Capitol Police Warns Of Another Possible Right-Wing Attack On Congress

Elias Hubbard
Марта 4, 2021

March 4 is a date that far-right conspiracy theorists believe that former President Trump could return to power. That was the original date for presidential inaugurations until 1937, after the adoption of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. It comes at the same time the acting police chief is testifying before a House subcommittee.

Top House Democrats are abruptly wrapping up all work on Wednesday and sending members home - a day earlier than planned - as congressional leaders grapple with another potential threat to the Capitol, almost two months after deadly riots overtook the complex.

The US Capitol Police said they have intelligence showing there is a "possible plot" by a militia group to breach the US Capitol on Thursday.

Police did not name the militia group in the statement on Wednesday.

Capitol Police are boosting security in response to a far-right conspiracy theory claiming Donald Trump will again become president on Thursday.

Several conspiracy theorists had anticipated that the 6 January riot would block the ceremonial certification of Joe Biden as victor of the presidential election, and pave the way for Trump to remain in power.

On Tuesday, Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett notified all members of Congress of a possible security threat spanning Thursday through Saturday.

On Wednesday, Pittman appeared before Congress to ask for a 21 percent increase to the force's budget to pay for improved security after the January 6 riot, with an emphasis on better support and training for officers, and broader protections for lawmakers.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis issued a confidential assessment to law enforcement agencies, which was obtained by ABC News, saying that the threat of domestic violent extremism in 2020 - largely driven by "violent anti-government or anti-authority narratives, periods of prolonged civil unrest and conspiracy theories" - is a trend that will likely continue in 2021 and "could escalate to include targeting of critical infrastructure".

"There's a reason why there's still National Guard servicewomen and men deployed at the capitol at this time, and the fencing and the barrier we see", Padilla said in an interview earlier Wednesday. "And we're also going to start having them add temperatures to it", the sergeant said. They were prepared for a protest and were badly under-prepared for the riot. "The Acting Secretary of Defense determined that all available forces of the DC National Guard were required to be re-missioned to reinforce DC MPD and U.S. Capitol Police positions to support efforts to reestablish security of the U.S. Capitol Complex".

At a hearing last week, officials who were in charge of security at the Capitol blamed one another as well as federal law enforcement for their own lack of preparation as hundreds of rioters descended on the building, easily breached the security perimeter and eventually broke into the Capitol.

Blodgett wrote they will post additional officers throughout the capitol grounds.

Also, thousands of accounts that promoted the January 6 event that led to a violent storming of the US Capitol have since been suspended by major tech companies like Facebook and Twitter, making it far more hard for QAnon and far-right groups to organise a repeat.

FBI Director Chris Wray on Tuesday accused supporters of Donald Trump who carried out a deadly January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol of domestic terrorism and vowed to hold them accountable.

The House impeached Trump on January 13 on a charge of inciting an insurrection, focusing on an incendiary speech he made to supporters shortly before the mob converged on the Capitol, though the Senate acquitted him on February 13.

But officials revised their guidance after Capitol Police received "new and concerning" information and intelligence.

"Any minute that we lost, I need to know why", Klobuchar said.

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