Harvard Study Finds Less than 8% of Jan. 6 Protesters Wanted Insurrection

A new Harvard study has found that the vast majority of people who protested at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 did not want to launch an “insurrection,” as the mainstream media has claimed for months, but were instead motivated by loyalty to former President Donald Trump.

According to a study conducted by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, 20.6% of the Jan. 6 demonstrators were motivated by their support for Trump, and another 20.6% were motivated by their belief that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from the former president.

Meanwhile, less than 8% of Jan. 6 protesters wanted to launch an insurrection against the government, according to the study, despite a widespread claim among mainstream media outlets that this was the driving force behind the Capitol protest.

Kaylee Fagan, one of the authors of the study, expressed shock that support for Trump and concern about election fraud were the two most common motivations cited by protesters.

“I don’t think I expected the result to be this stark,” Fagan said in an interview. “I also certainly didn’t expect those two motivations to come up nearly exactly as often as they both did.”

Kagan also said she was surprised that belief in the QAnon conspiracy theory, at 4.1%, played such a small role in motivating demonstrators at the Capitol. The researcher said the media’s portrayal of Jan. 6 had led her to believe the movement would figure much more prominently in the data.

“The folks with QAnon t-shirts and signs and flags were so prominently displayed in much of the visual imagery that came out of the Capitol attack,” she said. “So we expected to see more QAnon-related concepts come through in the documents.”

The Harvard study discredits even further the claim that Jan. 6 protesters wanted to initiate an armed revolution against the government. Last year, the FBI said it had not found evidence of any organized plot behind the protest at the Capitol Building.

In July, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) admitted that she didn’t think the Jan. 6 panel had found evidence that Trump was connected to the violence on Jan. 6.