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Trump donor, Alex Jones played key role in Jan. 6 rally: report

Far-right radio show host Alex Jones and a prominent GOP donor reportedly played a larger role than previously known in the pro-Trump rally held near the White House before the Capitol riot.

Jones was involved in pledging money and getting others to donate money for the Jan. 6 event, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

The Infowars founder originally planned to give $50,000 in seed money to secure a “top speaking slot of his choice,” according to a funding document reported by the newspaper.

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Julie Jenkins Fancelli, the heiress to the Publix Super Markets Inc. chain, reached out to Jones and asked to donate for the Jan. 6 event, organizers told the Journal. Jones reportedly helped Fancelli donate $300,000 through a fundraising official who helped with former President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE’s campaign. 

Fancelli’s donation represented a majority of the funding for the $500,000 rally at the Ellipse, where Trump spoke before chaos erupted later in the day at the Capitol. During the 2020 election cycle, Fancelli donated nearly $1 million to Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party, the Journal noted.

Neither Jones nor Fancelli responded to the newspaper's requests for comment. The Hill has reached out for comment.

A spokesperson for Publix noted to The Hill that Fancelli is not an employee of the supermarket chain and "is neither involved in our business operations, nor does she represent the company in any way."

"The violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was a national tragedy. The deplorable actions that occurred that day do not represent the values, work or opinions of Publix Super Markets," the company said. 

The money Jones put forward ended up going toward another rally on Jan. 5, an organizer told the Journal.

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After Jones helped others donate for the Ellipse event the following day, he appeared at the Capitol with pro-Trump supporters. Jones was seen on camera with a bullhorn telling supporters to be peaceful and trying to get them to go to an area that was permitted for another demonstration, the Journal reported.

That demonstration was organized by Ali Alexander, another far-right activist who pushed election fraud claims along with Jones. Alexander had posted for weeks on social media seeking to rally Trump's supporters ahead of the Electoral College count and made a website that said there would be a demonstration at the Capitol. 

Alexander also worked with Caroline Wren, a fundraising official who helped handle Fancelli’s donation, the Journal reported. Wren reportedly played a key role in organizing the events of the day on Jan. 6, including gathering speakers.

The different pro-Trump rallies and demonstrations took place shortly before a mob of the former president's supporters stormed the Capitol, overwhelming police and forcing lawmakers to evacuate. Congress reconvened hours later to certify President Biden's electoral victory.