January 6th organizer claims he overheard Mark Meadows on a call discussing 'plans for a march to the Capitol'

January 6th organizer claims he overheard Mark Meadows on a call discussing 'plans for a march to the Capitol'
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President Donald Trump and his MAGA allies have portrayed the January 6, 2021 march from the Stop the Steal rally to the U.S. Capitol Building as something that wasn’t planned in advance. But in an article published by Rolling Stone on March 20, journalist Hunter Walker reports that according to Trump supporter Scott Johnston, that march, was, in fact, planned well in advance by MAGA Republicans.

“Trump and his allies have tried to minimize his role in calling his supporters to the Capitol and argue he was simply participating in a lawful, peaceful demonstration,” Walker reports. “Scott Johnston, who worked on the team that helped plan the Ellipse rally, says that’s just not so. He claims that leading figures in the Trump Administration and campaign deliberately planned to have crowds converge on the Capitol, where the 2020 election was being certified — and ‘make it look like they went down there on their own.’”

Johnston, according to Walker, “detailed his allegations in a series of conversations with Rolling Stone.”

“Johnston says he overheard Mark Meadows, then-former President Trump’s chief of staff, and Katrina Pierson, Trump’s national campaign spokeswoman, talking with Kylie Kremer, the executive director of Women for America First, about plans for a march to the Capitol,” Walker explains. “Johnston said the conversation was clearly audible to him since it took place on a speakerphone as he drove Kremer between the group’s rallies in the final three days of 2020.”

Johnston told Rolling Stone, “They were very open about how there was going to be a march. Everyone knew there was going to be a march.”

According to Johnston, Trump’s supporters planned to “direct the people down there and make it look like they went down there on their own.”

“In the book where he recounted his time in the White House, Meadows called the January 6 violence ‘the actions of a handful of fanatics across town,” Walker notes. “Johnston’s account suggests there was a deliberate strategy by Trump’s allies to have supporters descend on the Capitol. Such a connection would implicate top White House and campaign officials in drawing crowds to Congress without a permit — a step that could have required added security and may have allowed law enforcement to better prepare for the day’s events.”

Walker adds, “Those crowds overwhelmed the Capitol police and engaged in an hours-long battle with law enforcement. Four people died during the attack.”

The January 6, 2021 insurrection has been the subject of two separate investigations: one by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee, the other by federal prosecutors for the U.S. Department of Justice.

“According to Johnston,” Walker writes, “rally organizers were ‘constantly’ using ‘burner phones’ — cheap, prepaid cells that can be harder to trace because they’re not personally identified with a user or a user’s account — ‘to talk about’ potential permits and plans for a march with Trump aides.”

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