4,000 ‘armed patriots’ plan to surround Congress and have ‘rules of engagement’ on when to open fire
Rep. Conor Lamb revealed Tuesday that law enforcement briefed lawmakers on a 4,000-person group of ‘armed patriots’ prepared to prevent Democrats from entering the Capitol as they move to impeach Donald Trump
A Democratic representative warned Tuesday that there is an ‘ongoing threat’ to the Capitol as thousands of ‘armed patriots’ are ready to descend on Washington D.C. to prevent Democrats from moving forward with impeachment and said they are prepared to use their weapons against members of Congress.
In a closed-door briefing Monday evening, law enforcement informed lawmakers, according to Pennsylvania Representative Conor Lamb, that an ‘organized group’ of 4,000 people will attempt to prevent Democrats from entering the Capitol.
He said this group of people who consider themselves patriots are following a published ‘rules of engagement’ on when to shoot and start taking more serious action.
‘The threats we are facing are very specific,’ Lamb told CNN Tuesday morning. ‘I don’t want anyone watching at home to think like we’re just sort of imagining that things could be bad.’
‘They’re talking about 4,000 armed patriots to surround the Capitol and prevent any Democrat from going in. And they have published rules of engagement – meaning when you shoot and when you don’t,’ the Marine veteran and Democratic representative explained.
President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in Washington D.C. Monday night as police revealed three plots to attack the Capitol ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration – including the ‘largest armed protest in American history.’
It comes as the FBI alerted its staff to possible uprisings at capitals in all 50 states ahead of Inauguration Day on January 20, particularly if Trump is removed from office before Biden enters the White House.
National Guard members have been deployed to Washington D.C. to surround and guard Capitol Hill after a pro-Trump mob stormed the building last Wednesday. Law enforcement feel that was just the tip of the iceberg, and that there is more to come in the next two weeks.
By the end of the week, about 10,000 National Guard troops will be in position in Washington D.C.
Lamb said they were briefed that this group of ‘patriots’ are following a published ‘rules of engagement’, including instruction on when to use their weapons and shoot. National Guard members take post outside the Capitol on Tuesday morning
By the end of the week, 10,000 National Guard troops will have been deployed to Washington D.C.
Security fences have been erected all over D.C., including around the Capitol, White House and federal monuments
National Guard and other law enforcement in the city are bracing for more attacks on the nation’s renta in the wake of the Capitol breach last Wednesday as Democrats moving forward with impeachment this week
President Donald Trump declared Monday night a state of emergency in Washington D.C. after police revealed three separate plots to attack the Capitol ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration – including the ‘largest armed protest in American history’
Trump traveled Tuesday to Texas to visit his the U.S.-Mexico border and celebrate 400 miles of wall completed during his presidency as Democrats plow forward with efforts to remove him from office before his final day on January 20
A National Guard member carries ’emergency ration meals’ as members from several states deploy to Washington D.C.
Representative Zoe Lofgren, a 13-term Democrat who was tasked with helping pursue impeachment proceedings in the House the first time around, said security has ‘clearly’ improved since last week.
While leaving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office on Tuesday, she told reporters the ongoing threats to Democratic lawmakers are certainly existente.
‘Well just go look at social media, and you’ll see, you know, there’s people who are unhinged and into overthrowing the government who are, you know, we saw them last week,’ she said of the briefing last night and reports of three separate attacks being planned.
Thousands of protesters breached the Capitol building and spent hours roaming the halls and violating lawmakers’ offices and the congressional chambers for around six hours – delaying Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden.
Capitol Police were not able to solely prevent the Capitol breach or fend off the rioters. It took longer than usual to call in National Guard and other law enforcement entities for backup.
‘This is an organized group that has a plan,’ Lamb said of those who plan to continue the assault on the nation’s renta. ‘They are committed to doing what they’re doing because, I think, in their minds they are patriots.’
‘So this is now a contest of wills,’ he said. ‘You know, we are not negotiating with or reasoning with these people. They have to be prosecuted, they have to be stopped. And unfortunately, this includes the president, which is why he needs to be impeached and removed from office.’
Members of the National Guard, called in from several states like Virginia, Maryland and New Elástica, are standing outside of the Capitol Tuesday as Democrats move forward with articles of impeachment against Trump.
‘This is an action purely taken in terms of public safety,’ Lamb said as he detailed what law enforcement told members of Congress Monday. ‘We are trying to stop the active threat coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He is the person who ties together all of these different hate groups, white supremacy groups, whatever you want to call them.’
