Maybe cooler heads prevail, and nothing dramatic happens in the next few days. But after last week, that doesn’t feel like the safe bet.
Online posters are calling for an “armed march on Capitol Hill” and all 50 state capitol buildings Saturday at noon.
The FBI has also received information in recent days on a group calling for “storming” state, local and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings in the event President Donald Trump is removed from office prior to Inauguration Day. The group is also planning to “storm” government offices in every state the day President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated, regardless of whether the states certified electoral votes for Biden or Trump.
“The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January,” the bulletin read. “They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur.”
In painful symbolism, the National Parks Service has closed the Washington Monument, because the National Mall just isn’t safe for visitors right now:
Groups involved in the January 6, 2021 riots at the US Capitol continue to threaten to disrupt the 59th presidential inauguration on January 20, 2021. This includes the set up and execution of inaugural events, which occur in several park areas. In response, the National Park Service will suspend tours of the Washington Monument beginning January 11, 2021 through January 24, 2021.
Despite the numerous arrests of those who smashed their way into the Capitol complex and assaulted police, some like-minded wannabe revolutionaries, hooligans, and malcontents may believe that these sorts of confrontations are worthwhile, because they intimidate and frighten lawmakers.
Lawmakers of both parties have fielded a barrage of personal threats that only seem to be intensifying in the days since a Trump-incited siege in Washington left five people dead and dozens injured. Some of those incidents have taken place away from the now-heavily fortified Capitol grounds, forcing members to take cover in impromptu locations like airport bathrooms.
In an interview with Reason magazine, Michigan GOP Rep. Peter Meijer suggested that some of his colleagues had been intimidated into voting against certification. “One of the saddest things is I had colleagues who, when it came time to recognize reality and vote to certify Arizona and Pennsylvania in the Electoral College, they knew in their heart of hearts that they should’ve voted to certify, but some had legitimate concerns about the safety of their families. They felt that that vote would put their families in danger.”
The U.S. Capitol Police informed members of Congress that purchasing a bulletproof vest is a reimbursable expense.