Anti-Trump protesters are plotting to derail an inaugural ball by setting off stink bombs and the sprinkler system to force the evacuation of celebrants, according to an undercover video released Monday.
The D.C. Anti-Fascist Coalition, part of the anti-inauguration umbrella group #DisruptJ20, plans to “ruin” the DeploraBall, a sold-out black-tie gathering Thursday night at the National Press Building, according to the Project Veritas investigation.
“I was thinking of things that would ruin their evening, ruin their outfits and otherwise make it impossible to continue with their plans. So they get nothing accomplished,” a man identified in the video as Scott Green, a leader of the D.C. Anti-Fascist Coalition, said in the undercover video.
Another activist, identified as Luke Kuhn, said during a sit-down at the Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor in Northwest Washington: “If you had a pint of butyric acid, I don’t care how big the building is, it is closing.” Mr. Green responded: “And this stuff is very efficient, it’s very, very smelly, and it lasts a long time.”
Butyric acid is an ingredient commonly used in stink bombs. As a backup plan, activists said in the video they would look to set off the sprinkler system.
“I’m trying to think through how to get all the sprinklers to go off at once,” said an activist identified as Colin Dunn, adding that he wants to be sure the vandalism is “made to look like an accident.”
“And you add the benefit, everybody is going to walk outside in the freezing cold,” he said.
The Project Veritas video comes as a behind-the-scenes look at the left-wing campaign aimed at upending festivities for Friday’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.
“Just to be clear, we don’t have a problem with people protesting peacefully or voicing their First Amendment rights. That’s protected by the Constitution,” said James O’Keefe, Project Veritas’ founder and president. “But in this case, #DisruptJ20 says openly that their plan is to shut down the inauguration. The question is, where do these people draw the line?”
In a Monday post, #DisruptJ20 dismissed the Project Veritas video, saying Mr. O’Keefe “likes to hire sad aspiring actors to go undercover to get video of leftists in order to chop up the film to make up a news story. Hilariously enough, we have nothing to hide.”
In a statement, #DisruptJ20 said the activists in the undercover video figured out the Project Veritas investigator was a plant and “gave him false information about … what they felt was the most humorous red herring available: a false plot to use stink bombs at an event called the Deploraball with the so-called ‘Alt-Right.’”
“The group had no intention of causing any damage or disruption at the Deploraball,” the #DisruptJ20 statement reads. “Instead, the intent was to capture on video any compromising moments from the performers or speakers, such as the Nazi salutes that similar groups gave in November, broadcast widely by The Atlantic.”
Mr. O’Keefe wasn’t buying it, posting an email from Mr. Green to other activists about how he had conducted “reconnaissance” at the party site.
“So they’re lying now and they’re trying to make it look like they were feeding us false information,” Mr. O’Keefe said. “Tell it to the judge.”
#DisruptJ20, which calls itself “the start of the resistance,” has mapped out a series of protests in Washington, D.C., aimed at wreaking havoc before and during the inauguration, including blocking the inaugural parade, snarling traffic and “paralyzing” the city.
“We must take to the streets and protest, blockade, disrupt, intervene, sit in, walk out, rise up, and make more noise and good trouble than the establishment can bear,” said #DisruptJ20 in a “call to action” on its website.
An audio recording made by the Capital Research Center’s Trevor Loudon at a #DisruptJ20 meeting features an organizer urging protesters to “do everything we can to try and stop people from being able to access the inauguration.”
Concerns about left-wing protesters crashing the DeploraBall already had prompted organizers to arrange for heightened security and offer refund tickets until 6 p.m. Monday.
“With all the high-testosterone veterans and alphas attending, a protester would be foolish to try to infiltrate the party — but we are still taking every possibility seriously,” said the DeploraBall notice, posted on Gateway Pundit.
The memo urges attendees “not to engage with them in any way. Take the high road. Do what you need to keep you and yours safe, but otherwise ignore them.”
In its public statements, the D.C. Anti-Fascist Coalition has urged protesters to remain peaceful, warning them that the DeploraBall will have a large media presence and “do not under any circumstances initiate any violence, but protect one another and practice self-defense.”
Even so, Project Veritas investigators said they were so concerned about the threats that they notified the FBI, Secret Service and D.C. police in “an unprecedented move for our organization.”
“We’re thankful that the FBI and the task force is looking into this, and we hope that there will be charges brought soon,” said Project Veritas attorney Benjamin Barr.