“At some point, myself and a handful of other folks went over and sat down with the president and communicated that the odds of us prevailing and legal challenges were very small,” [Communications aide Jason Miller] testified. He was right.

“The vast weight of evidence presented so far,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the committee vice chair, said in an opening comment, “has shown us that the central cause of January 6th was one man, Donald Trump, who many others followed. None of this would have happened without him. He was personally and substantially involved in all of it.”

Why would he want to keep fighting it? Simply, to preserve his power. He wanted to remain president and understood that preserving a sense among his supporters that he should be president, that he had won, was important to doing so.

What followed was a review of that evidence, a stitching together of hours of prior testimony and the injection of newly uncovered details as the committee has continued its work. It was, as the prior analogy would suggest, a prosecution of a case — and an effective one.

Remember, Trump knew they were armed. According to the committee, he’d also been warned that there was a threat of violence. But Trump knew they were “not here to hurt me” and planned, as he announced, to march with them.

Trump’s responsibility for the violence that unfolded that day can be viewed as an escalation over three periods of time: the months before the election on Nov. 3, 2020, the period from Election Day to Jan. 6, and the events of Jan. 6 itself.