Proud Boys Deny Reports of September 18 Capitol Rally: 'Sounds Like Bait'

The Proud Boys denied reports that far-right extremist groups are planning to attend a rally at the Capitol building in Washington D.C. later this month to demand "justice" for those charged in the January 6 attack.

The Associated Press, citing unnamed sources familiar with intelligence gathered by federal officials, first reported that groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are hoping to return to Washington D.C. on September 18.

The plans, which are repeatedly being discussed on social media sites Gab and Parler, have resulted in the Capitol discussing whether to re-erect a security fence like the one put in place following the deadly riot on January 6.

A "Justice for J6" rally has been organized for September 18 at the Union Square area of the Capitol grounds by Matt Braynard, a former Donald Trump campaign operative, which officials say could be attended by hundreds. Braynard argues those charged in connection with the insurrection were "peaceful protesters" and that they currently political prisoners.

A spokesperson for the Capitol Police confirmed to Newsweek that the alleged planned far-right gatherings and the Justice for J6 event are "one and the same." The spokesperson added they can't comment beyond the previous statement given by Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger stating the department is "planning accordingly" for September 18.

"After January 6, we made Department-wide changes to the way we gather and share intelligence internally and externally," Manger added.

"I am confident the work we are doing now will make sure our officers have what they need to keep everyone safe."

Writing on encrypted messaging service Telegram, the Proud Boys denied the intelligence reports that they are planning to return to D.C. on September 18, questioning why their members would risk further arrests.

"I'm sure they have good intentions but this is goat-f*****g IQ levels," the Proud Boys wrote on their Telegram account, which has more than 32,000 subscribers.

"We aren't going and you shouldn't either because [everybody] going to jail. Sounds like bait.

"If you rally in DC right now, you're an idiot and you're going to get people thrown in jail or worse," the group added.

Facing Serious Charges

Several members of the far-right Oath Keepers, who attended Washington D.C. on January 6 dressed in military style helmets and tactical vests, are facing some of the most serious charges from the Capitol attack after allegedly conspiring to violently block the certification of President Joe Biden's election victory.

A number of leading Proud Boys figures, including Joe Biggs, have also been charged in connection to Capitol attack.

On September 1, Frank Figliuzzi, former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, told MSNBC that his contacts in federal law enforcement are "all over" the reports of extremist groups returning to the Capitol.

"This rally has obtained a permit. The numbers are expected to be large. FBI, DHS, Capitol Police, Washington Metropolitan Police, all making arrangements including some police departments, not allowing any leave calling in all officers for the day," Figliuzzi added.

"Here's what's energized some of the potentially bad or violent actors here. This sense that January 6 was all about patriotism, was all about writing the 'Big Lie' that that the election was stolen. And so they view for example, Ashley Babbitt, the woman who was killed by Capitol Police Lieutenant Byrd, as a martyr for the cause.

"They talk about this incessantly and the notion that everyone imprisoned or charged for their participation to January 6 is somehow a political prisoner."

proud boys september 18
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. The Proud Boys denied that far-right extremist groups are planning to attend a rally at the Capitol building in Washington D.C. on September 18. Brent Stirton/Getty Images