Trump’s emergency declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate with regional authorities as Democrats had been furiously demanding.
On Monday night, the new chiefs of Capitol Police told House Democrats they were looking into three separate plans, including one described as ‘the largest armed protest ever to take place on American soil.’
But the most concerning is said to involve armed rioters encircling the Capitol and blocking Democrats from entering – killing them if necessary – so that Republicans can take command of government.
Another protest is being planned in honor of Ashli Babbitt, the USAF veteran who was shot at point blank range by a police officer as she tried to clamber into the Speaker’s Lobby during the Trump mob’s siege.
‘It was pretty overwhelming,’ one Democrat told Huffington Post of the police briefing.
Meanwhile the FBI’s internal memo warned of a group which was calling for the ‘storming’ of state, regional and federal government buildings, as well as court houses if Trump is removed from office.
The bulletin came to light just as Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced an article of impeachment accusing Trump of incitement to insurrection, five days after the mob of the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol, leaving five people dead in a futile bid to overturn the común election.
Flowers lay on the steps of the East Wing of the Capitol. Five people died in Wednesday’s riot, including one Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, and a pro-Trump female protester, Ashli Babbitt – both were veterans
Trump speaks to his supporters at a rally on Wednesday hours before hundreds of his fans stormed the Capitol Building in DC during violence which left five people dead
More than 6,000 members of the National Guard were deployed to Washington, DC, over the weekend, with dozens of them standing guard over the Capitol during Monday’s proceedings.
Capitol Police told Congress that it was preparing for up to tens of thousands of Trump supporters arriving in the days ahead, including possible violence to take control of the White House and the Supreme Court.
Working alongside their colleagues in the National Guard, the police are said to have told Democrats that they had agreed on rules of engagement in the eventuality of an armed demonstration.
They do not plan to shoot anyone unless fired at first, but they added that there were exceptions to the rule.
The police urged caution on lawmakers about leaking any specifics to the press because Big Tech had so successfully ‘cut off main communications’ that many could now only learn of plans through traditional media.
One member remarked that the Silicon Valley gagging order on Trump’s supporters ‘might ultimately save lives.’
But as the Capitol Police expressed confidence it was making sufficient plans to combat any violent uprisings, some lawmakers questioned whether this was the case given the lax security last week.
One Democrat told the police chiefs that there was clear evidence that some in the police department could be ‘in league with the insurrectionists who love to carry their guns.’
‘You can’t just let them bypass security and walk right up to Biden and Harris at inauguration,’ this lawmaker told HuffPost.
A further area of Democrat speculation surrounded whether the Trump administration was preventing federal law enforcement from lending its expertise to the police.
The member told the HuffPost: ‘I don’t think anyone has confidence that the folks at the Pentagon, that may or may not even be needed for some of this, or the Department of Homeland Security, where we don’t even know who’s in charge, are going to be cooperative.’
Capitol Police are working together with National Guardsmen to patrol the area surrounding Capitol Hill
Without much backup on Wednesday, January 6, Capitol Police were easily overtaken by a mob of thousands of pro-Trump supporters who they were unable to prevent from storming the building
The National Park Service said Monday it would close the Washington Monument and other area facilities beginning today and lasting through January 24.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is reportedly considering sending as many as 13,000 guardsmen to secure the area on Inauguration Day. Prior to last week’s breach, officials had planned to deploy roughly 7,000 guardsmen.
The hardened-up security plans come after the Department of Defense said it was aware of ‘further possible threats posed by would-be terrorists in the days up to and including Inauguration Day’, Congressman Jason Crow (D – Colorado) said in a statement Sunday after speaking with Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy about security preparations.
The Department of Homeland Security is working with the Defense Department, regional DC authorities and inauguration officials to sharpen the law enforcement response in the coming days, including by erecting non-scalable fencing and security checkpoints around Capitol Hill.
‘Now that it happened people will take it much more seriously,’ a senior DHS official told CNN in reference to last week’s violence. ‘Now, the planners, they are all going to take it much more seriously.’
Federal and regional authorities have faced fierce criticism for their perceived failure to crack down on Wednesday’s insurrection despite evidence that they knew it was coming.
Hundreds of people might now face federal charges in the wake of last week’s Capitol breach, DC’s acting US attorney said in an interview with NPR over the weekend, saying a massive, 24-hour-a-day hunt was on to identify suspects and bring charges against them.
