‘Organized’ March to Capitol Was Not Permitted, Rally Organizers Warned White House

The organizers of the Trump rally on Jan. 6 had no permit for a march to the Capitol and tried to warn the White House that it would be illegal, reports Greg Palast for Consortium News.

Insider: White House Warned March was Illegal;

Trump’s Call to March Broke Promise to Park Police

Trump rally on Jan. 6. (Dannielle Blumenthal/Flickr)

By Greg Palast
Special to Consortium News

Before Donald Trump exhorted the Jan. 6 rally to march on the Capitol, the White House had been warned by the rally sponsor that there was no permit for a march, that the Interior Department’s Park Police were promised there would be no march, and that such an unplanned march was dangerous.  

As a result, the police were stunned, undermanned and unprepared for Trump’s surprise launch of thousands of his enraged Trump supporters, some armed, on the Capitol.

“I mean, it was shocking. It’s something we advocated against doing for exactly the reasons that ended up playing themselves out,” said a high-level source inside Women for America First, the organization that held the Interior Department permit for the rally. They spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity.

Even more damning, the march Trump set in motion was led and promoted by ultra-right, violence-threatening extremist Ali Alexander, head of Stop the Steal. The Palast Investigative Team filmed Alexander, only weeks before the riot, exhorting a crowd:

“Either they take Trump …[or] we’ll light the whole shit on fire!”

Film by Zach D. Roberts

The White House had been warned about Alexander and his dangerous plan to move on the Capitol. The leaders of Woman for America First sent several frantic, angry text messages to the White House warning that such a march was both illegal and dangerous. “When Ali was putting up things about the Capitol on the sixth, [we were] screen-shotting that, sending it to people both at Parks and at the White House, a couple of times, like ‘WTF’!,”a organizer source said.

One series of texts between the sponsors apparently sent two days before the rally reads, “Did you see that Ali’s website says we are marching at 1.” The reply: “We’ve just had to up our numbers with the NPS [National Park Service] and we can’t say anyone is marching.”

It is impossible to confirm the authenticity of the texts, which could be self-serving creations after the fact. However, Women for America First founders Amy and Kylie Jane Kremer, who have had a well-reported feud with Alexander and Alex Jones, the far-right radio host with whom Alexander had teamed to lead the march.

U.S. Interior Department permit for the rally. Click to enlarge.  (NBC DC affiliate) 

It is credible that the Kremers would have tried to prevent their sworn enemy from using their rally to launch a march which would leave the group on the hook for violation of their permit.

The permit issued by the U.S. Interior Department, which has jurisdiction over federal parkland, says: “Women for America First will not conduct an organized march from the Ellipse at the conclusion of the rally.”  It adds, “Some participants may leave to attend rallies at the United States Capitol to hear results of Congressional certification of the Electoral College count.”  But an “organized march” was not allowed. 

The DC Metropolitan police told Consortium News that to learn if it granted a permit for a march on Washington’s streets it would have to file a FOIA request. 

The Kremers have been feted by the president, and so has Alexander. That gave Alexander access to the front of the rally where Trump would speak.

“Ali was running amok in the VIP section–it was disgusting–saying we’re going to go to the Capitol. What the f***! We’re not doing a March to the Capitol! What a terrible idea to try to move that number of people all the way to the Capitol,” the source said.

The insider claims that Woman for America First was quite worried that they had no marshals to keep the crowd in line. “We did advocate against [the march] for all kinds of reasons. So, excuse me, it’s not a big stretch to say when you have a bunch of people heading that way, it’s going to be a problem.”

The first news that there would be, despite warnings, an illegal, uncontrolled march was at 12:15 pm when Trump himself surprised the protest organizers with his announcement. “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” Trump said.

The march on the Capitol was set in motion when the President announced he himself would join it. “The announcement that he was going to go was news to us,” the insider said. “But then [Trump] said he’s walking! It caught our team by surprise and unprepared.”

