D.C. police are on high alert ahead of a planned September rally in support of imprisoned Jan. 6 riot suspects, but those close to the ringleader of the original rally want nothing to do with it.
Playing on popular pro-Trump talking points, the rally scheduled for Sept. 18, calls for the release of alleged Capitol rioters currently held in a Washington, D.C., jail, whom it characterizes as “political prisoners.” The event has the city’s police planning a “full activation,” with all officers ready to respond.
But despite its popularity with Proud Boys, and its origin with a former Trump campaign official, in the upper ranks of Trumpworld, the event isn’t even on the radar. Of the eight individuals—close associates of the ex-president, as well as former Trump White House officials and 2020 campaign brass—most of them hadn’t even heard of the Sept. 18 rally until The Daily Beast contacted them this week. Almost all of them said they wanted nothing to do with it. “I hadn’t heard [about it],” said a former senior aide on the Trump reelection campaign. “I think Jan. 6 defendants are being massively abused, for sure. But doubt I’d partake in any event.”