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Group tied to January 6 Capitol attack lied to Interior Department, watchdog says

By Colin McCullough, CNN

(CNN) — Women for America First, a group formed to support former President Donald Trump, lied on a permit for the protest held at the Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, a report from the inspector general with the Interior Department found.

According to the report, WFAF “intentionally failed to disclose information” regarding a march to the US Capitol when the group applied for a permit with the National Park Service to demonstrate on the Ellipse.

“In preparation for WFAF’s demonstration at the Ellipse, the NPS coordinated with WFAF on logistics, required documentation, and security. Throughout the permitting process, the NPS asked WFAF if it planned to march after the demonstration, and WFAF repeatedly stated it did not,” the IG report said.

On January 1, 2021, NPS issued a permit to WFAF to hold a rally at the Ellipse. The permit did not authorize a march to the Capitol.

Despite this, WFAF sent an email message to supporters saying, “President Trump has drawn a line in the sand to save our republic. The showdown will be in Washington, DC on January 6th and the march for Trump is rallying all patriots from sea to shining sea.”

CNN has reached out to the NPS for comment.

The report also revealed a text message written from a White House liaison to WFAF saying, “POTUS expectations are intimate and then send everyone over to the Capitol.”

The Interior Department provided a text message sent from a WFAF representative to a potential speaker, previously revealed by the January 6 committee, further indicating the pro-Trump group intended to march to the Capitol.

“This stays only between us, we are having a second stage at the Supreme Court again after the ellipse. POTUS is going to have us march there/the Capitol,” the text message stated.

The Justice Department declined to prosecute WFAF for its failure to disclose the information of a post-demonstration march to the NPS, according to the IG report.

CNN previously reported WFAF also held rallies in Freedom Plaza in November and December of 2020, as well as two “March for Trump” bus tours that went nationwide seeking to generate interest in the organization’s Washington rallies.

CNN’s Holmes Lybrand contributed to report.

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