The main draw will take place Wednesday morning ahead of the congressional gathering, where the president himself will address a protest outside the White House dubbed the “March for Trump/Save America” rally. Thousands are expected to attend that event, which was organized by the pro-Trump group Women for America First.
The president has made a slew of unsuccessful efforts to overturn his loss both through lawsuits and attempts to convince state legislatures to ignore the vote in their states and appoint pro-Trump electors. As his final Hail Mary, the president has sought to rev his supporters up over the Jan. 6 certification, claiming that it presents the opportunity for Congress to overturn the election. With Democrats in control of the House and dozens of GOP senators opposing the effort, that plot is doomed to fail as well.
The president has also turned up the heat on Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over the ceremony, claiming he can intervene in the count. But the ceremonial role does not provide Pence with such powers.
Still, Trump’s most ardent supporters have heeded his call. In anticipation of possible violence, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser mobilized the National Guard and increased police presence.
The nation’s capital has seen similarly large and, at times, chaotic protests earlier this year after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd.