Donald Trump Was ‘An Insurrectionist,’ Extremism Expert Confirms in Colorado Ballot Case Testimony
Donald Trump got a curveball thrown at him in the Colorado Ballot case to determine if he should be taken off the ballots.
Following a lawsuit by liberal organization CREW in Washington and a group of Colorado voters who claimed that former President Donald Trump shouldn't be permitted to appear on the ballot in 2024, the trial officially began in Colorado this week. The lawsuit's rationale is that Trump is barred from voting as a result of his involvement in January 6, which, by one reading, would be a violation of the 14th Amendment.
An expert on extremism has already testified in the case, confirming that Trump is an insurrectionist. Colorado Newsline reports that Pete Simi, an expert on extremism research, testified for the prosecutors.
Simi is a sociologist at Chapman University who has spent more than 20 years researching far-right extremism. Simi stated in court that Trump oversaw a campaign to encourage violent extremist organizations in the months following President Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election, which “ultimately resulted in the attack on the Capitol.”
In the days leading up to January 6, Trump supporters made numerous references to "1776," according to Simi, who claimed to have conducted hundreds of interviews with members of extremist groups to study their communication styles.
Donald Trump played the January 6th insurrectionist version of the national anthem before his rally today. THEY ARE CRIMINALS AND TRUMP LOVES THEM! It’s disgusting👇 pic.twitter.com/UitYt016h9— Harry Sisson (@harryjsisson) November 3, 2023
According to Simi, those allusions were "a violent call for revolution" and an illustration of the "doublespeak" that radical organizations and their supporters employ to justify violence while preserving plausible deniability. “It would have a certain meaning to outsiders,” Simi said. “But insiders would understand and interpret that word differently.”
During hours-long testimony, Simi revealed further examples of Trump endorsing violent speech, like as his tweet about "will be wild" preceding the January 6 march, his encouragement of police to rough up demonstrators, and his remark about "very fine people" following the tragic Charlottesville rally, per 1945 Magazine. “Far-right extremists were galvanized by his candidacy starting in 2015,” Simi said at the trial. “And a relationship emerged between Donald Trump and far-right extremists, with far-right extremists seeing him as speaking their language, and addressing many of their key grievances.”
Eric Olson, the plaintiff's attorney, showed snippets of Trump's speech from January 6th, in which he called on his followers to march on the Capitol and “fight like hell” to “save” the nation, CNN reported. “Far-right extremists were galvanized by his candidacy starting in 2015,” Simi said, explaining how the insurrection worked because of Trump's violent rhetoric. “And a relationship emerged between Donald Trump and far-right extremists, with far-right extremists seeing him as speaking their language, and addressing many of their key grievances.”
Trump is not testifying or participating in the proceedings. But at least one representative from the Republican party intends to speak out: Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas announced on Twitter that he will take part in the "sham trial" to uphold Trump's reputation.
Trump is one step closer to being barred from the ballot as the Minnesota Supreme Court hears a suit to disqualify him under the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment. A similar suit is underway in Colorado. Here's what it boils down to: pic.twitter.com/Otq1Aq1gYY— Robert Reich (@RBReich) November 2, 2023
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