Jones Claim

Alex Jones in 2013. (Sean P. Anderson/Wikimedia Commons)

Alex Jones stated on his podcast that he and Alexander were called by the White House just before the president’s speech and were told to prepare to lead the crowd on a march.

“We had a legitimate deal with the White House,” Jones said in an InfoWars show filmed with Alexander after the riot. “‘Hey Jones and Ali,’ literally, with Alexander, we were supposed to lead a peaceful deal.”

The White House has not denied the duo’s extraordinary claim, a claim consistent with events.

Alexander has been filmed cavorting with the white power group Proud Boys and yucking it up with a Nazi displaying a giant swastika flag in an online forum. Alexander has had a well-known fan in Trump who, more than once, reportedly referenced with approval Alexander’s uncanny resemblance to the late entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.

Washington DC’s anti-Covid laws required a complex separation of the crowd into groups of no more than 50 which would have been impossible to maintain.

Attorney James Lafferty has spent decades defending protests. Reached in Los Angeles, he said if Trump had launched the march knowing it was unplanned, dangerous and led to this mayhem, that would make Trump culpable of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” that is, grounds for impeachment. Trump was impeached on Wednesday by the House of Representatives for “inciting” an “insurrection.”

“It doesn’t matter that he didn’t call for or know the details of the damage that would follow,” according to Lafferty who hosts a radio show on legal rights. “He is guilty of the consequences.” The Senate will presumably examine this issue when it tries Trump. 

GOP Teams With DC Provocateur Alexander

As Palast Investigations reported on Jan. 8, the team’s Zach D. Roberts had discovered that both the Republican Party of Georgia and the National Republican Senate Committee had sponsored Alexander to lead the GOP’s get-out-the-vote operation in suburban Atlanta in Jan. 5’s run-off for two U.S. Senate seats.

The Republican state and national officials sponsored the event promoting Alexander while he was calling for an illegal march — and weeks after our reports of Alexander’s violence-threatening screed.

The GOP officials who sponsored Alexander have not returned calls to explain their reason for teaming with the Alt-right provocateur. Neither the Kremers nor Alexander have responded to direct requests to speak. Alexander is, as of this writing, reportedly in hiding.

Investigative reporter Greg Palast and photojournalist Zach D. Roberts have covered the issues of vote suppression and right wing violence for two decades in reports for Rolling Stone, The Guardian and Democracy Now!  

CORRECTION: The Interior Department granted the rally permit, not the Washington Metropolitan Police as was reported in an earlier version of this article.


18 comments for “‘Organized’ March to Capitol Was Not Permitted, Rally Organizers Warned White House

  1. January 16, 2021 at 10:27

    Placing all negative partisan hyperactivity aside, surely all Americans can agree each of the men and women who put their bodies in the way and prevented potential further violence are very well-deserving of being awarded America’s highest recognition: The Medal of Honor.


  2. January 16, 2021 at 06:16

    Following is my comment, which was attached to your YouTube plug for this article. Shame on Greg Palast. I always trusted him until now. He knows the above story is FAKE NEWS and, if he doesn’t, he’s not really an investigative reporter. There’s plenty of video evidence out there Greg. Why did you just happen to fail to do your job on this story?


    Ali Alexander is a phony who has managed to work his way into MAGA Circles. He is an intel asset and everything he has ever done to “assist” MAGA Organizations created disharmony and violence. The MAGA Movement has always been about non-violence and support for the military and law enforcement. Ali’s appearances are always well arranged so that he is perfectly framed by fake news cameras as he calls for violence. Hence, we see him very clearly saying “We’re going to burn this shit down”.

    In the case of the first big spontaneous Trump Rally, in DC, following the election, the term #Stopthesteal.org was used by the female organizers of a bus tour across the US. Ali then obtained the same domain name with a different address, #stopthesteal.us” and even copy/pasted some of their original artwork. Before people had been alerted, Ali managed to scam at least $30K from decent people before the scam was exposed. He then showed up and led a counter rally that incited violence at the Capitol Building. He was unsuccessful on that day, because no one from the Trump Movement would go with him.

