With just days to go until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, law enforcement agencies are issuing fresh warnings of violent threats against lawmakers following last week's insurrection at the Capitol.
Capitol Police reportedly warned members of Congress on Monday night that a group of pro-Trump armed insurrectionists plan to form a perimeter around the Capitol, the White House, and the Supreme Court, murdering Democrats who try to breach the line, and allowing Republicans to enter so they can take control of the government.
The alleged plot is just one of three that Capitol Police briefed the Democratic leaders of Congress about in a late-night call, according to sources speaking to HuffPost and subsequently confirmed by Axios.
Despite the growing threat and the fallout from the Jan. 6 attack, there has been nothing but silence from the White House and federal agencies about what happened or what may be planned, a fact that Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy called an “abomination” on Monday night.
The only reason news that at least 25 domestic terrorism cases had been opened in the wake of the Capitol attack was because Democratic Rep. Jason Crow shared details of a briefing from Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy.
But some news of the information being gathered by law enforcement agencies is getting out to the public, thanks to the media.
On Monday, ABC News obtained an internal FBI bulletin that said “armed protests” are being planned at all 50 state capitols and at the U.S. Capitol. The bulletin, which was subsequently confirmed by other outlets, added that if President Donald Trump was to be removed from office prior to Jan. 20, the group of insurrectionists is calling for the “storming” of state, local, and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings.
The bulletin warns that the attacks may begin as soon as later this week.
“The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January," the bulletin read. "They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur."
Just hours after that bulletin was published, Capitol Police laid out three terrifying plans being formulated by groups online for events in Washington leading up to inauguration day, HuffPost reports.
As well as the plan to surround the Capitol, White House, and Supreme Court, another event is being billed as the “largest armed protest ever to take place on American soil.”
A third event would honor Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran and QAnon supporter who was shot dead by Capitol Police last week. Babbitt has become a martyr among QAnon and far-right extremists, who are using her death as a recruiting tool. Despite this, First Lady Melania Trump broke her silence since the Jan. 6 attack to pay tribute to Babbitt and the other rioters who died during the attack.
Capitol Police warned members of Congress, according to HuffPost, not to share too much information about when the events were happening, where they were being organized, or the specific groups doing the organizing.
As many mainstream platforms like Twitter and Facebook belatedly crack down on some of these groups, the extremists are now trying to use the media as a way of promoting their events.
“Some of their main communications to organize these have been cut off, so they’re purposely trying to get the media to report on this as a way to further disseminate information and to attract additional support for their attacks,” one member of Congress briefed by Capitol Police told HuffPost.
Authorities and law enforcement were strongly criticized for their failure to prepare for last week’s protests, despite experts warning for weeks about groups openly calling for violence on various online platforms.
This time around, Democratic members of Congress were told, Capitol Police and the National Guard are preparing for tens of thousands of armed protesters to descend on Washington DC.
They are also establishing rules of engagement for warfare, the report said, adding that the military and police are not planning to shoot any of the protesters until one of them fires — though there could be exceptions.
Elsewhere, federal law enforcement officials have told local police forces to increase their security posture at statehouses around the country as the threat grows.