Summary List Placement
Former President Donald Trump should tell his supporters to “stand down” after US officials warned of a new plot to target the US Capitol building in Washington, DC this week, a senior House Republican has said.
“I think President Trump has a responsibility to tell them to stand down,” Rep. Michael McCaul, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told CNN Wednesday.
“This threat is credible, it’s real,” he said.
McCaul’s comments come after security officials said Wednesday they had intelligence showing there was a “possible plot” by right-wing militia groups to target the US Capitol building on Thursday.
Rep. Michael McCaul says fmr. Pres. Trump has a responsibility to tell extremists, who believe Trump will be inaugurated on March 4, and who the FBI say are plotting a possible attack on the US Capitol, to stand down. “This threat is credible. It’s real.” https://t.co/txZq2tbwMH pic.twitter.com/n4X4WbwTIo
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) March 3, 2021
House Majority leader Steny Hoyer said the House would this week wrap on Wednesday, a day early, amid potential security threats at the Capitol on Thursday.
An internal memo sent to House members on Wednesday by Timothy Blodgett, the acting House sergeant-at-arms, said that police were monitoring “potential protests and demonstration activity surrounding what some have described as the ‘true inauguration day.'”
It comes less than two months after the failed insurrection on January 6, when hundreds of Trump supporters breached the building, as a result of which at least five people died, including one Capitol police officer.
Blodgett said in the memo that Capitol Police on Tuesday received “new and concerning information and intelligence indicating additional interest in the Capitol for the dates of March 4 to March 6 by a militia group.”
The threat appears to be linked to a baseless far-right conspiracy theory promoted online by far-right groups which states that Donald Trump will formally rise to power again on March 4, the Associated Press reported.
Conspiracy groups including the Three Percenters and QAnon have suggested Trump will reclaim his role as US President on March 4 and purge his opponents, Insider’s Erin Snodgrass reported.
The baseless idea is based on the fact that the original inaugural date for US presidents and vice-presidents was on March 4, until the date in 1933 was moved to January 23.
Capitol Police significantly increased security around the building after the January 6 insurrection.
Hundreds of National Guard troops remained stationed around the area and extensive fencing has been erected around the building’s perimeter.
Blodgett stated in his memo that the National Guard would continue to station troops around the area and said the Capitol Police would maintain an increased security presence at the building.
The Department for Homeland Security also issued an internal intelligence memo about “extremists discussing March 4 and March 6,” CNN reported.
It remains unclear whether any far-right groups actually plan to travel to DC this week or if the threats are simply the result of online activity indicating a threat.