White House says law enforcement in ‘heightened state of alert’ ahead of J6 rally
The White House on Tuesday said that federal and local law enforcement agencies are in a “heightened state of alert” ahead of Saturday’s expected rally in Washington, D.C., of supporters of the pro-Trump insurrectionists who attacked the U.S. Capitol in January.
White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One that officials hope the demonstrations will be “peaceful” but federal agencies are prepared to assist U.S. Capitol Police and other agencies if necessary.
“Federal law enforcement agencies and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department are in a heightened state of alert and actively sharing information to ensure appropriate protective measures and operational response plans are in place,” Jean-Pierre said. “The U.S. Capitol Police have a comprehensive security plan which has been briefed to congressional leadership.”
“We hope Saturday remains peaceful. To the extent needed, executive branch law enforcement agencies are postured, prepared, and ready to assist Capitol Police,” she added.
Law enforcement officials have ramped up security measures ahead of the “Justice for J6” rally. For instance, Capitol Police have temporarily installed high-tech security cameras to offer a bigger view of the Capitol complex. The fencing around the U.S. Capitol has also been erected again.
Capitol police were overwhelmed when the huge mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. The attack left multiple people dead and is now the subject of an investigation by a House select committee.
NBC News reported Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security expects about 700 people will attend the Saturday rally in D.C.
Congressional leaders were briefed Monday on the Sept. 18 rally preparations. Jean-Pierre did not say Tuesday whether President Biden has been briefed on plans or threats related to the event.