Organiser of Washington rally looks to rewrite history of US Capitol attack

Organiser of Washington rally looks to rewrite history of US Capitol attack

17/9/2021 8:54:00 AM

Organiser of Washington rally looks to rewrite history of US Capitol attack

WASHINGTON: The architect of a Washington protest planned for Saturday (Sep 18) that aims to rewrite history about the violent January assault on the United States Capitol is hardly a hous

The seeds of the rally were planted the day after the 2020 election as Trump made false claims of widespread voter fraud, which were later rejected by numerous courts, election officials and his own attorney general at the time, William Barr.Braynard suggested on Twitter that there could have been fraud in the election, while promoting an online fundraiser he created to defray the cost of analysing voting data in states where the Trump campaign insisted it was winning.

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He told BuzzFeed News in a summer interview that he brought some early findings to the attention of the Trump campaign. The campaign, which had declined to rehire him earlier in the 2020 campaign as a low-level field staffer, initially agreed to hear him out. But after he arrived at campaign headquarters, campaign officials changed their minds, he said.

“I stood on the sidewalk for an hour while they fought inside about whether or not to let me in,” he said. “Ultimately, I was told I would not be let in and I went home.”His online fundraising, however, took off. After the crowdfunding site took down an early effort, citing misleading information, Braynard migrated to a conservative-friendly site and quickly took in more than US$675,000.

A subsequent report he wrote on his findings - which one expert excoriated as “riddled with errors” and violating"basic standards for scientific evidence" - was embraced by Trump's allies and served as an evidentiary cornerstone in numerous court cases that were later dismissed.

His participation also earned him at least US$230,000 in consulting fees, court records show.Since then, Braynard has used the influx of resources to revive Look Ahead America and reapply for tax-exempt status, which has yet to be approved, according to an IRS database. The group now lists 11 staffers on its website.

The Jan 6 attack quickly became an organising principle for Braynard's efforts.His first post after creating an account on the conservative-friendly social media site Telegram came days after the attack and featured a picture of the 1933 fire at Germany’s parliament building, the Reichstag, which the Nazi party used as a pretext to seize power. Braynard's caption: “The real coup is being conducted by Silicon Valley right now,” a reference to a widespread complaint by conservatives that they are being silenced on social media.

Since then, he's shared a link to a fundraiser for Ethan Nordean, a member of the Proud Boys extremist group, who was charged in connection with the attack."If you don’t share this post I don’t ever want to hear y’all say you’re fighting back against this oppressive government," he wrote.

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Look Ahead America also tweeted from its account in February that the group would be present at the America First Political Action Conference in Orlando, which was a one-day event hosted by Nick Fuentes, a far-right Internet personality who has promoted white supremacist beliefs.

But Braynard has also sought to make inroads with more mainstream conservatives. Read more: CNA »

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