What’s the Cause of Matthew Perna’s Suicide?

What’s the Cause of Matthew Perna’s Suicide? March 3, 2022

Matthew Perna, a 37-year old man from Sharpsville, Pennsylvania, heeded the call of President Donald Trump and attended “Stop the Steal” political rally on January 6, 2021, at the Ellipsis, located two blocks from the Capitol Building where all members of Congress were gathered to certify the presidential election result in which Joe Biden had won the most votes in the Electoral College to become president.

President Trump riled up the crowd with his 80-minute speech that began about noon that day, on January 6th. He claimed, as he had been doing constantly for months, that the election had been “rigged,” that he had really won it, and therefore the election was “stolen” from him, all of which was not true. Trump then called upon the attendees to walk over to the Capitol Building “and fight like hell. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Trump continued, “We will never give up, we will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.”

Trump added, “Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about … We will stop the steal.”

Trump exclaimed further, “Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong.” We may find out in the future in a court of law just exactly how those words of President Trump were to be understood, what he meant by them, and therefore if he is guilty of conspiracy to defraud an election. But also, if he had responsibility for the destruction and death caused by that speech.

Mr. Perna heard the president at the Ellipsis and then followed his advice by walking to the Capitol Building and illegally entering it with hundreds of other rioters. The FBI says he was there for twenty minutes, sometimes using his phone to take video of the rioters and chanting with them, “USA! USA!”

Before the day was over, Mr. Perna posted on Facebook, saying of the riot, “It’s not over, trust me. The purpose of today was to expose Pence as a traitor.” The president had insinuated that in his speech, calling on his Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to certify the election results, which Mr. Pence actually had no right to do and therefore refused to even attempt to do that. Rioters were therefore yelling inside the Capitol, “Hang Mike Pence,” and trying to find him.

Mr. Perna became one of the hundreds arrested by the FBI for his joining the riot at the Capitol that day. He was convicted in a court of law and awaiting sentencing. Then, just days ago, on February 25th, tragically, he committed suicide. His family has now written in his obituary, “his country and the justice system killed his spirit and his zest for life.” I beg to differ; Donald Trump did that, indirectly. What do you think?

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