A strange coincidence at Trump’s hotel in Washington DC points to a disturbing conspiracy theory among the former president’s most ardent supporters.
The hotel has hiked prices heading into March 4 – the day adherents of the bizarre online conspiracy group QAnon believe Trump will be sworn in again as president.
The wild theory borrows from the sovereign citizens movement and contends that the US was secretly turned into a corporation in 1871. In a nutshell, it posits that Trump will reclaim office next month as the 19th president, following Ulysses S. Grant who was in power when the country was supposedly turned into a corporation in 1871.
As crazy as it sounds, QAnon has grown in size and influence among the Republican Party base and was an increasingly visible element among Trump supporters at rallies, including those who stormed the Capitol on January 6.
Coincidently, the Trump hotel in Washington has jacked up its prices for the night of March 3 and March 4.
Room bookings on those dates begin at $1,331 – nearly three times the normal rate. The Tuesday before, rooms are available from $556 while most days throughout February and March, including weekends, are $476 per night.
According to DC-based journalist Zach Everson, who publishes a newsletter focused on the secretive Trump Hotel in DC called 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue (named after its address), the rate surged to $5,500 before the January 6 Trump rally and subsequent siege on the Capitol when the hotel boasted a “record breaking” week.
Everson surveyed other hotels in DC for the upcoming March dates, which had rates at close to the norm but said it is impossible to know for sure what is behind the price hike at the Trump hotel.
Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, a booking agent working on behalf of the Trump hotel was unable to say why the rooms had a price surge on March 3 and March 4, suggesting “maybe there is an event”.
It is unclear what that event might be, but the seemingly coincidence with the QAnon mythology has raised plenty of eyebrows.
Some QAnon followers are borrowing discredited arguments from sovereign citizens in order to yet again move the goalposts. They’re absurdly claiming Trump will be inaugurated on March 4, because the U.S. was “incorporated” in 1871 and all Amendments passed after that are invalid. pic.twitter.com/W0c8QqiOqu
— Travis View (@travis_view) January 24, 2021
Republicans stand by Trump ahead of impeachment trial
Lunatic ideas aside, Trump’s political allies are standing by their former president ahead of his impeachment trial in the Senate this week.
Many dismissed it as a waste of time on Sunday (local time), arguing that the former president’s fiery speech before the US Capitol insurrection does not make him responsible for the violence of January 6.
“If being held accountable means being impeached by the House and being convicted by the Senate, the answer to that is no,” said Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, making clear his belief that Trump should and will be acquitted.
Wicker described Trump’s impeachment trial as a “meaningless messaging partisan exercise.” When asked if Trump’s conduct should be more deserving of impeachment than President Bill Clinton’s, whom Wicker voted to impeach, he said: “I’m not conceding that President Trump incited an insurrection.”
Clinton’s impeachment, in 1998, was sparked by his false denial in a deposition of a sexual relationship with a White House intern.
Meanwhile Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky dismissed Trump’s trial as a farce with “zero chance of conviction,” describing the former president’s words urging protesters to “fight like hell” as Congress was voting to ratify Joe Biden’s presidential victory as “figurative” speech.
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