State Watch

Trump supporters show up to DC for election protest

Supporters of President Trump descended on Washington, D.C., on Tuesday ahead of planned protests against Congress’s expected certification of the Electoral College results.

Demonstrators gathered in the nation’s capital ahead of a joint session of Congress on Wednesday to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 electoral win over Trump.

The usually calm, quadrennial affair of certifying the electoral vote has drawn major attention this year as Trump presses GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate to object to the results in several battleground states.

Trump has rallied his supporters with evidence-challenged claims that widespread voter fraud and irregularities cost him a second term in office, and demonstrators Wednesday are expected to rally around the mantra of “Stop the Steal.”

The president is also expected to make an appearance at 11 a.m. Wednesday to rally supporters in person, tweeting that he’s anticipating “BIG CROWDS.”

Permits were approved for Women For America First’s “March for Trump” at the Ellipse on Wednesday, for the Eighty Percent Coalition’s “Rally for Revival” in Freedom Plaza on Tuesday and for The Silent Majority’s protest on the National Mall on Tuesday and Wednesday.

District officials are bracing for potentially violent clashes between Trump’s supporters and counterprotesters, with Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) activating the National Guard to support law enforcement during the demonstrations.

Authorities are eager to avoid the kind of violence that has surrounded other past pro-Trump demonstrations. Members of the Proud Boys, a prominent far-right group, nearly clashed in December with counterprotesters before being cut off by law enforcement. But later in the night, four people were stabbed near a bar known to be frequented by the far-right group.

Members of the Proud Boys are anticipated to attend this week’s rallies “incognito” by splitting into smaller groups and avoiding their typical black and yellow outfits that make them more easily identifiable. The leader of the group, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested ahead of the protests on a destruction of property charge related to demonstrations last month.

Bowser on Sunday urged the city’s residents to avoid protesters “who come to our city seeking confrontation.” 

“I am asking Washingtonians and those who live in the region to stay out of the downtown area on Tuesday and Wednesday and not to engage with demonstrators who come to our city seeking confrontation, and we will do what we must to ensure all who attend remain peaceful,” she said in a statement.

Tags Donald Trump Far-right politics in the United States George Papadopoulos Joe Biden Muriel Bowser Protests in the United States Proud Boys Right-wing populism in the United States Roger Stone Stop the Steal Trump supporters

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