The Capitol Police name on the Nationwide Guard in readiness for a pro-Trump rally
A U.S. Capitol Police officer patrols the Eastern Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on September 15, 2021.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
The US Capitol Police said Wednesday they have asked the Pentagon to release the National Guard in case they are needed for an upcoming rally in support of the deadly January 6 invasion.
The ministry said in a tweet that at the protest on Saturday it “asked the Ministry of Defense for the possibility of receiving support from the National Guard if necessary”.
The announcement came hours before construction of a fence around the Capitol was due to begin, two sources told NBC News on Wednesday. Installation begins at 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC reported.
The Justice forJ6 rally, organized by a former campaign worker for former President Donald Trump, is expected to attract about 700 people outside the US Capitol, a Homeland Security official said.
On January 6, the Capitol was overrun by Trump supporters who forced a joint session of Congress to go into hiding, temporarily derailing the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s election victory. Capitol police officers defending Congress have since described the mob as intent to stop Biden’s election.
Failure to protect the Capitol from the mob of pro-Trump rioters prompted the USCP’s internal watchdog to demand sweeping changes in the department.
The USCP said in a press release Monday that it was aware of the online chatter related to the rally and that the Capitol Police Department had approved plans to temporarily erect fences around the Capitol. The board also issued a letter of urgency allowing the USCP to represent outside law enforcement officers.
“I urge anyone thinking about causing trouble to stay home. We will enforce the law and not tolerate violence, “Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in this press release.
Rally organizer Matt Braynard told CNBC in an email that “there is no possibility of violence”. [from] our peaceful protest. “
More than 600 people have been charged in connection with the Capitol Invasion, and dozen have pleaded guilty.
Attempts by upcoming rally attendees and some congressmen to label the January 6 rioters “political prisoners” follow other right-wing efforts to downplay the attack. In May, for example, Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., Claimed that January 6th was not a riot but a “normal tourist visit”.
“I think they are much better prepared than before,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said Monday after Manger briefed him and other congressional leaders about the rally.
The rally follows other incidents of individual actors in the past few weeks. On Monday, police arrested a man who allegedly had knives in a pickup truck with swastikas outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee.
Last month, police arrested another man who parked his pickup truck outside the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill and claimed he had a bomb.