- The Washington Times - Friday, January 8, 2021

President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani said Friday that he is surprised more people did not try to storm the U.S. Capitol during the deadly insurrection they both fomented this week.

Mr. Giuliani, who on Wednesday recommended “trial by combat” as way of resolving the presidential election decisively lost by Mr. Trump, voiced disbelief “so few” people seized the Capitol hours later.

Speaking to Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s former aide, Mr. Giuliani also denied “Trump people” scaled the Capitol’s walls during the breach and baselessly laid blame on alleged outsider activists.

“Most of them hadn’t come there with implements to do it and also led on by people from, you know, groups that are experts at it. Believe me, Trump people were not scaling the wall,” Mr. Giuliani said.

“So there’s nothing to it that [Mr. Trump] incited anything,” Mr. Giuliani said on Mr. Bannon’s “War Room: Pandemic” podcast.

Mr. Giuliani, 78, a former mayor of New York City, subsequently proceeded to claim Democratic “fascists” are equally if not more to blame for the insurrection than the outgoing Republican president.

“The responsibility here has to be put also on the left, who has conducted a reign of terror all this year,” he said.

Mr. Giuliani then gave examples to make his case: lockdowns meant to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus — which he contracted — and the suppression of claims about President-elect Joseph R. Biden.

“So a lot of responsibility comes from the people that are imposing the suppression. It’s like the kind of thing that happens in a government where people are suppressed; they rise up. And given that, it was quite surprising to me that it was so few people,” Mr. Giuliani said about the insurrection.

“The consequences were terrible. And there were no doubt that there were professionals and activists that were helping to make it worse,” he added. That baseless claim has not been proven.

Mr. Trump had been encouraging his supporters to protest Wednesday when Congress was to convene to count the electoral votes once more affirming Mr. Biden the winner of the recent White House race.

Thousands of the president’s supporters assembled near the White House that morning for a protest during which both Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Trump repeated false claims about the election being rigged.

Addressing protesters from a temporary stage constructed on the ellipse, Mr. Giuliani predicted evidence of purported election fraud will emerge and land Democrats in trouble.

“Over the next 10 days, we get to see the machines that are crooked, the ballots that are fraudulent, and if we’re wrong, we will be made fools of. But if we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail,” Mr. Giuliani said Wednesday. “Let’s have trial by combat. I’m willing to stake my reputation, the president is willing to stake his reputation, on the fact that we’re going to find criminality there.”

Mr. Trump took the stage later in the afternoon while Congress met to give a speech in which he said he would head with supporters to the Capitol to cheer on Republicans he wanted to challenge his loss.

“We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Mr. Trump told his supporters, who breached the nearby Capitol complex shortly afterward without him.

At least five people died during the siege, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer. Dozens have been arrested on related charges.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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