The US Capitol Police warned three days before the storming of parliament in an internal report of a possible attack on Congress, reports The Washington Post that holds parts of the report.
The 12-page document discussed a violent scenario in which “Congress itself” could become the target of angry supporters of President Donald Trump on 6 January. Capitol police intelligence described how thousands of protesters, encouraged by Trump, would come to Washington. According to the report, their anger would focus on members of Congress.
“ Supporters of the current president see 6 January 2021 as the last opportunity to reverse the outcome of the presidential elections. Their sense of despair and disappointment can lead to a greater reason for applying violence. Unlike other post-election protests, the targets of the Trump supporters are not the counter-protesters, but the Congress itself,” said the memo. The storming eventually degenerated into violence, killing five.
There has been much criticism of the late reaction of the services and the alleged lack of preparation. The FBI, after a previous denial, did have signals that Americans were planning to come to Washington and were willing to commit violence there. An FBI agency in the state of Virginia explicitly warned the day before the storming that some extremists were planning to travel to Washington and threatened with violence and war.
The U.S. Department of Defence and Justice announced on Friday that they will investigate how government agencies reacted to the storming of parliament. Ministers inspections also look at the extent to which the FBI was prepared for the riots by TRUMP supporters, among other things.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz investigates what information the Department of Justice had and whether it has been shared with the Capitol Police and Secret Services. The Defence Ministry does the same for the army and the Ministry of Homeland Security also makes an evaluation.