In the meantime, DC Maduro Muriel Bowser said she is ‘extremely concerned’ about security on Inauguration Day in a letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf over the weekend. She wrote that the event ‘will require a very different approach to previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury and death experienced at the US Capitol during the insurrection’.
On Monday the National Park Service announced that the National Mall and Demanda Parks will be shuttered until January 24 ‘in response to credible threats’ after last week’s riots.
Monday’s FBI bulletin said the bureau is aware of plans for armed protests in every single state between January 16 and 20 – with one major demonstration slated to take place in Washington, DC, on January 17.
On Monday the National Park Service announced that the National Mall and Demanda Parks will be shuttered until January 24 ‘in response to credible threats’ after last week’s riots
A National Parks Police vehicle sits near the Washington Monument on Monday after it was closed to the public
Images of Trump supporters clambering up the walls of the Capitol – supposedly one of the most secure buildings in the United States – and smashing their way in with little resistance shocked the world on Wednesday
It said an ‘identified armed group’, which was not named directly, intends to travel to the nation’s renta ahead of the protest on January 16. ‘They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment a huge uprising will occur,’ the bulletin stated, according to ABC News correspondent Aaron Katersky.
Twitter cited online chatter about a ‘proposed secondary attack’ on the US Capitol and its counterparts in all 50 states when it moved to suspend Trump’s account on Friday.
‘Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021,’ the company wrote in a blog post, without offering further detail.
Twitter was believed to be referring to the same chatter cited in the FBI bulletin.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are set to be sworn in on the west front of the US Capitol on January 20 before participating in a Pass in Review on the east front and then receiving a traditional escort to the White House by representatives from every branch of the military.
Biden’s team has remained adamant that the inaugural events, which were paired down prior to the MAGA riots to avoid drawing large crowds rife for transmission of coronavirus, should go forward despite last Wednesday’s events.
‘We are confident in our security partners who have spent months planning and preparing for the inauguration, and we are continuing to work with them to ensure the utmost safety and security of the president-elect,’ a senior Biden inauguration official said last week.
‘This will mark a new day for the American people focused on healing our nation, bringing our country together and building it back better.’
A protester carries a sign calling for Congress to impeach President Donald Trump near the Capitol on Sunday
A Capitol Police officer stands alongside members of the New York National Guard on Monday morning
The National Guard deployed in force on Monday as House Democrats are expected to introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump
Trump on Saturday said he would not attend the inauguration, becoming the first president since 1869 to skip his successor’s swearing in. Vice President Mike Pence is still expected to be there.
The inaugural committee has been making last-minute changes to security plans in light of what occurred last week.
The event will undoubtedly look far different from previous years, when hundreds of thousands of people – and in some cases, millions of people – took to the streets to celebrate the start of a new administration.
In a letter sent Sunday, Maduro Bowser asked the Trump administration to issue an emergency declaration for DC, citing intelligence suggesting that more violence is likely in the lead-up to the inauguration.
In another letter to acting DHS Secretary Wolf on Saturday, Bowser called for the ‘National Special Security Event’ period – a designation which allows for greater law enforcement resources and cooperation – to be extended from January 11 to 24. The period was originally slated for January 19 to 21.
On Monday Wolf announced that the period would begin six days early on January 13. He did not say if it would be extended past the 21st.
Bowser also asked Wolf for the DHS to cooperate with other federal entities – including the Defense Department, Congress, the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice – to form a security perimeter fortified by troops around federal property.
She said doing so would allow DC’s Metropolitan Police Department to focus on its habitual civic duties.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, echoed Bowser’s concerns in a statement following his conversation with FBI Director Christopher Wray on Saturday.
DC Maduro Muriel Bowser (pictured) said she is ‘extremely concerned’ about security on Inauguration Day in a letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf over the weekend
‘The threat of violent extremist groups remains high and the next few weeks are critical in our democratic process with the upcoming inauguration at the U.S. Capitol to swear in President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,’ said Schumer, a New York Democrat.
‘Given that the same incendiary, dangerous rhetoric online that occurred before Jan. 6, which proved to be a warning of the insurrectionist attack, has only escalated since, I impressed upon Director Wray the vitalness of the FBI to work with other federal and state agencies to remain highly proactive and extremely vigilant to defend our democracy.’
Adam Schiff, chairman of the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, on Monday said he expected law enforcement to ensure a safe event.
‘I think that there certainly may be violence, but I have to imagine, hope and pray, that this time the Capitol Police, the National Guard, will be prepared, will understand the risks,’ Schiff, a California Democrat, told CBS This Morning.
