WASHINGTON — The build-up to Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, which begins Tuesday, has focused on the former president’s words on Jan. 6, as well as whether it’s constitutional to impeach and try a former officeholder.
But those discussions so far have overshadowed a more central question to the trial: Did Trump use his platform — and powers — as president to try to overturn an election he clearly lost?
Consider these Trump actions in the days and weeks after news organizations declared Joe Biden the winner:
- He praised — and even called — the GOP members of Michigan’s Wayne County Canvassing Board who refused to certify the county’s election results; they later reversed course.
- He phoned into a Pennsylvania state Senate meeting trying to overturn the results in that state: “We have to turn the election over, because there’s no doubt we have all the evidence, we have all the affidavits, we have everything,” Trump said.
- His allies were behind the Texas lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin; the court rejected the lawsuit.
- He begged Georgia’s secretary of state to find him additional votes to overturn the election result there: “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state,” Trump said.
- And then finally, on Jan. 6, he exhorted his assembled supporters as Congress was set to certify the Electoral College results.
“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” Trump said.
“Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated.”
Much of the story of the two months after the election was about state officials and the courts not following through with want Trump wanted.
What turned out to be different about Jan. 6 was that some people finally followed through.
Data Download: The numbers you need to know today
56 percent: The share of Americans who say former president Trump should be convicted in the Senate, per a new ABC-Ipsos poll.
27,115,843: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 328,572 more than Friday morning.)
465,576: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 7,849 more than Friday morning.)
81,439: The number of people currently hospitalized with coronavirus in the United States.
323.8 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers at The COVID Tracking Project.
80: The number of days left for Biden to reach his 100-day vaccination goal.
100: The age of former secretary of state George Shultz, who died over the weekend.
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