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Politics Organizer of Saturday rally looks to rewrite Jan. 6 history

10:05  17 september  2021
10:05  17 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

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The organizer of Saturday 's rally in support of defendants charged in the Capitol riot has told demonstrators not to wear Trump-themed gear amid warnings the protest could turn violent. Organizer of right-wing protest supporting Jan 6 rioters tells rallygoers not to wear Trump gear to Washington as Capitol Police request backup from DC National Guard to help on the day. Matt Braynard said he expected 700 people to attend Saturday 's rally .

“They’ re rewriting the narrative to make it seem like Jan . 6 was no big deal, and it was a damn big deal, and an attack on our democracy.” Rally organizer Matt Braynard, a former Trump campaign strategist, has been promoting the event and others like it in cities nationwide, focusing attention on what he calls the “prisoners” being unfairly prosecuted for their involvement in the Jan . 6 riot. “I am so proud of all of the brave patriots who participated in these rallies under the same threat to their rights of so many who are being held in prison now for a non-violent expression of their First Amendment rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — The architect of a Washington protest planned for Saturday that aims to rewrite history about the violent January assault on the U.S. Capitol is hardly a household name.

FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2021, file photo, Look Ahead America sponsor Matt Braynard, center, talks to conference attendees at his booth in the merchandise show with a statue of former president Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2021, file photo, Look Ahead America sponsor Matt Braynard, center, talks to conference attendees at his booth in the merchandise show with a statue of former president Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

Matt Braynard worked as an analyst for the Republican Party, crunched data for a small election firm and later started a consulting business that attracted few federal clients, records show. He started a nonprofit after he was dismissed by Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign following several months on the job, but struggled to raise money. The group's tax-exempt status was revoked last year.

Capitol rally seeks to rewrite Jan. 6 by exalting rioters

  Capitol rally seeks to rewrite Jan. 6 by exalting rioters WASHINGTON (AP) — First, some blamed the deadly Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol on left-wing antifa antagonists, a theory quickly debunked. Then came comparisons of the rioters to peaceful protesters or even tourists. Now, allies of former President Donald Trump are calling those charged in the Capitol riot “political prisoners," a stunning effort to revise the narrative of that deadly day. The brazen rhetoric ahead of a rally planned for Saturday at the Capitol is the latest attempt to explain away the horrific assault and obscure what played out for all the world to see: rioters loyal to the then-president storming the building, battling police and trying to stop Co

6 trutherism — they’ re rewriting the narrative to make it seem like Jan . 6 was no big deal, and it was a damn big deal, and an attack on our democracy,” said Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, who studies extremist movements. The anticipated crowd size and the intensity of the Saturday rally are unclear, but law enforcement appears to be taking no chances. Security fencing has been requested around the Capitol and reinforcements are being summoned to back up the Capitol Police, whose leadership was criticized and summarily dismissed for its handling

6 trutherism — they’ re rewriting the narrative to make it seem like Jan . 6 was no big deal, and it was a damn big deal, and an attack on our democracy,” said Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, who studies extremist movements. All told, the attempted whitewashing of the Jan . The anticipated crowd size and the intensity of the Saturday rally are unclear, but law enforcement appears to be taking no chances. Security fencing was approved Monday for areas around the Capitol, and reinforcements are being summoned to back up the Capitol Police, whose leadership

But Braynard's fortunes changed abruptly after Trump’s 2020 election loss. He joined an aggrieved group of Trump allies seeking to overturn the election — and in the process reaped recognition, lucrative fees and a fundraising windfall that enabled him to rekindle his nonprofit.

Now, Braynard and his group, Look Ahead America, are using his newfound platform and resources to present an alternate history of the Jan. 6 attack that was meant to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's victory, rebranding those who were charged as “political prisoners.”

Although many members of Congress, including those who are allied with Braynard’s cause, have been mum on whether they will attend Saturday's protest, the event has put law enforcement on edge, led to stepped-up security measures and created worries that members of the same extremist groups that were present on Jan 6. could also be in attendance.

Security forces under pressure to prevent repeat of Jan. 6

  Security forces under pressure to prevent repeat of Jan. 6 Washington is bracing for Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally where demonstrators will be backing people who invaded the Capitol on Jan. 6 - a scarring memory for many in the Capitol Hill community worried about a potential repeat of that day's terror.Security officials are under intense pressure to ensure nothing like that happens again and prove they've learned from their failures to anticipate the chaos from more than eight months ago when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol while Congress was in session. The tall, imposing fence that was erected around the Capitol grounds the day after Jan.

