Trump helps these accused of the January 6 riots as police put together for the Capitol rally
Former President Donald Trump, who was charged with inciting the Capitol on January 6, condemned Thursday the prosecution of hundreds of his supporters who were part of the mob that invaded the Capitol that day.
Trump’s statement that these people are being “persecuted” came as Washington police were preparing for the Capitol Justice for J6 rally scheduled for Saturday in support of the defendants.
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., DN.J., was quick to blow up Trump’s statement and accused the former president of “trying again to stir up riots and kill people.”
U.S. Capitol Police officers are investigating the area around the Capitol’s reflective pool ahead of an expected rally in support of the Defendants on Saturday in Washington, the United States, Sept. 16, 2021.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
“I have demanded that Trump be arrested and prosecuted for treason on January 6,” wrote Pascrell in a Twitter post. “Nothing has changed.”
In anticipation of the Saturday rally, the fence that had been erected around the Capitol for several weeks after the January 6 riot was reinstalled.
The Capitol Police Board has also issued an emergency statement that allows Capitol Police to represent outside law enforcement officers.
The department said Wednesday it had asked the Pentagon to provide members of the National Guard to respond to the rally if necessary.
A U.S. Capitol Police officer patrols near an overnight security fence erected in a single effort and the U.S. Capitol ahead of an expected rally in support of the Defendants in Washington, DC, United States, Jan. September 2021.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
The Capitol Police did not immediately comment on Trump’s testimony.
In late August, seven Capitol police officers sued Trump, far-right “violent extremist groups” and others, accusing them of direct responsibility for the Capitol invasion.
The Capitol riot began shortly after Trump, speaking at a rally outside the White House, urged the crowd to march to Congress and fight an ongoing joint session there that confirmed the election of Democrat Joe Biden as president.
Former US President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower in Manhattan in New York City on August 15, 2021.
James Devaney | GC images | Getty Images
Trump had falsely claimed since election day that he lost to Biden only because of widespread electoral fraud in a number of swing states, a belief accepted by many Republicans.
Thousands of Trump supporters flooded the Capitol after the rally, some of whom fought with police and entered congressional buildings, including the Senate Chamber, forcing members of Congress to go into hiding.
Four people died that day in connection with the riot, including a woman who was shot and killed by a police officer when she tried to crawl through a window towards the Chamber of the House of Representatives.
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Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died the next day after collapsing hours after being attacked by rioters. Four police officers who responded to the riot have died of suicide since the attack.
The joint session resumed hours after the Capitol was cleared by the mob, and Biden’s victory was confirmed.
Since then, more than 500 people have been arrested and charged with riot-related crimes.
Trump said in his written statement on Thursday: “Our hearts and minds go with the people who are being persecuted so unfairly in connection with the January 6 protests against the rigged presidential election.”
“Alongside everything else, it has conclusively proven that we are a two-tier judicial system. In the end, JUSTICE WILL WIN!” said Trump.
While many of his supporters are charged with the uprising, Trump himself has avoided prosecution.
The House of Representatives charged Trump with inciting the riot before Biden took office. A Senate trial after Trump stepped down – it was his second impeachment trial – ended in his acquittal.
Matt Braynard, the former Trump campaigner who organized the upcoming rally on Saturday, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the rally wasn’t about a specific candidate.
Braynard also urged attendees not to wear or wear any signs or clothing for Trump or Biden.