One week before an angry mob stormed the Capitol, a communications expert named Jason Sullivan, a onetime aide to Roger J. Stone Jr., joined a conference call with a group of President Donald J. Trump’s supporters and made an urgent plea.
After assuring his listeners that the 2020 election had been stolen, Mr. Sullivan told them that they had to go to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021 — the day that Congress was to meet to finalize the electoral count — and “descend on the Capitol,” according to a recording of the call obtained by The New York Times.
While Mr. Sullivan claimed that he was “not inciting violence or any kind of riots,” he urged those on the call to make their presence felt at the Capitol in a way that would intimidate members of Congress, telling the group that they had to ensure that lawmakers inside the building “understand that people are breathing down their necks.”
He also pledged that Mr. Trump was going to take action on his own; the president, he said, was going to impose a form of martial law on Jan. 6 and would not be leaving office.