Rally organizer Matt Braynard, a former Trump campaign operative, 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'. Rally is to protest the federal charges levied against Jan. He gave a fiery speech outside the White House on January 6 th, shortly before his MAGA supporters stormed Capitol Hill. The former president will spend the Saturday of the rally at a golf tournament at his Bedminster, N.J., club, the New York Times reported.

Such rhetoric ahead of a rally planned for Saturday at the Capitol is the latest attempt to explain away what played out for all the world to see when rioters loyal to Trump stormed the building to try to stop Congress from certifying the election for President Joe Biden. Many Republicans who had voted to challenge Biden’s victory have not said if they will attend the rally . Rally organizer and former Trump campaign strategist Matt Braynard says those jailed are being unfairly prosecuted.

How much of a draw his “Justice for J6” rally ends up being will test the reach and potency of the emerging far-right movement, as well as the extent of Braynard's own reach.

Braynard, who is in his 40s, did not respond to a request for comment for this story. The Associated Press earlier declined to accept his condition that an interview of him be broadcast live.

But a review of court records, campaign finance disclosures and social media postings, as well as Braynard's past interviews with journalists that he has posted online, document his efforts to build his influence over the past year, culminating in Saturday’s event.

“At no point will I cancel this rally,” Braynard told WTOP radio in Washington. “This is happening even if I’m there by myself with a megaphone.”

The seeds of the rally were planted the day after the 2020 election as Trump made false claims of widespread voter fraud, which were later rejected by numerous courts, election officials and his own attorney general at the time, William Barr.

DHS warns of potential for violence at rally for suspects in pro-Trump Capitol riot

  DHS warns of potential for violence at rally for suspects in pro-Trump Capitol riot The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning Thursday about the potential for violence at an upcoming right-wing rally in Washington, D.C., this weekend, according to an intelligence briefing obtained by Yahoo News. The document, which was unclassified and marked “For official use only,” was disseminated to federal, state and local law enforcement ahead of the “Justice for J6” rally, which is scheduled to take place on the U.S. Capitol grounds this Saturday.

6 trutherism — they’ re rewriting the narrative to make it seem like Jan . 6 was no big deal, and it was a damn big deal, and an attack on our democracy,” said Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, who studies extremist movements. All told, the attempted whitewashing of the Jan . The anticipated crowd size and the intensity of the Saturday rally are unclear, but law enforcement appears to be taking no chances. Security fencing has been requested around the Capitol and reinforcements are being summoned to back up the Capitol Police, whose leadership was

6 trutherism — they’ re rewriting the narrative to make it seem like Jan . 6 was no big deal, and it was a damn big deal, and an attack on our democracy,” said Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, who studies extremist movements. All told, the attempted whitewashing of the Jan . The anticipated crowd size and the intensity of the Saturday rally are unclear, but law enforcement appears to be taking no chances. Security fencing was approved Monday for areas around the Capitol, and reinforcements are being summoned to back up the Capitol Police, whose leadership

Braynard suggested on Twitter that there could have been fraud in the election, while promoting an online fundraiser he created to defray the cost of analyzing voting data in states where the Trump campaign insisted it was winning.

He told BuzzFeed News in a summer interview that he brought some early findings to the attention of the Trump campaign. The campaign, which had declined to rehire him earlier in the 2020 campaign as a low-level field staffer, initially agreed to hear him out. But after he arrived at campaign headquarters, campaign officials changed their minds, he said.

“I stood on the sidewalk for an hour while they fought inside about whether or not to let me in,” he said. “Ultimately, I was told I would not be let in and I went home.”

His online fundraising, however, took off. After the crowdfunding site GoFundMe.com took down an early effort, citing misleading information, Braynard migrated to an conservative friendly site and quickly took in over $675,000.

A subsequent report he wrote on his findings — which one expert excoriated as “riddled with errors” and violating "basic standards for scientific evidence" — was embraced by Trump's allies and served as an evidentiary cornerstone in numerous court cases that were later dismissed.

