WASHINGTON – Organizers of a Saturday rally supporting defendants charged in the Capitol riot Jan. 6 are urging participants not to wear clothing or carry signs supporting former President Donald Trump or President Joe Biden.
Matt Braynard, the former Trump campaign staffer who organized the rally, said participants who supported the political figures would be considered infiltrators.
“We request that anybody attending our events not wear any clothing or have signs supportive of either President Trump or Biden,” Braynard said in a tweet. “Anyone not honoring this request will be assumed to be an infiltrator and we will take your picture, find out who you are, and make you famous.”
His message discouraging political partisanship comes as police and government officials brace for the rally called “Justice for J6,” which seeks to support people charged in the riot.
The Department of Homeland Security has projected 700 people could attend the rally, which would be much smaller than the event in January. But the violence of the previous incident has left police and government officials bracing for another incident.
More than 600 people have been charged in the riot that left five people dead and 140 police officers injured. The riot led to the second House impeachment of Trump, who was acquitted in the Senate.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sent a letter to lawmakers Wednesday saying security officials would be better prepared for Saturday than on Jan. 6.
“The Leadership of the Congress, on a bipartisan and bicameral basis, has been briefed by the Capitol Police Board on the nature of the threat and the unprecedented preparations to address another attempt to defile our national purpose,” Pelosi wrote.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said a fence would go up around the Capitol before the rally and come down “very soon after” if things go well.
A half-dozen Republican House members have held news conferences at the Capitol or the Justice Department calling for due process and fair treatment of detainees facing charges. Several lawmakers have called the detainees “political prisoners” because of their support for Trump.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said July 29 outside the Capitol that there have been reports that “federal facilities were mistreating, abusing people who were arrested on Jan. 6.”
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., said July 27 outside the Justice Department that nearly 200 defendants remained jailed awaiting trial.
“These are political prisoners who are now being persecuted and bearing the pain of unjust suffering,” Gosar said.