Rudy Giuliani called for 'trial by combat' before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol

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Rudy Giuliani called for 'trial by combat' before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani gestures as he speaks as Trump supporters gather by the White House ahead of his speech to contest the certification by the U.S. Congress of the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021.REUTERS/Jim Bourg
  • Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, called for 'trial by combat' while addressing a mob of pro-Trump supporters, just hours before hundreds of them violently stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.
  • Giuliani, Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., and others addressed a large crowd of the president's supporters outside the White House on Wednesday afternoon.
  • Shortly afterwards, hundreds of the president's supporters stormed the Capitol building.
  • Former Presidents Barack Obama and Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican, were among those who accused Trump of directly inciting the violence at the Capitol.

Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, called for "trial by combat" while addressing a mob of pro-Trump supporters in Washington DC, just hours before hundreds of them violently stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.

Giuliani, President Trump, and his son Donald Trump Jr. were among those who addressed a large crowd of the president's supporters outside the White House on Wednesday afternoon to contest the result of November's presidential election, which Trump continues to falsely insist that he won.

Giuliani repeated false claims that the election results were "fraudulent" and told the crowd: "If we are wrong we will be made fools of, but if we're right a lot of them will go to jail. So let's have trial by combat."

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Trial by combat is a term deriving from ancient Germanic law in which individuals settle disputes through armed combat.

Hours after the rally, at which President Trump told supporters to "take back our country," a mob of the president's supporters overran police and broke into the Capitol through windows they had broken and doors they had forced open. The United States Congress had gathered to confirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, who described the scenes as "an insurrection."

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Former Presidents Barack Obama and Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican, were among those who said that Trump had directly incited the violence at the Capitol, while multiple White House officials immediately resigned from their positions in the wake of the siege.

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Congress certified Biden as the president-elect in the early hours of Thursday morning after the Trump supporters had been cleared from the building at around 5.30 p.m. A Capitol police officer fatally shot one woman and a further three died from medical complications.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, told colleagues in the House afterwards that the day would be one of the "very short list of dates in American history that will live forever in infamy."

Giuliani, who has been at the centre of the president's efforts to overturn the results of the election, also made headlines on Thursday after mistakenly calling an unnamed senator and leaving a rambling voicemail in which he detailed his plan to "try to just slow" down the certification of Biden's election victory in Congress.

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He had intended to call Sen. Tommy Tuberville, but instead called a different senator who then forwarded a recording of the call to The Dispatch, a media outlet.

Trump's Twitter and Facebook accounts were locked on Wednesday in what the social media companies said was a bid to stop the president from inciting violence and spreading misinformation. Through his social media manager Dan Scavino on Thursday, the president issued a statement pledging that there would be an "orderly transition" on Inauguration Day on January 20 but said he "totally disagreed with the outcome of the election."

"Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th," the president said in a statement issued on Twitter.

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"I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!"

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