Trump is on trial for inciting an insurrection. What about the 12 people who spoke before him?


Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) was one of two members of Congress to take the stage, where he urged “American patriots” to “start taking down names and kicking ass.” Donning a red hat that said “Fire Pelosi,” he decried Democrats as “socialists” and his fellow Republicans as “weak-kneed,” warning that “we American patriots are going to come right at them.”

He faced blowback only days later when two House Democrats, New Jersey’s Tom Malinowski and Florida’s Debbie Wasserman Schultz, filed a motion to censure Brooks for his comments. Brooks refused to apologize and fired back in a lengthy statement in which he said he was being subject to Orwellian censorship. He called himself a “square” who never smokes or drinks and has never had any problems with the law. The resolution never made it out of the House Ethics Committee.

Katrina Pierson

Former Trump campaign adviser

Katrina Pierson has a long history with Trump’s base. She was his spokesperson during the 2016 campaign and has deep roots in the tea party movement, and she invoked those ties when she took the rally stage.

“The Republican politicians down there, have forgotten what the tea party movement did,” she said. “Americans will stand up for themselves and protect their rights, and they will demand that the politicians that we elect will uphold those rights, or we will go after them.”

She clarified on stage that she meant the base would go after Republicans at the ballot box. She urged supporters to campaign hard in 2022 and 2024 to vote out members who didn’t support Trump’s election challenges.

But her role in the rally wasn’t limited to what she said. The New York Times reported that Pierson served as a liaison between the White House and rally organizers, potentially giving her insider knowledge should congressional Democrats opt to call witnesses as part of the Senate trial.

Amy Kremer

Chairwoman, Women for America First

Another tea party activist-turned-Trump surrogate, Amy Kremer was one of the driving organizers for the rally. She moderated the “Stop the Steal” Facebook group, created by the pro-Trump group “Women for America First,” which corralled members to gather in Washington on Jan. 6. The group was shut down for spreading misinformation — a move Kremer angrily denounced from the rally stage.

She offered up conspiracy theories of a stolen election and a corrupt media in cahoots to keep Trump out of office. She also prodded Republican lawmakers to vote to challenge the election result and “punch back from Donald Trump.”

Kremer later denounced the Capitol rioters, but shifted blame for the violence to the left.

“Unfortunately, for months the left and the mainstream media told the American people that violence was an acceptable political tool,” she said in a statement after the rioters attacked the Capitol. “They were wrong. It is not.”

Vernon Jones

Former member, Georgia House of Representatives

Then-State Rep. Vernon Jones, a Democrat in the Georgia House of Representatives, switched parties on the rally stage, saying he was “coming home to the Grand Old Party.”

“I’m ready to go home to the party of Frederick Douglass. I’m ready to go home to the party of South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. Today, I’m coming home,” he said.

He warned Democrats not to fight Trump’s election challenge, saying “they’ve awakened a sleeping giant” among the president’s base. He thanked MyPillow CEO and ardent Trump supporter Mike Lindell for guiding him away from “these demon Democrats.”

Jones was one of the rare Democrats to endorse Trump in the lead-up to the 2020 election — a decision that pushed him to nearly resign from the Georgia Legislature in April 2020. But he stood by his endorsement and tweeted at the time that “an uprising is near.”

Jones withdrew from the June 9 Democratic primaries in his district and left the state Legislature soon after the “Stop the Steal” rally.

Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told the rally audience that other states, particularly Georgia, had “capitulated” by acknowledging Biden as the winner. He said he would keep fighting the election results, even though his attempt to sue other states over their elections had been rejected by the Supreme Court only weeks before.

After the Capitol riots, Paxton was the only state attorney general not to sign a statement condemning the violence. He denounced the riots separately, but falsely claimed the mob was filled with leftist agitators masquerading as Trump supporters. Democrats in the Texas Legislature called for an investigation into Paxton’s role in the riots.

Paxton is also tangled up in other potential legal woes amid allegations in October of corruption, with calls from his own staff to resign.

Lara and Eric Trump

Daughter-in-law and son of President Donald Trump

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