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The U.S. Capitol is still at risk of a domestic terrorist attack—potentially one even bigger than the violence white supremacist extremists targeted the halls of Congress with on Jan. 6.
At a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the insurrection Thursday, acting chief of the Capitol Police, Yogananda Pittman, revealed that the extremist groups who were involved in the Jan. 6 attack want to “blow up” the Capitol around the time of President Biden’s State of the Union address.
From NBC News:
“We know that members of the militia groups that were present on January 6th have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union, which we know that date has not been identified,” she told members of Congress, referring to Biden’s upcoming first address to a joint session of Congress.
“So based on that information, we think that it’s prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture until we address those vulnerabilities going forward,” she added.
Pittman was responding to questions from members of Congress who pushed to find out when the security fencing and troops from the National Guard, who are still guarding the Capitol, will be removed.
Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) said the security measures make “the seat of democracy look like a military base,” reports Politico.
Is it just me or is the current game of Republicans understating the deadly events that occurred at the Capitol on Jan. 6—and the urgent threat of violent, anti-government white supremacists that it brought into stark relief—very disturbing? But shamefully, it’s not that surprising.
Also disturbing, but not that surprising, is the news that the cretins who tried to cosplay a “revolution” during Congress’ certification of Biden’s electoral votes still want to use violence to upend his presidency somehow. The State of the Union address is usually given in January or February, and Biden is expected to give his after the COVID relief bill is passed.
Pittman added that the insurrectionists who took over the Capitol on Jan. 6 “wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as to who was in charge of that legislative process.”
During her testimony to the subcommittee, she also said that none of the intelligence shared with the Capitol ahead of the insurrection indicated “that tens of thousands would attack the U.S. Capitol.”
After a congresswoman raised the point that FBI intelligence had mentioned extremists were planning to bring war to the Capitol on Jan. 6, Pittman said that information was “raw” and so the police department’s protocol was not to take action.
Meanwhile, it seems we should be grateful that Congress has organized these publicly broadcast hearings which have given us some limited insight into what this police department—with a taxpayer funded budget of $460 million annually—is doing to safeguard our nation’s government, and why they failed so spectacularly at doing so on Jan. 6.
According to Politico, Pittman would not to commit to the Capitol Police holding press briefings about the Jan. 6 attack. She said the department is focused on their employees’ well-being and providing answers to elected officials.