According to a report published on Friday by the Washington Post, the US Capitol Police were aware of the potential for violence against Congress on January 6.
They were aware at least three days before a crowd of Trump supporters overpowered USCP officers and broke into the US Capitol.
Intelligence memo warning of pro-Trump mob’s violent intentions
The Washington Post said the US Capitol Police knew about possible violence against Congress on January 6, three days before the pro-Trump mob broke into the US Capitol.
The attack was carried out in spite of the intelligence, according to the report. This cited a memo from the Capitol Police intelligence division and revealed the threat of violence by Trump supporters was described in detail.
The memo suggests that supporters of the president at the time may have turned to violence because they were desperate and upset. On January 6, Congress itself was the primary target, not the counter-protesters as in earlier demonstrations.
SCOOP O'Clock: In eerily-worded Jan 3 memo, Capitol Police's intel unit predicted every grim thing that happened in the Capitol siege. They forecast a perfect storm: desperate pro-Trumpers, armed and storming toward a new angry target: Congress. My latest https://t.co/8tDb4bmpud
— Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) January 16, 2021
In its intelligence memo, the USCP also warned about the danger that “militia members, white supremacists, and others who actively promote violence” pose to law enforcement and the general public.
The FBI’s Norfolk, Virginia, field office also released a report the day before the attack, warning of online calls for “war” and violence.
FBI Warned Capitol Police of Online Calls for Violence Ahead of January 6 Attack
Steven D’Antuono, who is in charge of the FBI field office in Washington, DC, says the report was sent to the Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
According to the Washington Post, the then-chief of Capitol Police Steven Sund claimed he did not have that information and it was not taken into account in their security planning. Sund has since resigned.
The reason I keep thinking about the gallows erected outside the Capitol is that it appeared to be *an actual gallows*, with a noose and a platform. And I truly wonder if this was intended for something more than just…symbolism. pic.twitter.com/QIAHvO69Ou
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) January 9, 2021
There were other calls for violence in the days before the attack on January 6, besides those in the FBI report.
Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny of NBC said Trump supporters talked about rebellion openly on sites like Parler and TheDonald.win that anyone could visit. Before the attack, these conversations were taking place.
Parler came under intense scrutiny and criticism after the Capitol attack on January 6 for allowing violent and extremist content to flourish on its platform.
The social media app, which was well-liked by conservatives, was eventually taken down from the Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Play Store, and Apple App Store.
Parler’s removal from the cloud hosting service was justified by AWS as a result of its refusal to control violent content. Since then, Parler has come back online, but it still has a long way to go before its user base and reputation are fully restored.
Even though it was controversial that the FBI report was given to the Capitol Police, former Chief Steven Sund already knew about the intelligence assessment and possible violence on January 6.
According to reports, Sund asked the Sergeants at Arms of the two chambers of Congress to activate the National Guard in case of an emergency.