Security fencing and barriers were installed late Wednesday as authorities prepare for the rally, which is in protest of the criminal charges being filed against those who stormed the Capitol on January 6th in an attempt to stop the certification of the presidential election.
U.S. Capitol Police said the National Guard are on standby – a preventative measure and a reassurance after there was a delay in activating the DC guard on the day of the insurrection.
‘The USCP has asked the Department of Defense for the ability to receive National Guard support should the need arise on September 18,’ USCP said in a statement on Wednesday.
Fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol ahead of Saturday’s rally
A U.S. Capitol Police officer patrols the East Plaza of the Capitol after fencing was put up overnight ahead of Saturday’s ‘Justice for J6’ rally
Around 700 people are expected for Saturday’s rally, which is to protest the federal charges against those who stormed the Capitol on January 6
Fencing was originally installed in the days after January 6th and not taken down until July. It is expected to come down imminently after Saturday’s event.
Republicans, meanwhile, are distancing themselves from the rally.
‘They need to take a firm line, buddy,’ Senator Lindsey Graham told the New York Times of security around the event. ‘If anybody gets out of line, they need to whack ’em.’
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said that he did not expect any Republican lawmaker to attend.
Since the rally is on a Saturday, lawmakers will not be in the Capitol. The rally is planned for the Union Square area of the Capitol grounds, the section of the West Front containing the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial and Capitol reflecting pool, and is scheduled to start at noon ET.
Even Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has criticized the treatment of the January 6th rioters, said she would not attend.
Nearly 600 people have been charged so far in connection to the January 6th insurrection.
Former President Donald Trump also has been silent on the matter. He faced a second impeachment trial – and was acquitted – on charges he helped incite the January 6th riot.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said that he did not expect any Republican lawmaker to attend Saturday’s rally
Trump falsely claimed that the election was stolen from him as a result of massive election fraud. And he gave a fiery speech outside the White House on January 6th, shortly before his MAGA supporters stormed Capitol Hill.
The former president will spend Saturday at a golf tournament at his Bedminster, N.J., club, the New York Times reported.
The rally was organize by Matt Braynard, a former Trump campaign operative, who has said Saturday’s event will be peaceful.
‘This is a completely peaceful protest,’ he told CNN, adding ‘we have told people that when they come, we don’t want to see any messaging about the election, we don’t want to see any messaging on T-shirts and flags or signs about candidates or anything like that.’
Roughly 700 people are expected to attend, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Congressional staff walk through a gate to get into the Capitol on Thursday morning
The security fence was installed overnight on Wednesday and is expected to come down after Saturday’s rally
US Capitol Police have asked the National Guard to be on standby for Saturday’s rally
Far right extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are planning to attend. Members of those groups were among those who stormed the Capitol on January 6th and face some of the toughest federal charges as a result.
Intelligence officials told CBS News they are worried about individual fights breaking out or ‘lone wolf’-style violence or individual ‘knuckleheads’ using the gathering to cause trouble.
The FBI is monitoring chatter on social media sites and message boards, including Telegram, Parler and Gab.
The January 6th riot resulted in five dead. Four police officers working that day committed suicide and more than 100 police officers were injured. The rioters did more than $1 million in damage to the Capitol.