As the clock ticks down on Republicans’ last-ditch effort to overturn the presidential election results during a congressional meeting on January 6, President Donald Trump offered up new details about a same-day rally for supporters that has D.C. authorities prepping with measures similar to those ahead of pro-Trump protests in December that led to four stabbings and 33 arrests.
Though Trump hasn’t yet provided details on the specific location, the National Park Service has so far received three permit applications to protest the election results on Wednesday, with more than 15,000 attendees expected, USA Today reported.
On Thursday, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department said there will be multiple street closures across the city on Tuesday and Wednesday for “public safety,” with potential intermittent closures in the downtown area.Â
Meanwhile, the city’s incoming police chief, Robert J. Contee IIIâ€“who’s slated to start the role Saturdayâ€“told the Washington Post that his department is planning to “facilitate peaceful protests,” but that â€œviolence will not be tolerated.â€
The Eighty Percent Coalition, a newly created group whose name refers to the estimated percentage of Republican voters who do not trust the 2020 election results, has requested a permit with the largest expected gathering of up to 10,000 people at Freedom Plaza in northwest D.C.
Other planned protests include one of some 5,000 attendees planned by a conservative women’s group and two smaller ralliesâ€“one named the “Wild Protest” on the Capitol lawn’s northeast quadrant and a separate march from the National Mall to the Capitol led by a former Republican Congressional candidate from South Carolina, the Washington Post reported.
“While we do not discuss the means, methods, or specific resources used to carry out our protective responsibilities, the United States Capitol Police has comprehensive security plans in place and we continuously monitor and assess new and emerging threats, with the overall goal of keeping those within the Capitol Complex safe and secure,” the US Capitol Police told USA Today on Thursday.
The last time D.C.’s police department closed streets in connection with a Trump rally was in early December, when thousands of Trump supporters gathered to protest election results they viewed as fraudulent. Ultimately, D.C. police arrested 33 people for charges spanning simple assault, inciting violence, possession of prohibited weapons and resisting arrest. According to local outlet WTOP, four people were stabbed and four downtown churches were vandalized during the protests.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has said he’ll lead an effort to object during the congressional meeting on Wednesday to officially validate the election results. “I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort of mega corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election,” Hawley said Friday. LPL Financial Chief Investment Officer Burt White warned in a recent note to clients that any uncertainty resulting from the January 6 meeting “would almost certainly create a legally contested election… that threatens lasting damage to the economy or corporate America,” but even high-ranking Senate Republican John Thune (R-S.D.) said such an attempt to contest the election “would go down like a shot dog” in the Senate.