The fence around the Capitol is back up. The DC Police Department is ready, and the US Capitol Police has requested assistance from nearby law enforcement agencies, including the US National Guard.
Capitol police are taking no risk as they prepare for Saturday’s rally in the US Capitol in support of jailed rioters following the violent January 6 uprising. They are working to avoid a repeat of the pre-opening attack.
Relentless attempts to rewrite the narrative of the violence and panic of that day, and the growing instability behind the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, have made it impossible to predict what might happen this weekend. After all, law enforcement was only expecting a free speech protest the day Trump supporters attacked the Capitol in an attempt to obstruct the authentication of Joe Biden’s victory.
Capital Police Chief Tom Manger said at a news conference Friday that it was difficult to say whether threats of violence for Saturday’s incident are credible, but the “chatter” online and elsewhere is similar to intelligence that was discounted in January. Went.
A permit allows up to 700 people to protest. Manger said he believed the violence on Saturday would most likely involve clashes between protesters and counter-protesters, who are expected to be visible. Police are also preparing for the possibility that some protesters may arrive with weapons.
“We are not going to tolerate violence, and we will not tolerate any kind of criminal behavior,” Manger said. “The American public and members of Congress expect that we protect the Capitol. And I’m confident that the plan we have in place will live up to that expectation.”
The rally, organized by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Brainard, is aimed at supporting those who have been detained after the January 6 uprising – about 63 of the more than 600 accused in the deadly riots were behind bars. It is the latest attempt to downplay and deny the January violence.
Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans serving on the House committee that investigated the January attacks, said he supports aggressive law enforcement efforts.
“Hopefully, law enforcement’s overreaction is really the thing that can stop this from getting out of hand,” Kizinger said in an interview Thursday. He predicted that people would criticize the effort if the protest was small and nonviolent, “but it must be so because January 6 was clearly a low backlash and it escalated.”
Intelligence gathered ahead of Saturday’s rally suggested that extremist groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers would emerge. But some prominent members of the groups have sworn they are not leaving and told others not to join. Far-right online chattering has generally been prevalent, and Republican lawmakers are downplaying the phenomenon.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved a request to deploy approximately 100 members of the DC National Guard to a city armory near the Capitol to be called upon as backup for other law enforcement agencies if necessary. They would primarily guard the Capitol Building and Congressional Offices. They would be without firearms, but equipped with batons and protective vests for self-defense.
Meanwhile, a Homeland Security Intelligence report warned of a social media post that discussed the attack on the Capitol the night before the rally. A user commented on the abduction of “an identified member of Congress,” the document said, although the legislator was not identified by name in the report. No MP was expected to be present in the building on Saturday as the Congress is out of session.
“Other references to violence identified on social media include discussions of using the rally to target local Jewish institutions, elected officials and ‘liberal churches’,” the intelligence report said.
Several commentators on online platforms such as Telegram disapproved of the rally, saying they believed law enforcement was promoting the event to implicate Trump supporters. Some urged their followers not to attend what they said was an event they believed was secretly organized by the FBI.
At the same time, however, some commentators continued to promote the planned rallies for Saturday in cities and state capitals across the country.
The online discussion was intense before January 6. But such nonsense has not been replicated on social media so far with hashtags showing the phenomenon gaining less traction.
In a notice to members of the House this week, Sergeant at Arms William Walker urged lawmakers to stay away. And those who supported efforts to reverse former President Donald Trump’s election defeat distanced themselves from the event.
When asked about the rally, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said, “I don’t know what it is.”
Trump is still using his platform as the most popular leader in the GOP to express sympathy for those who were arrested and continue to spread election misinformation. In a statement on Thursday, he said: “Our hearts and minds are with those who are being so unfairly persecuted in connection with the January 6 presidential election rigging.”
The Associated Press reviewed hundreds of court and prison records for Capitol riot defendants to find out how many were detained and about 63 held in federal custody awaiting trial or sentencing. Were were Federal officials are still looking for other suspects who could also go behind bars.
At least 30 are jailed in Washington. The rest are locked in facilities across the country. He has said he was being treated unfairly, and a defendant said he was beaten.
Federal officials have identified several of the detainees as leaders, members or associates of the extremist group, including nine defendants linked to the Proud Boys and three with anti-government pledges. Dozens are accused of conspiring to conduct a coordinated attack on the Capitol to prevent Congress from authenticating the 2020 Electoral College vote, one of the most serious charges.
Some of the jailed defendants are accused of assaulting police officers, others of making violent threats. Some were freed after their arrests, but were later detained again on charges of violating the terms of the release.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sets standards for judges to determine whether to send a Capitol riot defendant to prison. The appeals court’s three-judge panel ruled in March that the rioters charged with assaulting officers, breaking down windows, doors and barricades, or playing a leadership role in the attack, “a different …