As Washington, D.C., prepares for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden next week, police and intelligence agencies are ramping up security efforts in the wake of last Wednesday's siege on the Capitol — and in light of new information that more white supremacist violence is likely forthcoming.
Per HuffPost, Capitol police — the same police force that was dangerously understaffed during the failed coup — warned lawmakers Monday night of multiple other credible threats on their lives in the days ahead of Inauguration Day on Jan. 20. Of the three protests planned in D.C. at or near public buildings, police say that the greatest cause for concern is a plan for President Trump supporters to form perimeters around the White House, Supreme Court, and U.S. Capitol to block Democratic officials from entering the buildings. According to the members of Congress who discussed the police briefing to HuffPost, part of the protest involved attacking — and potentially killing — Democrats so they could not enter the buildings, while letting Republicans through so they could take over the government.
HuffPost declined to publish further information about the attacks at the behest of the congressional members and police, who warned that media outlets could be used as a tool for white supremacists to advertise their upcoming actions. In anticipation of tens of thousands of armed white supremacists descending on D.C. ahead of the inauguration, in addition to on Jan. 20 itself, Capitol police and the National Guard are readying response teams — and, per HuffPost, "establishing rules of engagement for warfare."
The potential violence incited by white supremacists in the coming days in Washington, D.C., is part of a larger network of possible uprisings across all 50 states, ABC News reported. Starting this week, an internal FBI memo said, violent mobs are planning to storm statehouses in all 50 states, as well as the offices of some legislators. "They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove [Trump] via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur," the internal memo reads.
On Monday, Democrats introduced articles of impeachment against Trump for the second time, with the hope of pushing the Senate to remove him from office. The targeted response to the Democratic political response makes clear what many initially doubted on Wednesday: that the attacks are coordinated, planned, and executed with professional precision rather than being random or haphazard. In fact, as ProPublica reported a day after the failed coup at the Capitol, the attack had been in the works for weeks, largely fomented by the Trump's false insistence that the election was fraudulent.
Multiple former police officers, as well as those high up in intelligence agencies, condemned the lack of preparation for the insurgence that led to multiple deaths and directly threatened the lives of lawmakers, including Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security warned in a 2020 report on domestic terrorism that white supremacists were the number one threat to national security. "We judge that ideologically-motivated lone offenders and small groups will pose the greatest terrorist threat to the homeland through 2021, with white supremacist extremists presenting the most lethal threat," the report read, per Politico.
"We are seeing ... chatter from these white supremacists, from these far-right extremists — they feel emboldened in this moment," Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, told CNN this week. "We fully expect that this violence could actually get worse before it gets better."