On 6 January, a rally of Trump-supporters led to a deadly attack on the Capitol building, as the certification of the Electoral College vote was being held, causing five deaths, including a law enforcement officer. The $500,000 rally in Washington’s Ellipse that preceded the riot was reportedly funded by multiple pro-Trump organizations.
The daughter of the Publix supermarket chain founder George W. Jenkins, with the help of the conservative radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, allegedly provided the “lion’s share” of cash to stage the $500,000 demonstration in Washington’s Ellipse where the former US president spoke, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Publix heiress Julie Jenkins Fancelli, a prominent donor to former US President Donald Trump, who contributed nearly $1 million to Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican Party during the 2020 election cycle, reportedly provided about $300,000, with the help of Jones, to stage the 6 January rally held by Trump on a lawn in front of the White House, according to the report.
Before supporting Jenkins in her fundraising activities, Infowars founder Alex Jones reportedly personally vowed to give $50,000 to reserve the 52-acre park for the event in exchange for the “top speaking slot of his choice,” the WSJ reported, citing a funding document.
In a Twitter post the Publics Inc. chain said that Fancelli “is neither involved in our business operations, nor does she represent the company in any way”, and in the second tweet the company stated that the tragic events of January 6 “do not represent the values, work or opinions of Publix Super Markets.”
That rally preceding the riot was also reportedly arranged by Ali Alexander, a right-wing activist and leader of the ‘Stop the Steal’ campaign who pushed election fraud claims alongside Jones. Alexander reportedly worked with Caroline Wren, a fundraising official who helped to organize and fund the event on Fancelli’s behalf.
On 5 January, Alexander promoted the rally designed to contest the 2020 election certification in his tweet: “DC becomes FORT TRUMP starting tomorrow on my orders.”
The Ellipse rally in front of the White House served as a starting point for hundreds of Trump supporters to storm the US Capitol on January 6, resulting in the death of 4 civilians and a police officer. Trump was accused of “incitement of insurrection” and unprecedentedly impeached for a second time.
Trump claimed that he bears no responsibility for the 6 January violence in the Capitol building.