What was Trump thinking on January 6? Consider two possibilities. (Parts I and II.)

Thomas Wood
3 min readJul 22, 2022


There are some further thoughts about the hearing tonight that I would like to add to my latest thread, which is now a Medium post. 1/11

What was Trump thinking on January 6? Consider two possibilities.While the evidence in this and previous hearings appears to me now to fall short of establishing seditious conspiracy, it might provide…https://tinyurl.com/2xlwqgal

First, I should say that I think the Committee is doing a superlative job of showing Trump’s total unfitness for office. The thread only questions whether Trump could be charged and convicted for insurrection (or seditious conspiracy), not whether he is unfit for office. 2/11

I did argue that because Trump is a headcase, it would be hard to charge him for certain possible crimes (not all of them).

Besides the examples I cited that make some criminal charges problematic, I would like to add a couple more. 3/11

Trump defended the rioters at the Capitol, saying that what they were doing was justified and that VP Pence deserved it, despite having watched the rioters on Fox News in the WH dining room being extremely violent, and even knowing that they were threatening to hang him!) 4/11

Does this mean that Trump thought it was not okay for “his people” to attack law enforcement but okay to hang Mike Pence, because Pence was a coward and traitor to the country for deciding to certify the election (which he was legally required to do)? 5/11

Trump couldn’t possibly think this if he were normal. But then (as James Comey once said) he isn’t normal! (Trump isn’t obviously dysfunctional like someone who is hallucinating, for example, but that only makes him highly dangerous: it doesn’t make him “normal.”) 6/11

The most common diagnosis of Trump’s severe mental impairment is malignant narcissism. Narcissists can have mental breakdowns. Trump probably had one on January 6. In fact, after he lost the election, it was said that one couldn’t have a rational conversation with him. 7/11

Paranoia also fits into narcissism, particularly if the person is having a mental breakdown. Paranoiacs are often inclined to conspiracy theories. This also fits because Trump bought into a bunch of truly crazy ones to bolster his claim that he had really won by a landslide. 8/11

Committee members have asserted repeatedly that Trump knew he lost the election. I don’t think this is clear at all. All we know given the facts is that he was told that he had lost by those who were in a position to know this, and that he *should* have known that he lost. 9/11

But that only works if the person is psychologically normal. Mental health professionals have always warned that Trump doesn’t fit that description. If so, we cannot assume that Trump “knew” or really believed any such thing. Nor could it be established in court. 10/11

That is one reason why I now think it unlikely that the feds could get a conviction for insurrection. Fortunately, there are two other criminal statutes (I mention them in the thread) that do not present the same difficulties of establishing mens rea that insurrection does. 11/11



Thomas Wood

The Resistance. Vote Blue: True Blue American. We look forward, they look back. We’re progressive, they’re regressive. @twoodiac