Social Media Chatter Around Capitol Rioter Protest Includes Targeting Lawmakers: DHS

  Social Media Chatter Around Capitol Rioter Protest Includes Targeting Lawmakers: DHS Rally organizers said that rally is meant to be a show of support for "political prisoners," referring to people jailed in connection with the riots on Jan. 6.More than 600 people have been charged so far in connection to the January riot and around 60 people are being kept behind bars. The DHS report said that some social media posts mentioned possibly storming the Capitol again on Friday night, while one poster "commented on kidnapping an identified member of Congress." The document did not provide the name of the identified lawmaker, the AP reported.

His participation also earned him at least $230,000 in consulting fees, court records show.


Video: Trump allies try to rewrite Jan. 6 events ahead of rally (Yahoo! News)

Since then, Braynard has used the influx of resources to revive Look Ahead America and reapply for tax-exempt status, which has yet to be approved, according to an IRS database. The group now lists 11 staffers on its website.

The Jan. 6 attack quickly became an organizing principle for Braynard's efforts.

His first post after creating an account on the conservative-friendly social media site Telegram came days after the attack and featured a picture of the 1933 fire at Germany’s parliament building, the Reichstag, which the Nazi party used as a pretext to seize power. Braynard's caption: “The real coup is being conducted by Silicon Valley right now,” a reference to a widespread complaint by conservatives that they are being silenced on social media.

Since then, he's shared a link to a fundraiser for Ethan Nordean, a member of the Proud Boys extremist group, who was charged in the attack. "If you don’t share this post I don’t ever want to hear y’all say you’re fighting back against this oppressive government," he wrote.

Look Ahead America also tweeted from its account last February that the group would be present at the America First Political Action Conference in Orlando, which was a one-day event hosted by Nick Fuentes, a far-right internet personality who has promoted white supremacist beliefs.

Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally

  Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Republicans are keeping their distance from Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally on Capitol Hill without explicitly condemning its support for people accused of crimes related to storming the Capitol on Jan. 6.Despite several far-right House members expressing sympathy for the rioters in recent months and depicting them as "political prisoners," none have said they plan to attend the rally.Former President Trump said Thursday that people accused of crimes related to Jan. 6 were being "persecuted," but notably didn't make any reference to Saturday's event.

But Braynard has also sought to make inroads with more mainstream conservatives.

Look Ahead America was a sponsor at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, a gathering that typically draws Republican presidential contenders. The group garnered considerable attention for a large golden statue of a “surfer” Trump, complete with red, white and blue shorts, that was part of their booth.

But they have also done things to irk organizers of the conference.

After Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has repeatedly trafficked in conspiracy theories and endorsed violence against Democrats, wasn't recognized at the event, Look Ahead America claimed credit for "uncancelling” her by giving her a speaking slot at one of their side events.

At a subsequent CPAC event in Texas in July, Look Ahead America billed a speech at a side event by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz as an “official” CPAC event. Gaetz is a pro-Trump provocateur under federal investigation for sex trafficking allegations; he has denied wrongdoing.

After CPAC organizers released a statement saying Look Ahead America's Gaetz event wasn't part of the official programming, Braynard tweeted that was a “100% Lie” because “the room/event was part of our sponsor package.”

He has once again thrust himself into the spotlight, this time with Saturday's rally, and has repeatedly downplayed the possibility of violence there.

Trump has not endorsed the rally but did release a statement Thursday claiming people charged in the Jan. 6 attack are “being persecuted so unfairly.”

Still, Republicans in Congress appear to be keeping their distance.

So far, the only guest speakers Braynard has announced are clients of his who are running against sitting GOP members of Congress who voted to impeach Trump. And the permit granted for the rally allows it to be no larger than 700 people, according to a person who was briefed on the matter but spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential details.

“I don’t know what it is,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said when asked about the event.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, who along with Cruz led the Jan. 6 objections to Biden’s certification, also dismissed the idea.

“I’m not going,” Hawley said. “I’m not following it at all.”

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, has voiced sympathy for those charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack. But Johnson, who said he would not be attending Saturday's event, offered some advice to those who are.

“Don’t break any laws whatsoever.”

___

Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report.

J6 Rally Organizer Thanks Attendees for Showing Up Despite 'Clowns' Saying Event Was a Trap .
Far-right Facebook groups and extremist forums warned against going, and even Trump called the event a "setup."Matt Braynard, the architect behind the D.C. rally on Saturday, addressed the roughly 500 people who showed up to participate and called those who were skeptical of the event "a bunch of clowns.

usr: 0
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