    Then, in Georgia, he managed to show up on a stage behind Attorneys, L. Lin Wood and Sidney Powell. After they spoke and left the peaceful rally, most of the people went home. Still, Ali incited violence among a group of trained false flag intel assets and managed to damage the reputations of Wood and Powell, who did not know him. They have since been advised regarding his role playing, as has the President who was once seen in a photo op with Ali, who is known as “Scammy Davis” around Maga Circles because of his resemblance to former “Rat Pack” Member, Sammy Davis, Jr.

    On January 6th, Ali again teamed up with Alex Jones, who is also an asset of the Deep State, but he apparently ripped Jones off and Jones has since denounced him. Jones has spoken about this in detail, but one never knows with Jones, since he’s a compromised asset and will work for either side to avoid exposure. That’s how these people operate, through blackmail. I’m no fan of Alex Jones, but I have NEVER heard him advocate violence and he doesn’t actually advocate violence in the video.

    I always loved Greg Palast, but either he is missing the story on this one or he is yet another disinformation asset, who will be exposed in the near future. That would be a shame, but we are finding that out about a lot of people that were once trusted. Ali and Jones are just players in a much bigger game, which will be exposed to the world, beginning this week.

    Note to Greg: This story makes you and Consortium News look foolish. Perhaps you should go to Toresays or ToreSaysNews on YouTube and find about Ali from an asset that came in from the cold. Her shows are long, but you’re an investigative reporter. Take the time to listen to a few of her shows before you start “exposing” Ali as a MAGA Supporter.

    Note to the Reader: I supported Bernie Sanders in 2016, with my money and my primary vote. I held my nose and voted for Trump rather than vote for a WAR CRIMINAL who had stolen the nomination. As a former Federal Manager, who fought my Agency for eight years, lost everything and even started a union as my departure gift, I come from the “left”. However, this term is no longer valid, since the Deep State has people working both sides of a phony left/right paradigm.

    Finally, I’m not an investigative reporter, but I know how to do research beyond the staged mainstream footage, which Mr. Palast conveniently used for this story. Moreover, there’s a lot of footage out there and more will be released this week, since there were undercover military assets among the vandals who recorded their activities. Some of it is already in the MSM Greg. How did you miss it?

    The bigger story, which is also being missed, is this: Trump and company have just pulled off the greatest sting in history and we will all have a front row seat on January 20, so get your popcorn and tune in. In fact, arrests have already been made and many more are coming. Ali may already have been arrested, but we won’t know for a while.

  3. Neil Youngson
    January 16, 2021 at 03:07

    Am I the only one who thinks this riot was allowed to happen? For weeks Trump had been telling his base the election was stolen. Everyone was talking about what Trump might do to try to hold on to power.

    The NSA surveils everyone. The FBI infiltrates all extremist groups. Are you seriously trying to tell me the capitol was taken by surprise? FFS it was all over Twitter!

    This was allowed to happen. This was allowed to happen!!

    Why? Because 2020 was the year that people took to the streets again. Not since Nixon’s time have we seen so many people take to the streets. Back then it was anti-Vietnam war protesters and civil rights protesters. Nixon launched the “war on drugs” as a way to control those groups.

    The one thing the estabishment fears the most is the people taking to the streets… and building guillotines (ask the French).

    They allowed it to happen so they can pass The Patriot Act 2.0. Biden is already talking about new powers for the state and police to tackle the threat of “domestic terrorism”.

    The people have good reason to uprise. Financial inequality not seen in 100 years, jobs not coming back, massive personal debt, lack of healthcare during a pandemic, etc., etc. Meanwhile the elites massively expand their wealth.

    It’s a class struggle. Don’t fall into the trap of blaming Trump, the whole establishment is your enemy.

