McCabe says law enforcement should take upcoming right-wing rally ‘very seriously’
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Monday said law enforcement should take an upcoming right-wing rally, which is being planned to support jailed Jan. 6 rioters, “very seriously.”
“I think they should take it very seriously. In fact, they should take it more seriously than they took the same sort of intelligence that they likely saw on January 5,” McCabe, a CNN contributor, said during an appearance on the network’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
The “Justice for J6” rally — planned by Look Ahead America, a nonprofit founded and led by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Braynard — is scheduled to take place on Sept. 18 in Washington, D.C., in support of rioters who have been charged in connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
McCabe, who served as the FBI’s deputy director from 2016 to 2018 and at one point spent time as acting director, said law enforcement has “a few factors leaning in their favor this time” compared to the Jan. 6 riot, one of which is the president in the White House.
“You don’t have a sitting president actively fanning the flames and trying to get people to attend the rally,” McCabe said, referring to former President Trump and remarks he made before the Jan. 6 attack.
He also said it appears that law enforcement is prepared for the upcoming rally and seems to be taking reports of the event seriously.
“And on the other hand, it looks like, from all indications, our law enforcement partners are well prepared for this one. They seem to be taking the intelligence very seriously, which raises a question as to whether or not they did on Jan. 6, but that’s another issue,” McCabe said.
Law enforcement officials in Washington are now readying themselves for potential unrest at the rally with security concerns rising on Capitol Hill.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department told The Hill on Tuesday that it will be prepared ahead of events scheduled to take place on Sept. 18.
They said the department will monitor and assess event planning, have an increased presence around the city and be prepared to close streets if needed.
“As with all First Amendment demonstrations, MPD will be monitoring and assessing the activities and planning accordingly with our federal law enforcement partners. MPD will have an increased presence around the city where demonstrations will be taking place and will be prepared to make street closures for public safety,” the spokesperson said.
While it is unclear how many people are planning to attend the event, some precautionary measures will be in place, according to CNN.
The rally is scheduled for a Saturday, when the House will still be on recess, so a smaller number of lawmakers and staff will be around compared to the Jan. 6 riot.
More than 600 people have been charged in connection to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, according to a report from Insider last week.
On Sept. 1, the 50th rioter pleaded guilty to crimes in connection to the attack, CNN reported.
–Updated 4:53 p.m.