Secret service messages show they knew crowd outside Jan. 6 rally was armed
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol on Thursday publicized freshly obtained communications from the Secret Service showing agents were aware of concerns about violence leading up to that day and that agents knew some in the crowd were armed.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said the committee obtained “nearly 1 million emails, recordings and other electronic records from the Secret Service.”
“The documents we obtained from the Secret Service make clear that the crowd outside the magnetometers was armed, and the agents knew it,” Schiff said.
Schiff read off several messages in chats among Secret Service agents and emails exchanged among members. He displayed one intelligence summary from late December 2020 that included online chatter about occupying federal buildings and “intimidating Congress and invading the Capitol building.”
A Secret Service email dated Dec. 26 showed the agency had a tip that the Proud Boys, a far-right group, planned to march on the Capitol and felt they had a large enough group to overwhelm law enforcement.
“Secret Service had advanced information more than 10 days beforehand regarding the Proud Boys planning for Jan. 6,” Schiff said. “We know now of course that the Proud Boys and others did lead the assault on our Capitol building.
A Jan. 5, 2021, email from a deputy Secret Service chief instructed agents to add certain objects to a list of items that supporters could not bring into a rally on the Ellipse near the White House planned for Jan. 6, including ballistic vests, tactical vests and ballistic helmets.
“Calm before the storm I assume,” one agent wrote in a group chat the morning of Jan. 6, 2021.
Schiff said the panel in August started reviewing “hundreds of thousands of pages and multiple hours of that material.” He said the materials provided “substantial new evidence about what happened on Jan. 6 and the days leading up to do.”
“That review continues,” he added.
The committee issued the Secret Service a subpoena in July after the panel and agency became involved in controversy. News broke that some text messages sent by Secret Service on agents Jan. 6 had been deleted.