National Security

Capitol Police to brief congressional leaders on rally backing Jan. 6 rioters

Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during a press event on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 to discuss President Biden’s Child Tax Credit.
Greg Nash

Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger will brief top congressional leaders next Monday about security preparations for the Sept. 18 rally in support of people jailed for crimes related to attacking the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The briefing will take place in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) office in the Capitol at 11:15 a.m., according to a source familiar with the plan, five days before the “Justice for J6” rally set to take place near the Capitol’s west front.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were all invited by Pelosi to attend. The top four congressional leaders will also be on Capitol Hill on Monday for a ceremony marking 20 years since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Pelosi had said earlier Wednesday at a press conference in the Capitol that there will be briefings with the House Administration Committee as well as with other lawmakers ahead of the Sept. 18 rally.

When asked if the fence that went up following the Jan. 6 attack would return after it was removed this spring, Pelosi replied: “Not necessarily.” But she declined to offer any specifics about security preparations for the Sept. 18 event.

The event’s organizers, as well as some far-right House Republicans, have been referring to people jailed after they were accused of crimes related to storming the Capitol on Jan. 6 as “political prisoners.” Some are also calling for “justice” for Ashli Babbitt, a rioter who was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer as she tried to jump through a broken window leading directly to the House chamber.

The group organizing the event, Look Ahead America, is led by an ex-campaign official for former President Trump.

More than 570 people have been charged with crimes related to the attack on the Capitol that delayed Congress from formally ratifying President Biden’s electoral victory.

The Sept. 18 rally is not expected to draw as many people as on Jan. 6, but law enforcement agencies are making preparations to avoid a repeat of the violence that led to more than 140 police officers being injured. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died a day after engaging with the mob of Trump’s supporters, while four other police officers died of suicide in the weeks after Jan. 6.

Manger has previously said that Capitol Police is “closely monitoring” the Sept. 18 rally and expressed confidence that “the work we are doing now will make sure our officers have what they need to keep everyone safe.”

The Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department will also have an “increased presence” on Sept. 18 and may impose some street closures for the event.

Tags Capitol breach Charles Schumer Donald Trump J6 rally Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi
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