The Department of Homeland Security expects approximately 700 people to attend the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., tomorrow. But former President Donald J. Trump sees it as a negative intended to denigrate Republicans. He called the rally, which organizers say will bring support for the Jan. 6 defendants who breached the Capitol, "a setup" in an exclusive interview with The Federalist.
Former Trump campaign strategy analyst and Justice for J6 Rally organizer Matt Braynard of Look Ahead America says in a promotional video that the rally, scheduled for noon Eastern at the U.S. Capitol, is intended to "raise awareness of this tragedy, of this grave violation of civil rights of hundreds of our fellow Americans.
But Trump sees it differently. "On Saturday, that's a setup," Trump told The Federalist. "If people don't show up they'll say, 'Oh, it's a lack of spirit.' And if people do show up they'll be harassed."
Conservative political strategist Roger Stone agrees. ""This is called agitprop," he said in an appearance on Russia Today, a Russian state-run media outlet, per Newsmax. "I don't know a single person in the MAGA movement who's going. It's a setup."
Republican strategist John Feehery also sees the rally as a negative. "Anytime the attention is on Joe Biden it's good for Republicans, and anytime the attention is on Jan. 6 it's bad for Republicans," he said. "The only hope Democrats have of keeping the House is to make Jan. 6 the issue of the campaign. They know that, and we know that. The only people who don't seem to know that are the activists."
In a recent statement, Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger told of plans to erect fencing around the Capitol ahead of the rally. "We are here to protect everyone's First Amendment right to peacefully protest," he said in a statement. "I urge anyone who is thinking about causing trouble to stay home. We will enforce the law and not tolerate violence."
A DHS memo also warns of potential violence, saying, "We are aware of a small number of recent online threats of violence referencing the planned rally, including online discussions encouraging violence the day before the rally."
The same memo also notes that ""A counter-rally is scheduled to take place on the same day at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, heightening the potential for violence between perceived ideological opponents."
Despite these concerns, Braynard emphasized the planned peaceful nature of the protest, adding that Congressional candidates Mike Collins and Joe Kent both plan to attend:
As with the dozen other events we have already held including the two we previously had in the district of columbia, #JusticeforJ6 is a 100% peaceful event in support of the nonviolent offenders from January 6th who have been charged.— Matt Braynard (@MattBraynard) September 16, 2021
Trump did speak out, however, about the public's concern over the treatment of those involved in the events of Jan. 6. "People are so disgusted with the way people are being treated from the Jan. 6 situation," he said. "It's a combination of that compared to how antifa and BLM were treated. When you compare the treatment, it is so unjust, it is so unfair. It's disgraceful."
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