  4. January 15, 2021 at 21:46

    I love most of what you publish, but any excuse for DC not being prepared for this march is preposterous. They new it was being planned even without a permit. They saw the people arriving…. and they did not bother to prepare despite all the issues Palast lists above. Trump must be accountable, but Congress and the rest of the government must share the blame. Every large peace march I have attended in Washington (since 1969) has moved down cordoned off routes with police in riot gear looking like armed aliens or perhaps beetles in their armor surrounding the capital. So there is no excuse for their not responding to this event appropriately. Apparently there were such severe threats on social media that the tech giants felt compelled to actually take down Parler, one of the sites where the protesters congregated. But they knew about this in advance, and far more planning went on in google and facebook groups. So, Trump was out of line, but the rest of the DC establishment made a decision to take advantage of this moment of excess rather than contain it. They are all culpable – the apparently innocent infrastructure of law and order made a decision to scare the American people out of their wits – and while the democrats sit around freaking over Trump – who will leave office in a week – who is writing the bill to rescue the American people from a complete economic meltdown. Who is minding the affairs of state. Who is addressing the real problems that have incited riots on both the left and right by desperate people? Not congress. And the blogosphere is drowning in Trump Trump Trump Trump …. Trump Trump Trump Trump … well, you get it.

  5. Charles Cox
    January 15, 2021 at 18:54

    Although there is good research in this article, I find it impossible to determine, at this point, the actors involved. The “protest” and its aftermath have all the hallmarks of a planned psyops provocation that would and has justified the calling for an increased security state that will further erode free speech and demonize, then prosecute anyone who disagrees with the corporate fascist neoliberal elites who control the deep state and its propaganda arm-the legacy media (MSM) and now the censorship of monopoly social media, with the control of reality and history determined corporate controlled searches online of selective if not altered “facts”. This is true of all search engines as well as wikipedia.

  6. John Drake
    January 15, 2021 at 16:50

    Now we have some good deep coverage on the background of this event. No it was not a coup, because it was not successful; but many of the participants flagrantly stated they wanted to stop and reverse the democratic process and keep Trump in power. So it most certainly was an attempted one. This is historic and is beginning to smell like, “The Civil War the Sequel”. Trump himself repeated “stop the steal”, many times after he had already lost the electoral college vote, certainly implicating himself

    Greg has been the one reporter to most extensively document and fight the dirty tricks of voter disenfranchisement(targets: Black and Latinx voters). Numerous officials of the Republican party including the present governor of Georgia have been behind this; which has been going on for years. I recommend his website to keep up with such nefarious activities. He also has a book and movie; ” The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” covering this. The title, by the way, is a excellent, general description of US politics in six words.

  7. Charles Vick
    January 15, 2021 at 16:42

    Unite and let the Revolution begin

  8. Jhoblho
    January 15, 2021 at 15:00

    Only Paul Jay has suggested that Trump walked into a trap set by McConnel, Pence and Graham, but Dems are profiting as well. I don’t care if Trump fragrantly told the crowd to burn the capitol down, there should have been a police response other than selfies. I don’t believe that Trump was responsible for the severe lack of a police presence and until we know who was responsible for that (you can bet we will never be told) we cannot hold those responsible for the events of that day. Trump was an instigator but not the ultimate cause of what happened.

  9. Jonny James
    January 15, 2021 at 13:39

    Equal application of the law? Please!

    The “rule of law” is something of a joke in this country. War criminals are lavished with praise and perks, rewarded with contracts and cushy jobs. For just one example: Henry K is still alive, never prosecuted – he holds a Nobel Peace Prize for cryin out loud.

    Bush Jr., Cheney and the gang were never prosecuted for the many high crimes they committed, let alone the war crimes resulting in the destruction of entire countries and the deaths of over a million innocent people.

    Obama and HRC were never held accountable for war crimes and other illegal activities either.

    The largest financial crimes in US history were not even investigated, let alone prosecuted. Instead the banksters were (and still are) REWARDED with trillions in public funds and Fed Reserve “quantitative easing”. However, millions lost their homes due to fraud, but that’s perfectly fine. The Banksters are Above The Law.

