'Justice for J6': Fencing around US Capitol to be reinstalled ahead of far-right rally

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
US Capitol security tightened ahead of far-right rally
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Fencing will go back up around Capitol before the "Justice for J6" far-right rally planned for Saturday. Newly-installed surveillance cameras are now in place.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Authorities in Washington are tightening security around the US Capitol, leading up to Saturday's rally there demanding "justice" for hundreds charged in the January 6 attack.

By the time the sun came up on the U.S. Capitol Monday morning, police said they had arrested a 44-year-old man with a machete and a bayonet driving a pickup truck adorned with swastikas. The arrest came five days out from the planned Capitol Hill rally known as "Justice for J6," referring to arrested during last January's violent insurrection.

Donald Craighead of Oceanside, California was driving a pick-up truck when he was arrested. The truck had an American flag for a license plate, Nazi symbols on it, a trashed out front seat and two big blades, both of which police say are illegal in DC.

He was arrested near the Democratic National Committee Headquarters which is among the locations where pipe bombs were found the night before the January 6 mayhem.

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Capitol Police said he told officers that he was "on patrol" and began talking up white supremacy. The arrest unnerved some in law enforcement already on edge, they said, because of online chatter about plans for Saturday's protest.

In front of the Capitol now is special video technology to keep an eye out for people with weapons arriving early to stir up trouble. The fencing that was up after the January 6 insurrection, was taken down, but will be back this week.

"The fence will go up a day or two before and if everything goes well, it'll go down, come down very soon in," said Tom Manger, the Chief of U.S. Capitol Police.

Congressional leaders met with Capitol Police Monday for a security briefing on Saturday's protest.

"They seemed very, very well prepared. Much better prepared than before Jan. 6," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) "I think they're ready for whatever might happen."

Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger -- one of two Republicans now on a committee investigating the January 6 attack - told CBS's Face The Nation he's confident law enforcement will protect the capitol.

"It's important that we, as Republicans, frankly, and as Americans, stand up and say, we shouldn't be at this point where we are truly worried for the seat of government every few months when there is a protest," said Kinzinger.

2 men from Chicago area arrested in US Capitol riots, protests

More than 600 people have already been charged after the January insurrection, including at least 14 from Illinois.

Each week it seems the Justice Department announces guilty pleas by some of those accused in the U.S. Capitol cases.

Last Friday, two men from downstate Illinois becoming the latest to cut deals with the government.

Doug Wangler and Bruce Harrison pled to a federal misdemeanor; facing a maximum six months when sentenced on December 16.