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Saturday rally organizers are trying to rewrite the history of January 6th | Nationwide

Washington (AP) —Washington Protest Architects Planned for Saturday Aimed to rewrite the history of January’s violent assault It’s almost uncommon in the US Capitol.

Records show that Matt Brainard worked as a Republican analyst, processing data from a small election company and later launching a consulting business that attracted a small number of federal clients. He started a non-profit organization after a few months of employment and was fired by Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, but had a hard time raising money. The group’s tax exemption status was revoked last year.

But Brainard’s fate suddenly changed after Trump’s defeat in the 2020 elections. He joined a group of Trump ally victims trying to overturn the election — and in the process he reaped the perceptions, lucrative fees and funding plunges that made it possible to rekindle his nonprofits. rice field.

Currently, Braynard and his group, Look Ahead America, are using his newly discovered platform and resources, January 6 attack intended to prevent Congress from proving Joe Biden’s victory, Change the brand name of those charged as “political prisoners”.

Many lawmakers, including lawmakers who are allied with Brainard’s cause, have closed their mouths as to whether they will participate in Saturday’s protest, but the event puts law enforcement at risk. It led to the strengthening of security measures It also raised concerns that members of the same radical group that existed on January 6 could also attend.

How much his “Justice for J6” rally will be a draw will test the reach and potency of the new far-right movement, as well as Brainard’s own reach.

Brainard in his 40s did not respond to requests for comment on the story. The Associated Press previously refused to accept his condition that his interview be broadcast live.

But court records, election funding disclosures, reviews of posts on social media, and past interviews with journalists he posted online culminate in Saturday’s event, his impact over the past year. Documents his efforts to build power.

“We’ll never cancel this rally,” Brainard told WTOP Radio in Washington. “Even if you’re alone with a megaphone, this is happening.”

The day after the 2020 elections, the seeds of the rally were planted as Trump made false allegations about widespread fraudulent voting. William Barr, Attorney General at the time..

Brainard said on Twitter that he may have been scammed in the election and advertised an online fundraising campaign he created to bear the cost of analyzing voting data in the states where the Trump campaign claimed to win. bottom.

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

“I stood on the sidewalk for an hour while they were fighting inside about whether they would put me in,” he said. “In the end, I was told I couldn’t get in and went home.”

But his online fundraiser is on track.After a crowdfunding site Brainard, who stopped his early efforts by citing misleading information, moved to a conservative and friendly site and quickly received over $ 675,000.

Subsequent reports of an expert accusing him of being “full of errors” and violating the “basic standards of scientific evidence” were accepted by Trump’s allies and later rejected. It served as the basis for the evidence in the proceedings.

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

Since then, Braynard has used the influx of resources to revive Look Ahead America and reapply for tax exemption status that has not yet been approved, according to the IRS database. The group currently lists 11 staff members on its website.

The January 6 attack soon became the organizational principle of Brainard’s efforts.

His first post after creating an account on the conservative social media site Telegram took place days after the attack and was used by the Nazi Party as an excuse to seize power in the Reichstag Fire, the Reichstag Fire. Featured photos of. Brainard’s caption: “The real coup is now being done by Silicon Valley,” referring to widespread complaints by conservatives that they are silent on social media.

Since then he has shared a link to fundraising Ethan Nordian, a member of the Proud Boys radical group charged with the attack. “If you don’t share this post, I don’t want to hear everyone say you’re fighting back against this oppressive government,” he wrote.

Look Ahead America is also the America First Political Action Conference in Orlando, a one-day event hosted by Nicholas, the far-right internet personality who has promoted the belief of white supremacists since his account last February. Tweeted to participate in. ..

However, Brainard has also sought to invade the more mainstream conservatives.

Look Ahead America was a sponsor of this year Conservative Political Activities Council, Usually a rally that attracts Republican presidential candidates. The group drew considerable attention to the large golden statue of “surfer” playing cards with red, white and blue shorts that was part of the booth.

But they also did something to frustrate the conference organizers.

Look ahead America became one of her side after Georgia lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene, who had been repeatedly trafficked in conspiracy theories and supported violence against Democrats, was not recognized at the event. Claimed credibility by “unleashing” her by giving her a speaking slot. event.

At a subsequent CPAC event in Texas in July, Look Ahead America requested a side event speech by Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz as an “official” CPAC event.Gates is a protrump provocateur Federal investigation into allegations of sexual trafficking.He denied cheating..

Brainard said it was “100% lie” because “the room / event was part of the sponsorship package” after the CPAC organizer issued a statement that the Look Ahead America Gates event was not part of the official show. I tweeted.

He was once again in the limelight at the Saturday rally, repeatedly downplaying the possibility of violence there.

Trump did not approve the rally, but issued a statement Thursday claiming that those charged with the January 6 attack were “extremely unfairly persecuted.”

Still, Congressional Republicans seem to keep their distance.

So far, Brainard’s only guest speaker has been his client, who opposes Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. And the permission given to the rally allows no more than 700 people, according to those who have been briefed on the issue but have discussed the details of the secret on condition of anonymity.

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

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, along with Cruz, led a challenge to Biden’s certification on January 6 and dismissed the idea.

“I won’t go,” Hurley said. “I haven’t followed it at all.”

Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican in Wisconsin, expressed sympathy for those charged in connection with the January 6 attack. But Johnson, who said he wouldn’t attend the event on Saturday, provided some advice to those who attended.

“Do not violate any law.”


Washington Associated Press author Mary Claire Jaronic contributed to this report.

Saturday rally organizers are trying to rewrite the history of January 6th | Nationwide

Source link Saturday rally organizers are trying to rewrite the history of January 6th | Nationwide

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