Congress warned of Capitol riots days before siege

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Ashley Terrell
·3 min read
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The internal Capitol Police report wasn’t shared with other law enforcement agencies

An internal Capitol Police intelligence report warned of a possible attack on the U.S. Capitol three days before the January 6th Capitol siege. The Washington Post reported that “Congress itself” was said to be the target for President Donald Trump’s angry supporters.

The 12-page report described how President Trump encouraged a group of enraged protestors to challenge the congressional electoral votes to certify President-elect Joe Biden. The group that eventually stormed the Capitol was made up of white supremacists and armed militia groups.

The U.S. Capitol is seen behind yellow police tape on January 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation’s capital and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
The U.S. Capitol is seen behind yellow police tape on January 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation’s capital and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

According to The Washington Post, members of Congress were the intended targets according to the report. The report wasn’t shared with other law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI.

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“Supporters of the current president see January 6, 2021, as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election,” the report said.

“This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent. Unlike previous post-election protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counter-protesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th.”

It furthered emphasized that the Stop The Steal protest “may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.”

An FBI official spoke on the lack of information they received, saying, “At this time, it does not appear such a product was ever shared with the FBI through the normal intelligence sharing channels.”

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Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who stepped down following the riots and following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s calls for his resignation, told the outlet that he was concerned about the level of security. He added that he asked top congressional security officials to bring in the National Guard and declare the attacks as an emergency, but was met with rejection.

“We looked at the intelligence. We knew we would have large crowds, the potential for some violent altercations. I had nothing indicating we would have a large mob seize the Capitol,” Sund said.

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