Capitol Police report warned that Congress could be targeted three days before riot
The Capitol Police sent an internal intelligence report three days before the deadly Capitol riot that warned of potential for violence, The Washington Post reports.
“Due to the tense political environment following the 2020 election, the threat of disruptive actions or violence cannot be ruled out,” the 12-page report reads.
Instead of counterprotesters being the target of the rioters like in past presidential election protests that occurred in D.C., this time the Capitol would likely be the target, the report warned.
“Supporters of the current president see January 6, 2021, as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election,” one portion states.
“This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent,” it continues.
The report, which doesn’t appear to have been shared widely with other law enforcement agencies, noted that prominent leaders on the right would be speaking at the “Stop the Steal” rally, predicted by the Capitol Police to be one of that larger events that day, according to the Post.
“This combined with Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence, may lead to significantly dangerous situations for law enforcement and the general public alike,” the report states.
Former Capitol Police chief Steven Sund, who resigned after the violent riot, expressed concern over insufficient security prior to Jan. 6.
“We looked at the intelligence,” he reportedly told the Post. “We knew we would have large crowds, the potential for some violent altercations. I had nothing indicating we would have a large mob seize the Capitol.”
The Capitol Police also reportedly were warned of the potential for targeted violence at the Capitol by various lawmakers, including Reps. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).
The insurrection resulted in the deaths of five people, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.
As threats of violence continue as the inauguration nears, Capitol Police have joined other agencies, including Secret Service and U.S. Park Police, in requesting an increase in the National Guard’s presence in D.C.
The Capitol Police did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.