It was intentional. It was supported by top White House aides. It had the express goal of annulling a US presidential election so that Trump's White House could retain power in disregard of the rules set out in the constitution. That Trump and his key allies had spent the past twelve months combing the government to remove those deemed insufficiently "loyal" to increasingly illegal White House edicts may or may not have been forerunners, but there are not even the question of what? happened in the last days of December and early January.
According to a note from Assistant Attorney General Richard Donoghue, Trump urged acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen "just to say the elections were corrupt" and then "leave the rest to the White House and Republicans in Congress." (Trump specifically mentioned MP Jim Jordan on the call, who is now rushing to dodge questions about his communication with Trump on the day of the January 6th uprising.) It wasn't once or twice: the Trump White House is supposed to " almost every day "contacted Rosen and other officials to put pressure on the agency to publicly express doubts about the election.
Trump and others in the White House, including Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, also called on Republican electoral officials in at least Arizona and Georgia to similarly pressure them to change their vote count in Trump's favor.
In conjunction with these two efforts, Trump encouraged his base members to appear for a "march" on the US Capitol on January 6th, coinciding precisely with the formal recognition of the election numbers by Congress. Trump and his allies tried to gather as large a crowd as possible to pressure the assembled Congress to overturn the election result.
When the crowd turned violent, Trump did nothing. When Republican lawmakers called him personally to ask for help, he belittled and refused.
The justification for each act was a propaganda campaign by Republican allies who fraudulently claimed that non-Republicans "stole" the party's election. Many of these claims were made up out of conspiratorial void (from Italian satellite links to ballot papers with "bamboo" in the newspaper); others were torn out of panicked claims about someone who had seen someone with something. Each of the propaganda claims were so outrageously false that the judges in the courtroom almost immediately removed them from the evidence.
There is nothing to tease here. Trump's White House plan was well underway. Donald Trump and his key allies carried out a multi-pronged, extensive and planned campaign to overthrow the next constitutionally appointed US presidency by falsely claiming that the election was invalid; by pressuring the Justice Department to issue statements that cast further doubt on the integrity of the election; by calling key election officials asking them to change the reported vote count on Trump's behalf; using conspiratorial allegations to rally a crowd of angry would-be "patriots" who believed that direct action was needed to "prevent the theft"; asking this crowd to march up the Capitol; by rejecting efforts to repel the now violent mob during the mob's attack.
It was an act of simple sedition, pre-planned and deliberate and orchestrated from within Trump's inner circle. It was backed by a majority of House Republicans, several of whom were associated with Trump and dozen of whom were allied in an effort to falsely challenge the election results.
Donald Trump and his top aides devised a multi-part plan to overthrow the U.S. government in order to keep power. Put that in your head and let it simmer there because there is just no denying that it is true.
The Justice Department's new notes, taken by themselves, represent an act of official corruption that easily surpasses Nixon's worst. Asking the Department of Justice to falsely express doubts about the integrity of a U.S. election that toppled you from power is in itself an act that would require impeachment if the Senate Republicans weren't so corrupt themselves with themselves to ally the idea. Calling a Georgian election official to ask that official "find" new votes is a request that should keep Trump in jail for another decade or more. Deliberately ignoring lawmakers asking for help when their angry allies broke through window panes and sought their enemies is terrorism, not mere corruption.
It is the three-pronged plan that elevates Trump and his key Republican allies from mere corrupt to downright rebels. It was a plan to erase a US presidential election. It sought allies in the Justice Department who would publicly discredit the election, allies in state governments who would change the vote count, and a public mob who would disrupt the vote count and intimidate officials into authorizing a Trump return to power .
It was all one plan, not three. Discredit the election with false claims; use the same false claims to stir up public anger deep enough to warrant the abolition of the rule of law in the name of restoring "order".
It was an attempted fascist takeover, and many of their top orchestras are still featured prominently on Sunday news programs. Parts of it came very close to success; If different Republican officials had served in different offices, it now seems entirely possible that Trump's White House would have found allies in states or counties willing to change the votes in ways they requested. Parts of it were apparently silly, inventions of deranged and desperate spirits; It is hard to believe that a congressional statement that Trump is "somehow" still president would be treated as legitimate by the press, the military, or the public if the statement was made by lawmakers literally hostage by a mob were kept requesting that they do it.
It was an attempt anyway. Trump and others in the White House spent weeks trying to attract accomplices within the government as well as a paramilitary force outside. Trump is a traitor to his country. Any outcome where he doesn't rot in prison for his actions will itself be an affront to our would-be democracy.