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Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.

  • Security fencing around the Capitol has been reinstalled and multiple congressional offices have closed.
  • Members of congressional leadership were briefed on security preparations and intelligence this week and expect law enforcement to be far better prepared for Saturday's rally than they were on Jan. 6, when the Capitol was overrun by a violent mob.

The big picture: Capitol Police did not request backup from the National Guard on Jan. 6 until the building had already been breached, a decision that led to intense criticism and the resignation of several agency leaders.

  • National Guard troops will be stationed at the D.C. Armory on Saturday and will only be deployed at the request of Capitol Police in order to protect the Capitol and congressional office buildings, according to a Pentagon spokesperson.
  • "Should the Capitol Police require assistance, they will first utilize local, state and Federal law enforcement capabilities before requesting the deployment of the Physical Security Task Force," the spokesperson said.

What they're saying: "We have a strong plan in place to ensure that it remains peaceful and then if violence does occur, that we can stop it as quickly as possible," Capitol Police chief Tom Manger said during a press briefing late on Friday.

  • Yogananda Pittman, assistant chief of protective and intelligence operations, said that since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Capitol Police have developed their own intelligence operations. "Historically, this department has relied primarily on outside agencies for intelligence information."
  • "Our department has increased staffing today and is fully activated for tomorrow. So, you will notice an increased police presence around the city and this is to ensure everyone's safety and security throughout the district," said D.C. Metropolitan Police chief Robert Contee.

Former President Trump has voiced support for the rally, which is being organized by a nonprofit group led by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Braynard.

  • "Our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest," Trump said in a statement Thursday.
  • Over 600 known defendants currently face charges related to the Jan. 6 insurrection. Rioters committed over 1,000 assaults against police officers, according to prosecutors.

What to watch: The Department of Homeland Security has warned of the potential for more violence at the rally, which right-wing extremist groups like the Proud Boys may attend, but has seen no indications of a specific plot, according to CNN.

Go deeper

Broadway actor accused of joining Oath keepers in Capitol breach

Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

A Broadway actor was charged Tuesday for allegedly joining the Oath Keepers in breaching the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to a Department of Justice statement.

Why it matters: The arrest of James Beeks, who's currently playing Judas in a traveling "Jesus Christ Superstar" production under the stage name James T. Justis and is also a Michael Jackson impersonator, adds "an odd twist in [a] sprawling case" against the far-right group, per Politico, which first reported the news.

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas members of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers

Members of the Proud Boys march in Manhattan on November 20, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The Jan. 6 House select committee issued subpoenas Tuesday for several members of the far-right Proud Boys and Oath Keepers groups, and the chair of an organization that provided security at several rallies leading up to Jan. 6 that amplified false claims of election fraud.

Details: The committee subpoenaed Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the chairman of the Proud Boys at the time of the Capitol Riot, as well as Elmer Stewart Rhodes, the current president of the Oath Keepers.

Ex-Theranos CEO describes alleged abuse by former boyfriend and company exec

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

On her fourth day of trial testimony, ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes described her 10-year romantic relationship with former president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani as controlling, and said he would sometimes "force me to have sex with him when I didn’t want to."

Why it matters: While Balwani has also been similarly charged with fraud, the two are being tried separately, in part because some of Holmes' defense hinges on blaming him.

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