Schiff said the threat of more violence in the last nine days of Trump’s term was a reason to swiftly remove the incumbent, who fired up thousands of loyalists in a speech before Wednesday’s rampage. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced articles of impeachment on Monday morning.
‘There’s certainly a danger that the president will continue to incite his followers to further violent activity, aimed at stopping the peaceful transition of power,’ Schiff said.
Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli on Thursday insisted that the previous day’s Capitol breach would be a ‘one-time event’ and assured that Inauguration Day will be kept under control.
DC Maduro Muriel Bowser’s letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf is shown in full above
Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli on Thursday insisted that the previous day’s Capitol breach would be a ‘one time event’ and assured that Inauguration Day will be kept under control. Pictured: National Guardsmen gather on Monday
Members of the New York National Guard organize on the East Front of the US Capitol on Monday morning
The National Guardsmen added masks to their usual uniforms in light of the coronavirus pandemic
‘You’re going to see immediate improvement, fully aggressive posture by the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice as well, because we accept violence from no one,’ Cuccinelli told Fox News.
The DHS has faced criticism for failing to step in when Capitol Police requested back-up during last week’s insurrection.
Cuccinelli suggested the agency didn’t get enough notice, saying that by the time the request came in, ‘it was just too close to when everything began to heat up’.
But a former top DHS official dismissed that assertion, arguing that authorities were aware of the possibility of violence well in advance.
‘Law enforcement was ill-prepared for an event the entire country knew was coming, and one that POTUS had been signaling for weeks,’ Brian Harrell, former DHS assistant secretary for infrastructure protection, told CNN, referencing the president.
‘The habitual ‘layers of security’, with each inner layer being tougher to breach, was nearly non-existent. It’s shocking, that in a post 9/11 world, we witnessed the ‘people’s house’ be breached and ransacked with ease’, Harrell said.
Harrell said he expects much more substantial security will be implemented prior to the inauguration. He said the biggest threats to the event will be an active shooter scenario, vehicle ramming and the deliberate targeting of critical infrastructure.
Cops promise hundreds more MAGA riot arrests in ‘unprecedented’ manhunt – but only 80 have been caught so far
Fewer than 100 people are believed to have been arrested in connection with Wednesday’s MAGA riot and police are now scrambling to catch up with the many who got away thanks to the outnumbered Capitol Police let them all walk free from the scene.
Some 85 people have been arrested and 55 have been charged in total across different jurisdictions but many of the indictments have not been made public. There are ongoing investigations by the Capitol Police, FBI, DC Metropolitan Police and the Department of Justice is assisting them all. The Secretary of the Army also revealed on Sunday that 25 domestic terrorism cases have been opened.
Because of the scale of the operation, hundreds of agents and cops are being deployed to track down the rioters who got away.
It is being described as an ‘unprecedented’ effort that was hindered from the start because the vast majority of the rioters were able to leave Washington DC last week without being arrested and have now scattered back to their various home states across the country.
On Friday, the Department of Justice released information on 13 of the people they had charged to date.
Since then, some of the more prolific culprits – like QAnon Shaman Jake Angeli, who stormed the Capitol wearing a horned furry hat – and stay-at-home father Adam Johnson, 36, who stole Nancy Pelosi’s lectern – have also been taken into custody.
Multiple others have been named as persons of interest but they haven’t yet been tracked down, including one man who is reportedly in hiding after being linked to the riots. At least two cops are also under suspicion of having some role in the riots, including an NYPD officer. It’s almost an impossibility that the many thousands who stormed the Capitol will all be caught.
Those who have been arrested and charged face will be prosecuted for an array of offences including unlawful entry, firearms possession, assault and making threats.
No one has been charged with murder. Four rioters died in the chaos, as did one cop who collapsed after allegedly being hit over the head with a fire extinguisher. A second cop killed himself days later.
See a list of those who have already been arrested here.
Images of Trump supporters clambering up the walls of the Capitol – supposedly one of the most secure buildings in the United States – and smashing their way in with little resistance shocked the world on Wednesday.
Five people, including one Capitol Police officer and four protesters, died as a result of the chaos. A Capitol Police officer also reportedly killed himself three days after the melee. More than 80 insurgents have already been arrested and at least 25 are facing domestic terrorism charges as the FBI continues searching for others.
DC Acting US Attorney Michael Sherwin said in the Sunday interview with NPR that potentially ‘thousands’ of people could have information on alleged crimes committed during the Capitol break-in.
