WASHINGTON — On U.S. Capitol grounds where wounds of January 6 remain unhealed, plans are in motion for a rally to revise the grievous history of the insurrection. Matt Braynard, the head of data for the 2016 Trump campaign, announced the gathering on Steve Bannon’s podcast, issuing a clarion call for his followers to seek justice for January 6 defendants.
“As we continue to raise the profile of these individuals, it makes it harder and harder for the left’s phony narrative about an insurrection to stick,” Braynard said on Bannon’s podcast released July 30.
“What’s going to define [the rally] is where it’s going to take place: we’re going back to the Capitol.”
The gathering is branded as the “#JusticeforJ6 Rally,” planned on Capitol grounds on September 18.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Capitol Police said the department is aware of the proposed rally, but could not provide details of submitted permits or security changes. The National Park Service also said it has not received notice from the group, Look Ahead America, if National Mall grounds will also be included for its proposed protest.
Capitol Police officers said they began to hear discussions within the department about the gathering Friday morning. The developments, and a renewed sense of trepidation, came less than a month after the USCP removed the final section of fencing surrounding the Capitol on July 10.
“Here we go again,” an officer said, describing mixed feelings of hearing the news.
“‘Back the Blue,’ unless of course you believe that the attack on the Capitol was a ‘non violent event’ where Capitol Police egged on protesters,” said Tom O’Connor, a retired 22-year veteran of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington, D.C.
"The conspiracy theories and false narratives continue to grow and draw in many who in the past actually supported police," O'Connor offered. "If you feel the attack on the U.S. Capitol was not an assault on police officers, you can’t with a clear conscience say you 'Back the Blue.'"
In an email to WUSA9, Braynard said the group has a permit and defended the premise of the protest.
"We have almost a hundred people who were nonviolent protestors being held in solitary confinement without medical care, without access to attorneys, without evidence the government plans to use against them, and without the opportunity for bail despite zero criminal history," he said. "All for walking through an open door and then walking out, never laying a finger on anyone or causing any violence."
“Stop the madness. If you broke through the police line, you were part of the problem,” O’Connor countered. “You should be charged, tried and if found guilty go to jail and not pass go.”
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