Representative Eric Swawell has warned that “Republicans are going to come to the Capitol to celebrate cop killers” over a rally planned for September 18 to seek “justice” for individuals who have been charged in connection to the January 6 Capitol riot.
A “Justice for J6” event at the Union Square area of the Capitol grounds has been organized by a nonprofit group led by former Trump campaign operative Matt Braynard to protest charges against January 6 rioters. Braynard has assured authorities that the rally will be peaceful, but D.C. police have expressed fears that it will quickly turn violent.
“This is America, they can peacefully assemble, they can celebrate what they want. But Americans should know that in a couple of weeks, Republicans are going to come to the Capitol to celebrate cop killers,” the California Democrat told host Jim Acosta on CNN Newsroom Saturday.
Swalwell: Americans should know that in a couple weeks, Republicans are going to come to the Capitol to celebrate cop killers pic.twitter.com/6FMQraZo18— Acyn (@Acyn) September 4, 2021
“These unmasked individuals celebrating cop killers, creating more and more [COVID-19] mutations that are threatening our kids will be in Washington D.C. We just have to make sure that if they are ready to get violent that we’re ready again in a better way than on January 6 to defend the Capitol,” Swalwell added.
Braynard insists that many of the individuals who were charged in connection with the January 6 riot “reasonably believed they had permission” to protest in the Capitol building, according to a letter sent to FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and acting Attorney General Robert Wilkinson.
The Proud Boys have denied reports that far-right extremist groups are planning to attend the rally on September 18. Several leading members of the group, including Joe Biggs, have been charged in connection to the Capitol riot.
Discussions about the September 18 event on conservative social media sites, including Gab and Parler, have led authorities to consider re-establishing a security fence similar to the one put in place following the deadly January 6 riot.
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said the department is “planning accordingly” for the event in a statement.
“I am confident the work we are doing now will make sure our officers have what they need to keep everyone safe,” he added.