QAnon Pushed March 4 As Trump’s ‘True Inauguration Day’—But Officials Don’t Expect Violence
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QAnon Pushed March 4 As Trump’s ‘True Inauguration Day’—But Officials Don’t Expect Violence

Nicholas Reimann
Updated Mar 2, 2021, 08:30pm EST

Topline

The acting House Sergeant at Arms has informed members of Congress that authorities do not expect violence in Washington on Thursday, the day that QAnon followers believe former President Donald Trump will assume his second term in what is the latest deranged conspiracy theory claiming Trump will either retake power or somehow has secretly remained president.

Key Facts

In a letter to members of Congress, Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett said neither his office nor Capitol Police believe groups will travel to Washington to protest or commit violence on Thursday.

Still, additional security personnel will be in place out of an abundance of caution, Blodgett said.

QAnon backers believe March 4 is the “true Inauguration Day” for Trump’s second term, as they continue to scoff at the fact that President Joe Biden is actually the head of U.S. government.

Their baseless theory holds that the U.S. government secretly became a corporation in 1871, meaning all presidents since Ulysses S. Grant have not been legitimate, making Trump the 19th true U.S. president on March 4.

March 4 was the date presidents were inaugurated before the 20th amendment passed in 1933, changing the date to January 20 to shorten the lame-duck period.

Prices for rooms at the Trump International Hotel in Washington have skyrocketed for the days surrounding March 4, with some rates topping $1,000 a night.

Crucial Quote

“The significance of this date has reportedly declined amongst various groups in recent days,” Blodgett said. “At this time, the USCP has no indication that groups will travel to Washington, D.C., to protest or commit acts of violence.”

Key Background

QAnon followers continue to deny that Biden is the true president as they keep moving the goalposts related to conspiracy theories around the election results. They had pushed earlier legally impossible efforts, like Vice President Mike Pence stepping in to overturn the election results on January 6, with conspiracy theories only growing more bizarre since then. Many believed Trump would arrive at the Biden inauguration on January 20 to reclaim power and execute Democrats to purge the country of a Satanic pedophile ring that has long operated the “deep state.” When Biden took office, many QAnon followers were in disbelief and the conspiracy movement lost some supporters, but a large following of die-hard backers remained and held the steadfast belief that Trump had still prevailed. They latched on to physically impossible theories like Trump and Biden had somehow switched bodies, or that Trump was secretly carrying out mass executions of Democrats in the early days of Biden’s presidency.

What To Watch For

Trump won’t reassume office on Thursday as QAnon supporters hope for, so they’ll more than likely pick yet another date. March 20 is being floated as the next date QAnon followers have their eyes set on.  

Tangent

FBI Director Christopher Wray is testifying before Congress Tuesday regarding security failures leading up to the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol. The assault was openly organized in many Trump-backing circles online.

Further Reading

Trump’s DC Hotel Is Jacking Up Rates For QAnon’s Next Special Date (Forbes)

How Donald Trump’s Washington, D.C. Hotel Feeds QAnon’s March 4 Conspiracy (Forbes)

QAnon believers think Trump will be inaugurated again on March 4 (Vox)

FBI Director: No Evidence Suggests Capitol Attack Was Organized By ‘Fake Trump Supporters’ (Forbes)

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I'm a New Orleans-based news reporter for Forbes covering the U.S. South and breaking news. Previously, I wrote for The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate covering

I'm a New Orleans-based news reporter for Forbes covering the U.S. South and breaking news. Previously, I wrote for The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate covering local government.