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Former President Donald Trump defended violent insurrectionists who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, insisting that they are being “persecuted so unfairly” — two days before another rally supporting those insurrectionists is planned to take place.
In a brief statement, Trump claimed without providing evidence that the arrests of people who were seen attacking Capitol Police officers have “proven conclusively that we are a two-tiered system of justice.”
At least four law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol building and grounds in January have died by suicide since the insurrection. Far-right demonstrators have organized the so-called “Justice for J6” rally, set to take place this Saturday in Washington, D.C., as a show of support for the insurrectionists who were arrested in connection with the rioting.
“Our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election,” reads the statement from Trump, who was impeached for his role in inciting the rioters.
“In the end, however, JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL!” Trump added.
Federal authorities have arrested hundreds of people who are suspected of violence at the Capitol, including a a Marine Corps officer who was charged with assaulting an officer and a mother and daughter who were seen using a bike rack to charge at law enforcement.
Robert Scott Palmer, who wore a “Florida for Trump” hat and American flag jacket while attacking an officer with a fire extinguisher on Jan. 6, recently pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors.
The insurrection also left one woman and one officer dead. Ashli Babbitt was shot by an officer while attempting to climb through a broken glass door inside the Capitol.
Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who responded to the rioters, collapsed after returning to his office. He died eight hours later. A medical report found that he suffered two strokes.
Two additional people died from medical emergencies and one woman died after being trampled, The New York Times reported.
Matt Braynard, a former Trump campaign staffer, organized the upcoming Sept. 18 rally, to “push back on the phony narrative that there was an insurrection,” Braynard told former White House strategist Steve Bannon.
“We’re going back to the Capitol, right where it started. And it’s going to be huge,” Braynard said during an interview on Bannon’s podcast.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.