Secret Service withheld Pelosi threat from Capitol Police until Jan. 6 riot was underway: watchdog
The Secret Service did not inform Capitol Police about a threat made against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot until after the attack was underway, according to a watchdog group.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) published a report on Wednesday that included a copy of email communications the group said it had obtained between officials around the time of the Capitol riot.
In one of the emails, which was sent from the Secret Service to Capitol Police, the Secret Service said in a correspondence dated Jan. 6, 2021, at 5:55 p.m. that it was “passing notification to the US Capitol Police regarding discovery of a social media threat directed toward Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”
The Secret Service noted that it became aware of threatening posts made on a Parler account at least as early as Jan. 4, 2021, according to CREW. Among some of the posts the agency found was one made on Dec. 31, 2020.
“January 6 starts #1776 all over again!! Fight for God! Fight for Your Freedom!! Fight for Your Children!! Fight for Trump!! Fight for America!! Fight for EVERYTHING… Enemies: #MSM #BarackObama #HillaryClinton #GeorgeSoros #JoeBiden #AndrewCuomo #GavinNewsom #NancyPelosi #BillDeBlasio.”
It is not immediately clear when Secret Service learned about the specific post, but the agency’s correspondence with Capitol Police indicated that the same account and its linked accounts on other social media platforms showed the user making threats elsewhere, CREW noted.
“Biden will die shortly after being elected. Patriots are gonna tear his head off. Prison is his best case scenario,” the user reportedly wrote on Parler on Jan. 2, 2021.
The email exchange adds to controversy around how law enforcement agencies responded to the Capitol riot, when a pro-Trump mob ransacked the Capitol to stop lawmakers from certifying President Biden’s election.
It also comes amid increasing scrutiny over how the Secret Service has preserved their text communications following the rioting — correspondences that are being sought by the House select committee investigating the attack.
The Secret Service did not appear to address the timing of the email communications in a statement to The Hill, but said it had an “outstanding working relationship” with other law enforcement agencies.
“While we do not comment on issues pertaining to protective intelligence, the United States Secret Service has an outstanding working relationship with all law enforcement agencies in the National Capitol Region,” he told the network.
“The Secret Service works tirelessly to share pertinent information with our law enforcement partners. In the communication where there was a reference to Speaker Pelosi, that information was provided to the US Capitol Police for their situational awareness.”
The Hill has reached out to Pelosi’s office for comment.
Updated at 10:37 a.m.