McCaul says Trump has responsibility to tell potential Capitol attackers to 'stand down'

Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulBiden threatens more sanctions on Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray conflict More Republicans call on Biden to designate Taliban as terrorist group How lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation MORE (R-Texas) said former President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE should tell his supporters to stay away from Congress Thursday as intelligence indicates a right-wing militia could be planning an attack on the Capitol.

“I think President Trump has a responsibility to tell them to stand down. This threat is credible and it’s real,” McCaul said on CNN Wednesday.

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McCaul’s call comes as authorities warn that online chatter indicates an attack is being planned on the Capitol on Thursday.

Capitol Police warned in a statement Wednesday that it has “obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol.”

“We have already made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress, the public and our police officers,” it added.

Authorities have been concerned over potential violence at the Capitol on March 4 due to the belief by some adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory that Trump will be inaugurated on that date. March 4 was the date for presidential inaugurations until 1933. 

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According to CNN, members of the Three Percenters militia are among those discussing an attack on March 4.

While researchers have suggested that there appears to be minimal planning for any far-right group to have a presence at the Capitol Thursday, security officials in Washington are wary of underestimating any threat after the Jan. 6 riot. 

During that insurrection, which unsuccessfully sought to halt the certification of the Electoral College results, pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, sending lawmakers fleeing to secure locations.

Before the Capitol was ransacked, Trump told supporters “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Republicans urged him to tell the rioters to leave the area, but he waited hours to denounce the insurrection. 

Trump was ultimately impeached over his role in inciting the mob, making him only the first president to ever be impeached twice but the Senate acquitted the former president after he left office.