A new report from The Wall Street Journal reveals the involvement of individuals including a top Trump donor, a former Trump campaign official, and incendiary far-right talk show host Alex Jones in the development of the January 6 events in D.C. that devolved into the deadly rioting at the U.S. Capitol. Jones, who once questioned whether the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a real event, “personally pledged more than $50,000 in seed money” in return for a “top speaking slot of his choice” from event organizer Cindy Chafian, who founded the so-called Eighty Percent Coalition, the Journal explains.
The publication adds that Jones himself “also helped arrange” the financial involvement of top Republican donor Julie Jenkins Fancelli, who gave $300,000 in support of the January 6 activities. Across the 2020 election cycle, she also poured over $980,000 into a joint account for the Trump campaign and Republican Party. Ahead of January 6, Fancelli worked with ex-Trump official Caroline Wren, who the Journal describes as “a fundraising official who was paid by the Trump campaign for much of 2020 and who was tapped by Ms. Fancelli to organize and fund an event on her behalf.”
Apparently, Fancelli got directly in touch with Jones at one point and offered money for a January 6 event, and Jones “connected her to an organizer through Ms. Wren,” the Journal says. According to the Journal, a “spokesman for the Trump campaign said it had no role in financing or organizing the Ellipse event and didn’t direct former staffers to do so,” but Wren wasn’t the only one involved in some capacity — besides her, at least five other former Trump campaign staffers were involved with organizing the January 6 rally where Trump himself spoke.
Topping off his months of post-election lies about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, Trump admonished his supporters at that January 6 event to “fight like hell,” and subsequently, a frenzied mob of his backers stormed the Capitol building, putting members of Congress in serious and potentially lethal danger. The particular event where Trump spoke was organized by a coalition led by Women for America First, a pro-Trump organization that originally planned for a rally after the January 20 presidential inauguration.
Jones spoke at an event in D.C. on the evening of January 5, helping provide a clearly extremist foundation for the goings on. During his remarks, Jones insisted, “I don’t know how all this is going to end but if they want to fight, they better believe they’ve got one.” He wasn’t the only one who presented similar sentiments — besides Trump’s remarks, at the January 6 event where the then-president spoke, top Trump ally Rudy Giuliani called for “trial by combat,” among other examples.