    Police can murder black, brown and poor white folks with impunity. As servants to the ruling class, police are given special privileges

    The equal application of the law is simply not possible in our current system.

    Sorry to be so skeptical, but Trump will likely never be held accountable.

    • January 16, 2021 at 21:39

      I am in total agreement with you.
      I also believe Trump had flagrant delicato information about many politicians on the Hill from Epstein and Maxwell who are mysteriously absent from MSM.
      The Empire of Shite is in its Death Knell.
      The market will continue its rise post COVID-19 with history repeating itself and mirroring the roaring twenties of 100 years ago.
      Rome is in ashes.

  10. January 15, 2021 at 12:32

    An excellent report.

    It explains why the police were unprepared which seemed clear to me.

    It confirms my view of chaos with the crowd and no central purpose other than to display their unhappiness with events, with individual exceptions of course.

    And it confirms the absolute lunatic recklessness of Trump.

    Recklessness we have seen displayed many times from tearing up nuclear treaties and giving away the property of others to the criminal abuse of Iran and China.

    By the way, just a footnote, a recent study demonstrated that Trump’s insane efforts with China actually cost the US 245,000 jobs at one point. And yet his naive followers think he was working for their good.

  11. JoSixPack
    January 15, 2021 at 09:02

    So it was dangerous because they did not get a permit? Is a permit required to hold a protest? Did the Black Lives Matters protests have permits?

    See how that works. A lack of a permit does not make a protest dangerous.

    It’s also disingenuous to say this protest was not known about to the police or law enforcement.

    According to the ACLU,

    “What if others react violently to a protest?

    A speaker at a protest is not legally responsible for the presence of angry listeners, and their hostile actions do not make the speaker’s speech illegal. ”


    Some parting words from John Pilger:

    “The hysteria in the US about a coup that was not a coup, an “assault on democracy” that was no such thing, is due to a cartoonish insularity that distracts from an unending pre-Trump imperial assault on the rest of humanity, such as stricken Yemen.”


    There are real stories of bad things Trump has done. This is not one of them.

  12. John R
    January 15, 2021 at 08:38

    They lacked a permit ? I look at the Trump directive to proceed to the Capital and fight like hell as their “unofficial permit.”

    • Mark Walker
      January 15, 2021 at 11:33

      So, no permit then.
      Nixon tried this, “It’s legal if the President does it.” Didn’t work for him or for Reagan.
      The “Rule of Law”, “Law and Order” guy is on opposite day 24x7x365.

  13. Sally Snyder
    January 15, 2021 at 08:25

    Here is an interesting look at how Americans view Donald Trump’s links to the events on Capitol Hill:

    see: viableopposition.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-americans-perceive-events-on.html

    As is becoming typical of the United States, the events of last week are viewed completely differently by each side of the massive political divide.

