Washington braced for violence Tuesday as supporters of President Donald Trump gathered in the nation’s capital ahead of planned protests against the Electoral College certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.Congress is expected to certify the Electoral College results on Wednesday.D.C. streets were shut down, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser called in the National Guard, fearing repeats of violence between protest groups like the city saw over the summer.Bowser and politicians in Maryland and Virginia have urged residents to stay home Wednesday and avoid counterprotests.I am asking Washingtonians and those who live in the region to stay out of the downtown area on Tuesday and Wednesday and not to engage with demonstrators who come to our city seeking confrontation, and we will do what we must to ensure all who attend remain peaceful.— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) January 4, 2021 Some activists on social media also called for counterprotesters to stay home, warning against inciting violence between groups.Clashes between Trump supporters and counterprotesters in December led to four people suffering stab wounds. [[link: https://www.voanews.com/2020-usa-votes/trump-supporters-rally-us-protest-presidents-election-loss ]]The rallies on Tuesday and Wednesday are in support of Trump’s baseless claims that the November presidential election was rigged.Trump is expected to speak at the “Save America” rally outside the White House at 11 a.m. Wednesday.I will be speaking at the SAVE AMERICA RALLY tomorrow on the Ellipse at 11AM Eastern. Arrive early — doors open at 7AM Eastern. BIG CROWDS! pic.twitter.com/k4blXESc0c— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2021“Washington is being inundated with people who don’t want to see an election victory stolen by emboldened Radical Left Democrats,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.Washington is being inundated with people who don’t want to see an election victory stolen by emboldened Radical Left Democrats. Our Country has had enough, they won’t take it anymore! We hear you (and love you) from the Oval Office. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2021Trump’s claims of a “stolen” election remain unsubstantiated. In a phone call leaked over the weekend, he pleaded with election officials in Georgia to find him enough votes to overturn his pivotal loss there to Biden. This usually routine and ceremonial function – a final step after the Electoral College officially elected Biden on December 14 – has turned into a litmus test on Republican lawmakers’ loyalty to Trump. More than 100 Trump loyalists in Congress are set to challenge certification.The Proud Boys, designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, are expected to be present at the rally on Wednesday.Proud Boys leader, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, was arrested Monday on charges of destruction of property for burning a Black Lives Matter flag that was torn down from a historic Black church during protests last month in Washington. He was released from police custody on Tuesday but has been barred from returning to the city before his next hearing in June. Thousands of Trump supporters are expected to march in multiple rallies around Washington on Wednesday. The “Rally to Revival” has been issued a permit to be at Freedom Plaza near the White House Wednesday evening.Another rally organized by a group called “The Silent Majority” began Tuesday afternoon and is expected to continue into Wednesday morning.Downtown shops have been boarded up, and Guard members will assist D.C. and National Park police controlling crowds on Wednesday.