Former President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE in a Thursday statement offered sympathy for those charged with participating in the Jan. 6 riot, while not mentioning a controversial rally at the Capitol scheduled for Saturday that is backed by supporters of people arrested in connection with the insurrection.
Trump has not linked himself to the "Justice for J6" rally on Saturday, which has precipitated new security measures on Capitol Hill. Fencing has been reimposed around the Capitol as security officials take steps to prevent anything resembling the riot on Jan. 6, when a mob of Trump supporters overwhelmed police and entered the Capitol.
Trump, who was impeached over his actions related to the riot, repeated his false statements about the 2020 presidential election being stolen in his short written statement.
“Our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election,” Trump said. “In addition to everything else, it has proven conclusively that we are a two-tiered system of justice. In the end, however, JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL!”
Organizers of the rally have sought to distance it from Trump in recent days by asking people planning to attend to not wear clothing backing Trump or carry signs supporting him.
“We request that anybody attending our events not wear any clothing or have signs supportive of either President Trump or Biden,” Matt Braynard, one of the organizers and a former Trump campaign staffer, wrote.
“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,” he added.
An official with the Department of Homeland Security said around 700 people are expected to attend the rally on Saturday.
On Jan. 6, many of those who broke through police lines and entered the Capitol, forcing the evacuation of Congress, wore clothing or carried signs showing they were supporters of Trump.
Five deaths were connected to the events of Jan. 6.
No lawmakers are expected to attend Saturday's rally, and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral Mayorkas tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case MORE (R-S.C.) said police should take a "firm line" with those attending the event. He also said that “if anybody gets out of line, they need to whack ‘em.”