WASHINGTON — Protesters from a variety of groups and perspectives were in downtown DC Saturday evening near Freedom Plaza and Black Lives Matter Plaza following the Million MAGA March earlier in the day that saw thousands of pro-Trump supporters in the area.
Flag burnings, group clashes and fireworks were among things being seen in downtown DC. Both left-wing and right-wing groups are alleged to have been in Washington.
DC Police said two of its officers have been injured and that its department made 20 arrests.
One man was also stabbed, according to a statement from DC Police. It is not known if they were affiliated with groups in downtown DC.
WUSA9 reporters heard chants from the right-wing group Proud Boys.
There were also reports that the left-wing group Antifa may be in the area, but WUSA9 is still working to confirm all groups that were involved.
The U.S. Park Police said it arrested an additional person for simple assault. The rest of the arrests were by the Metropolitan Police Department.
Preliminarily report for arrests at Saturday's protests before, during and after the pro-Trump protests:
- Four subjects for Firearm Violations.
- Two subjects for Simple Assault
- One subject for No Permit
- One subject for Assault on a Police Officer
- Two subjects for Affray/Disorderly
- One subject arrested for simple assault (This is the one arrest by U.S. Park Police.)
It is not known at this time if anyone arrested is a part of a certain group or not.
Protest groups clash in DC
Scores of President Donald Trump's supporters arrived at Freedom Plaza in downtown D.C. ahead of a planned march to the Supreme Court, backing the president's unfounded claims that the election is being stolen.
President Trump himself circled Freedom Plaza around 10 a.m. in his Secret Service-protected caravan, waving to the crowd from his car.
According to Kylie Jane Kremer, an organizer of one demonstration and executive director of Women for America First, Saturday's demonstrators contest the results of the presidential election, believing votes were improperly counted.
"We the people are not going to allow our legal votes that are cast to be disenfranchised by an illegal ballot," she said.
On Freedom Plaza, a crowd of thousands listened to speakers, often chanting "Stop the Steal."
In an unprecedented statement Thursday, Department of Homeland Security officials responsible for voting integrity nation-wide refuted the president's false claims of voter fraud, calling the election "the most secure in American history."
"There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised," the statement read.
"While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too."
One speaker at the MAGA rally discussed a legally dubious scheme to flip electors to vote for President Donald Trump. State GOP lawmakers in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have all said they would not intervene in the selection of electors, who ultimately cast the votes that secure a candidate's victory.
Such a move would violate state law and a vote of the people, election law experts have noted.
Another speaker repeated a false claim that votes were illegally cast after the polls closed. Our Verify team looked into these claims and found that nothing illegitimate has happened in the counting process.
Election officials in battleground states across the country have widely disputed social media claims of widespread voter fraud.
In Georgia, the state legislature and the governorship are both controlled by Republicans. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger -- also a Republican -- said his office continues to investigate every allegation of voter fraud it receives, but they've found little evidence to support the claims.
"At the end of the day there's just, we don't see widespread voter fraud," he said. "But we will investigate every case we hear."
Arizona's Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich conveyed similar remarks about his state in an appearance on Fox Business Channel.
"If indeed there was some great conspiracy, it apparently didn't work," he said.
Despite that, President Trump's campaign has now filed multiple lawsuits challenging the results of the election.
So far, none appear likely to change the outcome.
The National Parks Service was not able to provide an estimate of the crowd size Saturday. Around 1 p.m., demonstrators began moving from Freedom Plaza to the Supreme Court.
When asked if she would accept the results of the election if the courts rejected Trump's legal challenges, Kremer of Women for America First said yes.
"We respect the rule of law, we play by the rules, we follow the Constitution and if the states do what they should do and uphold the law, then I would have no objection to that," she said. "I don't think any of our supporters would as well."
A counter-protest was also planned, but there have been no reports of clashes or unrest Saturday afternoon.