A Yahoo/YouGov poll shows that 21 percent of Republicans — fully 1 in 5 — believe the Jan. 6 riots and insurrection at the U.S. Capitol which left five people dead and did millions of dollars of damage — was “justified.”

Mediate notes that the new numbers seem to indicate a “trend” taking place as it relates to the messaging coming from Democratic and Republican leaders:

The poll, released this week, already caught some attention over the fact that over 70% of Republicans put “some” or “a great deal” of responsibility for the attack on “left-wing protesters trying to make Trump look bad”, and only 41% said the supporters who carried out the attack bore the blame.

But the question of justification is perhaps an even more telling metric. Beyond merely “who started it” of the day of the violence and mayhem, it ascertains the sentiment behind undertaking that invasion as a reasonable and just cause. And in the case of the Republican respondents, the result was startling.

Clearly, those aligned with former President Donald Trump and his GOP defenders are willing to excuse the actions of the mob that breached the Capitol building and led to a lockdown in Washington, D.C. Those rioters, it should be recalled, had been encouraged to march on Congress by Trump shortly before they did so. Other speakers at the White House event which preceded the insurrection also used talk of violence and uprising in their remarks prior to the riots.

Previous polling shows that Republican respondents have seen the largest decrease in considering what transpired on Jan. 6 to be illegal:

In late January, nearly three-quarters of them (71 percent) told Yahoo News and YouGov that the Capitol attack was “not justified”; today that number has fallen 14 points, to 57 percent. Nearly a quarter (21 percent) now think the attack was justified; another 22 percent aren’t sure. And a majority of Republicans (52 percent) say the people who participated on Jan. 6 were “primarily peaceful and law-abiding,” even as most Americans (51 percent) view the same participants as “primarily violent and lawless.”

Earlier this week, Senate Republicans blocked a floor vote that would have created a bipartisan commission to study what happened on that fateful day in January. That all but assures that a House select committee will be created to look at the insurrection, which is almost certain to enrage the GOP if only because they fear their own complicity will be exposed for the American public to see prior to the 2022 midterm elections.

Featured Image Via NBC News