The FBI is warning of another possible plot to breach the U.S. Capitol.
The threat reportedly coming from a QAnon-inspired militia group that believes former President Trump will return to the White House for a second term on March 4, the day U.S. presidents were inaugurated before 1933.
The intel alert described a plot by violent extremists to “take control of the U.S. Capitol and remove democratic lawmakers.”
“We issued a bulletin last night, co-authored with the FBI about extremists discussing March 4th and March 6th,” said Melissa Smislova with the Department of Homeland Security.
House Democrats, concerned about safety, canceled Thursday’s session. The Senate plans to convene at 12 Noon.
“People are deeply concerned about what potential threats could be out there,” said U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA).
U.S. Capitol Police are taking the intelligence seriously.
“We have enhanced our security posture,” Yogananda Pittman, chief of U.S. Capitol Police said during a virtual press briefing. “We’ve taken immediate steps to let the National Guard, as well as our workforce, know what to expect.”
One Republican lawmaker urging the former president to send a message to his supporters.
“President Trump has a responsibility to tell them to stand down,” Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) told CNN. “This threat is credible and it’s real.”
The threat coming as lawmakers are investigating the January 6 Capitol attack.
Democrats want to know why it took the Pentagon more than three hours to deploy the National Guard after getting frantic requests from Capitol Hill Police.
D.C. National Guard Chief William Walker told senators that top Army leaders delayed over concerns about the image of guardsmen surrounding the Capitol.
“The Army senior leaders did not think that it looked good, it would be a good optic, they further stated that it could further incite the crowd,” Maj. Gen. Walker said during testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday. “I was frustrated, I was just as stunned as everybody else on the call.”
And yet a few months before the Capitol attack, during protests after George Floyd’s murder, General Walker testified that “optics” weren’t an issue in deploying D.C.’s National Guard.
“Was the issue of optics ever brought up by Army leadership when the D.C. National Guard was deployed during the summer of 2020?” asked Sen. Gary Peter (D-MI) during the hearing.
“It was never discussed,” responded Gen. Walker.
The Guard initially deployed 26,000 soldiers after the Capitol attack. Some 5,200 troops now remain in Washington.