A right-wing rally is set for noon on Saturday in Washington, D.C., to support the Jan. 6 rioters who stormed the Capitol building, prompting serious security concerns for Capitol Police. The rally is called “Justice For J6.”
The event is being organized by “Look Ahead America,” a non-profit group led by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Braynard. The group is “dedicated to standing up for patriotic Americans who have been forgotten by our government,” according to the group’s website.
The group also lobbies state and local governments “for America First causes” and “ensuring voter integrity by investigating cases of illegal ballots and advocating election reform to prevent them from being cast.”
In an interview with CNN, Baynard said that “this is a completely peaceful protest.”
“We have told people that when they come, we don’t want to see any messaging about the election. We don’t want to see any messaging on t-shirts and flags or signs about candidates or anything like that,” Baynard said.
As of early September, the Justice Department has received 50 guilty pleas from the Jan. 6 insurrection, and has made nearly 600 arrests.
Law enforcement officials are preparing for potential clashes and are taking the upcoming rally “very seriously.”
“I think they should take it very seriously. In fact, they should take it more seriously than they took the same sort of intelligence that they likely saw on Jan. 5,” said Andrew McCabe, a former FBI Deputy Director, told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
The rally has prompted security concerns at Capitol Hill and it remains unclear how many people will attend the rally. The House will be in recess during the event. Temporary fencing will be installed around the Capitol during the rally.
“We want to reassure everyone these are temporary measures to ensure everyone’s safety,” Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in the statement. “We are extremely grateful for the support we continue to receive from the local community and our Congressional stakeholders as we carry out our critical mission.”
“The safety and security of the U.S. Capitol, the Congress, that legislative process, those are top priorities,” Manger told CNN’s Josh Campbell in an interview.
Manger has briefed the top four Congressional leaders about the rally.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she believes the planning is “much better” and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he believes the Capitol Police are “well prepared” for the upcoming rally.