Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) accused Donald Trump Sunday of deliberately trying to “accelerate the violence” already raging at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, against his vice president, Mike Pence, in a reckless bid to hang on to power.
Lofgren, a member of the House select committee investigating the insurrection, pointed to the tweet the former president sent out attacking Pence even as Trump supporters were violently storming the Capitol that day.
Former White House aides testified at last week’s House committee hearing that Trump was urged to send a message to help quell the violence. But he instead fired off a tweet mid-riot saying Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done” — referring to Pence’s refusal to reject electoral votes that certified Joe Biden’s victory.
“When he sent out the tweet attacking his vice president, he already knew that the violence was underway,” Lofgren said on “Face the Nation” on CBS. “The only conclusion you can reach is that he intended to accelerate that violence against the former vice president.”
The former president’s niece, Mary Trump, accused her uncle in an interview last week of essentially “handing down a death sentence to Pence,” and suggested that Pence’s murder could have helped Trump claim justification for declaring martial law.
Lofgren also accused Trump of fomenting a chillingly lawless, violent culture in America today. She pointed to “very conservative” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) being yelled at and “roughed up” by extremist Republicans Saturday at the Texas Republican Party Convention in Houston.
“I think that’s what the former president has unleashed here,” she added.