  14. michae888
    January 15, 2021 at 06:34

    Sounds much like when Democrats took Green parties off of ballots because of a change of address of one of the candidates while collecting needed petition signatures (technicalities; legal but unethical disenfranchisement).
    The First Amendment says Congress shall make no law abridging the right of Americans “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”. (Even Mexico “allowed” protests, grudgingly, when AMLO’s supporters flooded the streets after his first two losses.) What percent of the George Floyd protests had permits? 93% of those protests– involving 10 million+ people– were peaceful (yet 78% of the arrests were not for violent crimes). The George Floyd protesters destroyed national monuments and statures, a precedent, and did much more damage generally (yet not one unarmed protester was shot to death by Police during these protests).
    I’m a life-long Democrat, but am appalled at the partisan CONTROL coming about through the unholy alliance of the DNC, CIA, MSM and social media. I grew up in another world where Freedom of Speech, dissent (often spirited, occasionally violent) and diversity of views were valued. I remember when the CIA was not allowed to operate within the US, and all Intelligence agencies were apolitical (at least for the Democrats and Republicans, who share essentially the same corrupt values though they claim to detest each other). Now the CIA demands other Five Eyes agencies do their dirty work within the US, and all Intelligence Agencies have fought Trump (hate him or not) spying on him constantly and undermining his campaign, somehow legally? The “modernization” of Smith Mundt removed anti-propaganda restrictions, and it is clear that on any important issue, an Official Narrative is handed down to MSM and enforced through social media as well (and it’s not just political; many of us retired scientists, physicians and veterinarians were aghast at obvious mistakes(?) made with Covid-19, calling for glucocorticoids and vitamin D3 and other things IN JANUARY, FEBRUARY and MARCH, which would have saved lives (first peak death rate April 21st) but almost all dissenting views from the WHO and Fauci and the CDC were taken down from social media and comments sections as “MISINFORMATION”. Some of us were even barred from sites briefly; Fauci is an AIDS expert, but knew nothing in January about Covid-19 and the Public Health measures which worked so well in Asia against the virus.) As with the CIA, now LEGALLY controlling Narratives, censorship is not allowed by the Government, BUT they can tell MSM who can tell social media who to censor. As SCOTUS has ruled repeatedly: “HATE SPEECH IS FREE SPEECH!” U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein doesn’t think so, as a federal judge she has violated the First Amendment by refusing to allow Parler to serve as a free speech publisher with no moderation (censoring them). I have never been on that site and am sure it is hateful, but it doesn’t bother me, since they are not a publisher, just a free speech platform. With the DNC/ CIA/ MSM/ social media chain making censoring “legal”, maybe it will soon be legal to kill people you disagree with (your wife?) provided similar chains of corrupt actors can be established. The US already does this abroad.

    • Anne
      January 16, 2021 at 11:40

      I agree with much you have written…and I support neither Face of the Janus Party… Either you have free speech or you don’t. Either you have the right to protest or you don’t. (I seem to recall not too many months ago that the MSM were cheering on the Hong Kong rioters no matter what they did, violent or not, including their closing down of the island’s airport for a day while beating up at least one journalist…but hey what’s good for the goose apparently is not for the gander.)

      And I too recall protests that were hardly peaceful – protests in good causes that produced rioting, destruction of buildings and looting…and what of 1968?

      Moreover didn’t one Lolita LeBron, a Puerto Rican nationalist and anti-colonialist, and a handful of her compatriots enter the US Capitol and once in Congress, the pubic gallery (the House, I think), and proceed to shoot the members – five sustained injuries…

      To pretend that nothing kindred to last week has happened in the US Capitol since 1812 is to lie egregiously…yes the Puerto Rican nationalists (too few) did not ransack the building…but there was an intent to maim if not kill…

      And the news regarding the one woman shot is totally absent (at least on NPR)…she was ex military…who shot her?

      Given that not a few of the people were ex military or the adult offspring of ex-mil – what can be expected? You train people to kill others, especially others who do not look like you, live differently, have a different culture and that training induces a totally compunctionless attitude toward destruction, devastation of others and their homes, livelihoods and so on…when they come back home, why would they suddenly become humane again? Suddenly regain empathy, sympathy? You’ve destroyed it within them to achieve your political, economic, imperialist ends…

      This is the result: Chickens home to roost…

  15. Luchorpan
    January 14, 2021 at 23:12

    If Trump and Alexander are punished for this, then apply the law equally and punish the huge number of anti-Trump, BLM, and antifa marches and protests. The law cannot be selective. The impression people have is BLM, Antifa, and really any violent group useful to the powers-that-be are given a free pass, that the law does not apply to them.

    If big business, big government, big media, and the Democratic Party continue to unite in violence against their enemies, productive people are just going to leave the US. Whether you call it fascism or communism, it is wrong. And it is quite shocking how many on the Left defend the violence in the US, makes it easier to understand how they can implicitly support so many horrible and ongoing genocides overseas.

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