Before Donald Trump exhorted the Jan. 6 rally to march on the Capitol, the White House had been warned by the rally sponsor that there was no permit for a march, that DC Metro Police were promised there would be no march, and that such an unplanned march was dangerous.
As a result, the Metro police were stunned, undermanned and unprepared for Trump’s surprise launch of thousands of his enraged Trump supporters, some armed, on the Capitol.
“I mean, it was shocking. It’s something we advocated against doing for exactly the reasons that ended up playing themselves out,” said a high-level source inside Women for America First, the organization that held the permit for the rally. They spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity.
Even more damning, the march Trump set in motion was led and promoted by ultra-right, violence-threatening extremist Ali Alexander, head of Stop the Steal. The Palast Investigative Team filmed Alexander, only weeks before the riot, exhorting a crowd:
“Either they take Trump …[or] we’ll light the whole sh*t on fire!”
The White House had been warned about Alexander and his dangerous plan to move on the Capitol. The leaders of Woman for America First sent several frantic, angry text messages to the White House warning that such a march was both illegal and dangerous. “When Ali was putting up things about the Capitol on the sixth, [we were] screen-shotting that, sending it to people both at Parks and at the White House, a couple of times, like ‘WTF’!,” an organizer source said.
One series of texts between the sponsors apparently sent two days before the rally reads, “Did you see that Ali’s website says we are marching at 1.” The reply: “We’ve just had to up our numbers with the NPS [National Park Service] and we can’t say anyone is marching.”
Women for America First founders Amy and Kylie Jane Kremer, who have had a well-reported feud with Alexander and Alex Jones, the far-right radio host with whom Alexander had teamed to lead the march. It is credible that the Kremers would have tried to prevent their sworn enemy from using their rally to launch a march which would leave the group on the hook for violation of their permit.
The permit issued by the U.S. Interior Department, which has jurisdiction over federal parkland, says: “Women for America First will not conduct an organized march from the Ellipse at the conclusion of the rally.”
The Kremers have been feted by the president, and so has Alexander. That gave Alexander access to the front of the rally where Trump would speak. “Ali was running amok in the VIP section–it was disgusting–saying we’re going to go to the Capitol. What the f***! We’re not doing a march to the Capitol! What a terrible idea to try to move that number of people all the way to the Capitol,” the source said.
The insider claims that Woman for America First was quite worried that they had no marshals to keep the crowd in line. “We did advocate against [the march] for all kinds of reasons. So, excuse me, it’s not a big stretch to say when you have a bunch of people heading that way, it’s going to be a problem.”
Trump said he’s walking!
The first news that there would be, despite warnings, an illegal, uncontrolled march was at 12:15 pm when Trump himself surprised the protest organizers with his announcement.
The charge on the Capitol was set in motion when the President announced he himself would join it. “The announcement that he was going to go was news to us,” the insider said. “But then [Trump] said he’s walking! It caught our team by surprise and unprepared.”
Alex Jones stated on his podcast that he and Alexander were called by the White House just before the president’s speech and were told to prepare to lead the crowd on a march. “We had a legitimate deal with the White House,” Jones said in an InfoWars show filmed with Alexander after the riot. “‘Hey Jones and Ali,’ literally, with Alexander, we were supposed to lead a peaceful deal.”
The White House has not denied the duo’s extraordinary claim, a claim consistent with events.
Alexander has been filmed cavorting with the white power group Proud Boys and yucking it up with a Nazi displaying a giant swastika flag in an online forum. Alexander has had a well-known fan in Trump who, more than once, reportedly referenced with approval Alexander’s uncanny resemblance to the late entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.
Washington DC’s anti-Covid laws required a complex separation of the crowd into groups of no more than 50 which would have been impossible to maintain.
Attorney James Lafferty has spent decades defending protests. Reached in Los Angeles, he said if Trump had launched the march knowing it was unplanned, dangerous and led to this mayhem, that would make Trump culpable of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” that is, grounds for impeachment. Trump was impeached on Wednesday by the House of Representatives for “inciting” an “insurrection.”
“It doesn’t matter that he didn’t call for or know the details of the damage that would follow,” according to Lafferty who hosts a radio show on legal rights. “He is guilty of the consequences.” The Senate will presumably examine this issue when it tries Trump.
GOP Teams up with DC Provocateur Alexander
As Palast Investigations reported on Jan. 8, the team’s Zach D. Roberts had discovered that both the Republican Party of Georgia and the National Republican Senate Committee had sponsored Alexander to lead the GOP’s get-out-the-vote operation in suburban Atlanta in Jan. 5’s run-off for two U.S. Senate seats.
The Republican state and national officials sponsored the event promoting Alexander while he was calling for an illegal march — and weeks after our reports of Alexander’s violence-threatening screed.
The GOP officials who sponsored Alexander have not returned calls to explain their reason for teaming up with the Alt-right provocateur.
Alexander is, as of this writing, in hiding.
Greg Palast (Rolling Stone, Guardian, BBC) is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits and the book and documentary,
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
His latest film is Vigilante: Georgia's Vote Suppression Hitman
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