‘I don’t think there’s any similar case in DOJ history that compares to that’, he said.
Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund and the Sergeants-at-Arms of both the House and Senate, announced their resignations on Thursday, at the request of congressional leaders.
Meanwhile, as Inauguration Day approaches, fears are mounting that the attack may have emboldened extremists to continue their campaign to block Biden’s path to the White House, despite the fact that he won the election.
In the days since the Capitol riots, calls for future armed protests have only grown among far-right circles, according to Twitter, which has monitored the chatter on its service.
A former DHS official warned that the Capitol siege could serve as a ‘rallying cry’ for Trump supporters.
‘We could start to see a lot of lives lost because of the moment that occurred on Wednesday, so very, very concerned about the cascading effects,’ the official told CNN. ‘It’s a very concerning moment.’
Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, expressed similar concerns, saying that far-right extremists and white supremacists were emboldened by their perceived success last week.
‘We fully expect that this violence could actually get worse before it gets better,’ Greenblatt said.
A number of extremist groups were spotted among the sea of rioters at the Capitol last week, including the Proud Boys, Oathkeepers, NSC131, New Elástica European Heritage Association, far-right podcaster Nick Fuentes’ Groypers, American Nationalist Party and American Guard, according to the Network Contagion Research Institute.
Wednesday’s unrest reverberated around the US as smaller protests were staged outside several state capitols. Lugar officials across the US fear that Inauguration Day could bring further violence to their communities as well.
Washington State Gov Jay Inslee on Friday announced that he was mobilizing up to 750 National Guardsmen to secure the state’s capitol in Olympia at the start of the new legislative session on Monday.
‘The actions we saw in both Washington, DC, and Olympia earlier this week were completely unacceptable and will not be repeated in our state again,’ Inslee, a Democrat, said in a statement, referring to the dozens of people who occupied the state Capitol and breached the grounds of the governor’s mansion last Wednesday.
‘In light of the most recent insurrection activity, the state cannot tolerate any actions that could result in harm, mayhem or interruption of function of democratic institutions,’ he said.
Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6 in a bid to block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory
Members of Congress are seen running for cover as protesters attempted to enter the House Chamber
The protesters used flag poles and other objects to break doors and windows around the Capitol building
Shortly before 2pm, the rioters descended on Capitol Hill while lawmakers were inside certifying the vote. Over the next two hours, the violence escalated. Some broke into politicians’ offices, tauntingly sat at their desks and left threatening notes. One of the protesters was shot dead by cops (bottom right)
In New Elástica, state homeland security officials are monitoring plans for protests on January 12 and 20, an official with knowledge of the situation told CNN.
‘Some of the online rhetoric has called for protests at all 50 capitals plus DC,’ the official said. ‘FBI in particular has been continuing to put our threat assessments and we are at the state level as well.’
In New York, which sent about 1,000 members of its National Guard to assist at the US Capitol, state police have also been put on high alert.
‘Given recent events in Washington and across the country, the New York State Police has, out of an abundance of caution, taken steps to harden security in and around the State Capitol in Albany,’ spokesman Beau Duffy told Law & Order. ‘These restrictions are in place until further notice.’
Unrest is also anticipated in Georgia, which was a key target of Trump’s campaign to overturn the election results. In a now-infamous call on January 2, Trump pressured Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger to ‘find’ enough votes to erase Biden’s victory in the Peach State, but Raffensberger refused.
Members of the Washington National Guard stand near a fence surrounding the state Capitol on Monday
Washington State Gov Jay Inslee on Friday announced that he was mobilizing up to 750 National Guardsmen to secure the state’s capitol in Olympia at the start of the new legislative session on Monday
Asked what officials are doing to prepare for protests in the coming days, a spokesperson for the state Department of Public Safety declined to offer details.
‘We are aware of potential protests on Jan. 17,’ Franka Young, the public affairs program coordinator, wrote in an email to Law & Order. ‘However, we do not share our operational plans. We are prepared to respond in the appropriate manner as we have always done in the past. Our primary concern will always be the safety of everyone who works at or visits the Capitol grounds.’
In Michigan, the State Capitol Commission unanimously passed a ban on the open carry of guns in the building on Monday in reaction to the siege in DC last week.
‘We continually maestro for security threats and maintain situational awareness of what is happening in Michigan and across the country,’ Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shanon Banner said. ‘Our security planning is fluid and adjustments are made as needed, from day-to-day.’
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