As the days go on, we learn more and more disturbing details about the day the Capitol was attacked. Over the weekend, the Associated Press revealed that Trump campaign aides and independent contractors were listed on the permit for the “Save America Rally” that turned into a deadly riot. And the Wall Street Journal reported that members of the hate group the Proud Boys, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as “anti-Muslim and misogynistic,” were among those who helped lead the insurrection at the Capitol.
The AP’s Richard Lardner and Michelle R. Smith wrote on Saturday that people paid by the Trump campaign were listed as staff for a group named Women for America First. That group was the host for the “Save America Rally” where Trump and others spoke outside the White House before the mob proceeded to the Capitol.
Among those affiliated with the campaign and on the permit were Caroline Wren, a fundraiser who between March and November was paid $20,000 a month by the Trump campaign; Maggie Mulvaney, niece to former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney whose LinkedIn says she was director of finance operations for the Trump campaign; and Megan Powers, listed as an operation manager for the rally and whose LinkedIn lists her as working as director of operations for the Trump campaign into January of this year.
In a statement to the AP, the Trump campaign said it “did not organize, operate or finance the event.” The campaign also denied that any staff helped organize or operate the rally and that if former employees or contractors were involved, “they did not do so at the direction of the Trump campaign.”
Also this weekend, the Wall Street Journal’s Georgia Wells, Rebecca Ballhaus and Keach Hagey reported disturbing details about the Proud Boys’ role in organizing the Capitol attack using social networks Parler, Telegram and Gab. According to posts reviewed by the Journal, the group interpreted Trump’s remarks in the days leading up to the attack as a mobilizing cry.
A Long Island chapter of the Proud Boys posted to Parler that Trump essentially gave them the “green light” when he said, “be there, will be wild” in a December tweet about the January 6th event. “Everyone who said ‘Mr. President, just say when?’ He just did,” the post read. And just three days ahead of the Capitol attack, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio posted on Telegram, a messaging app, “What if we invade it?”
But Tarrio didn’t get his chance to “invade” anything. He was arrested by D.C. police two days before the rally, and he was “banned” from DC for allegedly burning a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic Black church in December. When he was arrested, he was in possession of high-capacity firearm magazines, according to NBC News.
Alleged members of the Proud Boys are also among those who have been arrested and charged with federal offenses for invading the Capitol. Daniel Goodwyn, a self-proclaimed Proud Boys member, was charged for entering a restricted building with the “intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of government business.” Another alleged member of the Proud Boys, Dominic Pezzola, was arrested for breaking into the Capitol using a police shield. And the founding member of Proud Boys Hawaii, Nicholas Ochs, was recently arrested for unlawful entry into the Capitol.