The U.S- Capitol is beefing up defenses around its premises ahead of a Trump rally set to be held on Saturday, September 18 in support of the pro-Trump terrorists who mounted an insurrection there in January.
At least nine people died as a result of the attempted coup d’état, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, four other law enforcement personnel who committed suicide days later and four Trump supporters.
The measures reportedly involve returning the fence surrounding the U.S. Capitol months after former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Congress to overturn election results in his favor.
“The fence will go up a day or two before, and if everything goes well it will come down very soon after,” Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger told reporters.
It was not clear how threatening the rally was assessed to be by lawmakers and police protecting the premises.
“They seemed very, very well prepared — much better prepared than before January 6th. I think they’re ready for whatever might happen,” said Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer.
Taking no chances, Capitol Police and other law enforcement officials are ramping up security measures ahead of Saturday’s rally.
Security officials and congressional leaders appeared to be blindsided by the riot of Jan. 6, when a violent mob of Trump supporters overwhelmed police officers and stormed the Capitol in a failed attempt to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory.
Meanwhile, a 44-year-old California man was arrested this week for carrying a bayonet and a machete just outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters.
A police officer who was on patrol arrested Donald Craighead after pulling over his Dodge Dakota pickup truck that featured a swastika among the white supremacist symbols.
“This is good police work plain and simple,” said Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger. “We applaud the officers’ keen observation and the teamwork that resulted in this arrest.”
Craighead drove a pickup truck with a swastika and other white supremacist symbols and he reportedly spoke about white supremacist ideology and other racist rhetoric when police approached.
According to court records, Craighead faced a number of criminal charges in California, mostly in the San Diego area, dating back to 2015. They include felony reckless evading of a peace officer and felony second-degree robbery.
His criminal record dates back to 1995 in Missoula, Montana, where he has faced charges of forgery and theft, criminal possession of a dangerous drug, and numerous counts of writing bad checks.
“This is an excellent example of the work our officers do every day,” Operational Services Bureau Deputy Chief Jason Bell added. “We are so proud of these officers for their vigilance.”
The police are especially concerned because of the success a mob of Trump supporters had when they stormed the Capitol on January 6th, in an attempt to keep the disgraced former president in power after his loss in the 2020 presidential election to President Joe Biden.
Three Washington, D.C. police officers, Jeffrey Smith, Gunther Hashida and Kyle deFreytag, and Howard Liebengood of the Capitol Police, died by suicide after defending the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, which began after then-President Donald Trump told the mob of his supporters to “fight like hell” to stop a joint session of Congress from confirming the election of President Joe Biden.
“We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said shortly before the violence began.
Although nearly 600 terrorists who participated in the attempted coup d’état are facing criminal charges, many Republicans still insist that Biden’s victory lacks legitimacy.