WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal law enforcement officials are examining a number of threats to members of Congress ahead of former President Donald Trump’s second trial, including disturbing talks about the murder of lawmakers or attack them outside the US Capitol, a US official said. The Associated Press.
Threats and concerns that armed protesters could return to ransack the Capitol again have prompted U.S. Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement to insist that thousands of National Guard troops remain in Washington as the Senate moves forward with plans for Trump’s trial, the official told me.
The shocking insurgency on Capitol Hill by a pro-Trump mob has prompted federal officials to rethink security in and around its landmarks, resulting in an unprecedented lockdown for Biden’s inauguration. While the event went off without a hitch and armed protests across the country did not materialize, threats to lawmakers ahead of Trump’s trial illustrated the continuing potential for danger.
Similar to those intercepted by investigators before Biden’s inauguration, the threats law enforcement officers track down vary in specificity and credibility, said the official, who had been briefed on the matter. Mainly posted online and in newsgroups, the posts included plots to attack members of Congress while traveling to and from the Capitol complex during the trial, according to the official.
The official was not allowed not to publicly discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke to the PA on condition of anonymity.
Law enforcement officials are already starting to plan for the possibility of armed protesters returning to the nation’s capital when Trump’s Senate trial for inciting a violent insurgency begins the week of February 8. It would be the first impeachment trial of a former American. President.
Thousands of Trump supporters descended on Capitol Hill on January 6 as Congress convened to certify Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential race. More than 800 people are believed to have broken into the Capitol during the violent siege, pushing back the overwhelmed police. Capitol Police said they were planning a free speech protest, not a riot, and were caught off guard despite reports that the rally would turn into a riot. Five people died in the melee, including a Capitol Hill policeman who was hit on the head with a fire extinguisher.
Although much of the security apparatus around Washington put in place after the riot and before Biden’s inauguration – it included dozens of military checkpoints and hundreds of additional members of the forces of the order – no longer in place, around 7,000 members of the National Guard will remain to help. federal law enforcement, officials said.
The Guard’s Office said the number of Guard members in Washington fell below 20,000 on Sunday. All but about 7,000 will be returning home in the next few days. The Guard Bureau said the number of troops in Washington will continue to decline in the coming weeks to around 5,000. They are expected to stay in Washington until mid-March.
At least five people facing federal charges have suggested they believed they were receiving Trump’s orders when they marched on Capitol Hill on Jan.6 to challenge the certification of Biden’s election victory. But now those comments, captured in interviews with reporters and federal agents, are likely to take center stage as Democrats lay out their case.
More than 130 people have been indicted by federal prosecutors for their role in the riot. In recent weeks, others have been arrested after posting threats …
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