Candlelight Vigil Outside of D.C. Jail for Jan. 6 Rioters Draws More Gawkers Than Participants

Candlelight Vigil Outside of D.C. Jail for Jan. 6 Rioters Draws More Gawkers Than Participants 1

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Around a dozen Jan 6 “political prisoner” vigil attendees stepped off a rented motorcoach and assembled outside the D.C. Central Detention Facility late Thursday night to remember Capitol rioters who have since been charged with crimes and placed behind bars.

The ardently pro-Trump activist organization Look Ahead America kicked off the vigil at 6 pm with songs including “Jesus Loves the Little Children” and “God Bless America.”

Orchestrated by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Braynard, the “nationwide Justice for J6 candlelight vigils” were scheduled to take place at nearly 30 towns and cities across the country from Washington State to Florida.

“We are hosting a vigil to commemorate the political persecution of political prisoners,” Braynard told The Daily Beast ahead of what turned out to be an over-hyped event that yielded a tiny turnout. “This is really a citizen movement,” the 2016 Trump staffer added.

“You can murder people and get bailed out,” he continued, arguing that those charged in the Capitol riot should be out on pre-trial release.

Zachary Petrizzo / The Daily Beast

Asked by The Daily Beast if he has a message for Donald Trump, the organizer declined to address the ex-president. “I just have a focus on getting these rallies done and shifting public opinion,” Braynard remarked.

Many random speakers stepped up to the microphone during the event, identified themselves by their first name, and then aired their grievances about the treatment of those charged with crimes, such as alleged Capitol rioter Edward Jacob Lang, who is charged with assaulting a police officer with a bat.

L.A. Warren, a Hastings, Michigan man who attended both the initial Capitol riot and the Thursday evening event, said the “political prisoners” currently being held in D.C. are suffering from a “great injustice” given “the length of time and the lack of charging.” He said he was there to call attention to “the slow process of transparency” and “support these prisoners who have been in here [the D.C. jail] way too long.”

With more journalists and members of the media, including The Daily Show’s Jordan Klepper, in attendence than participants, candles given to protesters over the hour-long event burned low, with some of them burning their hands.

Upon the conclusion of the gathering, Braynard told The Daily Beast the event went “great,” while gloating about the amount of press that showed up.

“Look at this, hundreds of you guys!” he said, while standing next to a security guard there to protect him.

The even also drew a significant police presence. “As long as all are safe, that’s all that counts,” D.C. police Lt. Jason Bagshaw told The Daily Beast, noting there were no incidents from the event.

Candlelight Vigil Outside of D.C. Jail for Jan. 6 Rioters Draws More Gawkers Than Participants 2

Zachary Petrizzo / The Daily Beast

The small crowd came despite Ali Alexander, the Jan 6 “Stop the Steal” organizer, expressing support for the vigil in recent days.

“I always support prayer,” Alexander, who did not not attend the event on Thursday, said on a Telegram call this week with supporters. “I am always in support of prayer, and I think candles are beautiful.”

As for the anniversary of the Capitol riots, the Jan 6. ringleader told The Daily Beast that he “remains sad at the government,” adding that the remembrance events led by House Democrats “seem way too boastful.”

He’s far from the only Trump supporter who’s “sad at the government.” On a daily basis, Steve Bannon’s War Room pandemic podcast breathes life into half-baked ideas about how the 2020 election could be overturned.

“We are continuing to get to the bottom of who truly, legitimately won the 2020 election in states all across the country,” Boris Epshteyn, a frequent War Room Pandemic guest and former assistant to Donald Trump, told The Daily Beast. “The freight train of audits is absolutely continuing to move across the country.”

While bolstering claims made by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Bannon has also got behind the theory that Trump could return to the Oval Office before 2022. “My Supreme Court thing comes out in another week and a half,” the pillow executive told The Daily Beast during a Wednesday interview, insisting a signed version of his legal complaint will be heading to the high court in a matter of days. “The biggest story in the country is going to come out!”

“It’s over!” he insisted, referring to his alleged mounds of evidence, which he continually promises to reveal, that will overturn the presidential election that Joe Biden certifiably won.