murphy said.
In a similar text dated Jan. 5, 2021, from Ali Alexander, a far-right activist, to a journalist, which was obtained by the committee, Alexander said that “Trump is supposed to order us to capitol at the end of his speech but we will see.”
At the rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump indeed urged his supporters to march to the Capitol as Congress was convening to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
“We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said. “So we're going to, we're going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I love Pennsylvania Avenue. And we're going to the Capitol.”
“This was not a spontaneous call to action,” Murphy said, “but rather was a deliberate strategy decided upon, in advance, by the president.”
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the panel’s vice chair, opened Tuesday’s hearing by saying it was "nonsense" that Trump was “incapable of telling right from wrong” while he was perpetuating falsehoods about the election.
“President Trump is a 76-year-old man,” Cheney said in her opening remarks. “He is not an impressionable child. Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices.”