Will Alex Jones be blamed for Capitol riots? Infowars founder helped raise money for 'Stop the Steal' DC rally
A report said Jones had offered upwards of $50,000 of his own money for a 'top speaking slot of his choice' at the rally
Radio host Alex Jones reportedly played an instrumental role in organizing the "Stop the Steal" rally, which took place before a violent mob broke into the US Capitol building on January 6. Cindy Chafian, a grassroots organizer who submitted the permits to the National Park Service, told CNN that Jones had reached out to her "to make sure he was able to speak at an event that he had contributed to." Chafian said she had initially submitted the permits while working for Women for America First. According to the report, the group was founded by Amy Kremer, a former executive of the Tea Party Express, and her daughter Kylie Jane Kremer.
However, the Kremers became unresponsive and non-committal shortly after, and so Chafian embarked on her own journey in organizing the January 6 rally. It was then that she teamed up with the conspiracy theorist. "He agreed to pay for a percentage of the event and I was to try and find someone to help with the funding gap," Chafian said of her tryst with Jones. "He connected me with Caroline M. Wren because there was somebody that she knew who wanted to help contribute to the event."
According to the Wall Street Journal, that donor was Publix heiress Julie Jenkins Fancelli and she ended up raising $300,000 for the "Stop the Steal" rally on the Ellipse near the White House. Citing unnamed rally organizers, the newspaper reported that Fancelli's donation was arranged by Jones and made up the majority of the $500,000 needed to hold the rally on January 6. The Journal also cited a funding document that reportedly showed Jones had offered upwards of $50,000 of his own money for a "top speaking slot of his choice."
The latest revelations show that Jones, despite being censored from most social media platforms, maintains strong ties with influential patrons of the Republican Party. "Like many Americans, Mr. Jones peacefully assembled to register his concerns about the 2020 election," Jones' attorney Norm Pattis told CNN in a statement. "He deplores the violence that took place." According to CNN, Pattis did not respond to their questions about her client's role in the early planning of the January 6 rally nor his connections to Wren and Fancelli.
An investigation into whether the riot and insurrection that followed the rally were pre-planned continues, as more information comes to light about its origins. The Department of Justice told reporters in a press call earlier this week that at least 175 people are facing riot-related charges, and that it had identified over 400 subjects in its investigations. "My role for the event on January 6th was to assist many others in providing and arranging for a professionally produced event at The Ellipse," Wren told CNN in a statement. "Like all good Americans, I was shocked and horrified by the violence at the Capitol on January 6th and wholeheartedly condemn the illegal actions by those individuals."
It's worth noting that the January 6 rally at the Ellipse was peaceful and no organizers have been accused of any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, former President Donald J. Trump is facing an article of impeachment for "inciting an insurrection" at a Senate trial next week.