If he had not said the election was stolen, they would not have been there. If he had not invited his followers to Washington on the day the electoral college count was to be certified, they would not have been there. If he had not told them that the greatest political crime in American history was taking place down the Mall, they would not have been there. If he had not wanted them there as a threat of force against Republicans and especially his vice president, Mike Pence, they would not have been there. It’s the nightmare version of “Dayenu.”
Look, the House of Representatives erred in their drafting of the article of impeachment against him by describing Trump as “singularly responsible” for the events of January 6. Trump was not singularly responsible. He did not smash windows, he did not trespass, he did not injure, he did not use a chemical weapon against police officers. For all these actions, the rioters who did so and who have been identified by authorities and charged with crimes will pay, but likely not pay nearly enough, for their monstrous devilry.
But he’s not without responsibility. He bears some responsibility. The amount of responsibility any public official should have for the storming of the Capitol in which people were killed and injured and elected officials were placed in harm’s way simply for going to work and doing the jobs they were voted in to do should be zero.