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New study shows Trump, election claims were main motivator for Jan. 6 rioters

A new Harvard University study found that people charged for their participation on Jan. 6, 2021 most often cited former President Trump and his unfounded claims of voter fraud as their primary motivator, NBC News reported. The study, which was conducted by Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, analyzed 469 court documents…



The study, conducted by the Harvard Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, looked at 469 court documents describing the involvement of 417 Jan. 6 participants who have faced criminal charges.

According to the findings, “the desire to support Trump on January 6th in D.C. and concerns about election integrity were the two most commonly cited reasons for breaching the U.S. Capitol,” which was the most commonly cited reason for entering the building.

According to NBC’s findings, about 40% of the rioters surveyed had those two factors in common as their primary motivation. Twenty percent of the rioters surveyed said they were supporters of Trump, and an equal number said they shared his unfounded belief that the election had been stolen.

The Hill has requested a copy of the full study from the Shorenstein Center.


The report’s release coincides with the House select committee’s eighth hearing into the Capitol riot, which is scheduled for Thursday night. Members of the panel have stated that they will detail the riot in minute detail up until the time that Trump released a video in which he told the rioters to “go home.”

NBC reports that the study found that Wyoming Republican Representative Liz Cheney was “mostly correct” in her assessment that President Trump “called out the mob” on January 6.

Some of the rioters gave varying explanations. While the House panel continues its deliberations, a district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia is conducting a criminal investigation into possible unlawful attempts to overturn the election. Seven percent of attendees said they attended to “peacefully protest,” while 6.2 percent cited a “general interest in violence.”

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