Trump impeachment: Federal investigators probe threats against members of Congress ahead of trial

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Namita Singh
·2 min read
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<p>File Image: National Guard Citizen-soldiers exit after a U.S. Capitol tour on 23 January 2021 in Washington, DC</p> (Getty Images)

File Image: National Guard Citizen-soldiers exit after a U.S. Capitol tour on 23 January 2021 in Washington, DC

(Getty Images)

Federal investigators are probing threats against members of Congress ahead of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

The security concerns of the lawmakers have been amplified due to sinister chatter about killing or attacking them outside Capitol building, prompting the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement agencies to ask 7,000 National Guard troop to extend their stay, sources told the Associated Press.

Security measures around President Joe Biden’s inauguration on 20 January were amped up following the violent insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January, that had left five people dead.

Though the inauguration of the president was designated as “National Special Security Event" with US Secret Service having the overall command, this time the federal agency also got additional support from the DC Metropolitan Police Department and the National Guard.

Up to 25,000 National Guard personnel were authorised to support the US Capitol Police, Secret Services and Local law enforcement, during the inauguration of President Biden, three times as many as those present for Mr Trump’s inauguration in 2017.

While the event concluded without any armed protest or major incident, the threat on lawmakers looms due to the pending trial, reported AP. Investigators are probing the intercepted threats, in terms of their specificity and credibility, an official told the AP, adding that the online posts include a plot to attack the members of the Congress on their way to and from the Capitol building during the impeachment trial.

Mr Trump would be impeached by the House for the second time on the charge of “incitement to insurrection,” with the opening arguments in the Senate to begin on 8 February.

More than 800 pro-Trump rioters had descended onto the Capitol, as Congress met to certify Mr Biden as the next president.

Amid threats of another violent attack from his supporters, up to 5,000 guards are expected to stay on in Washington until mid-March.

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