The risk of new violence on March 4 caused House of Representative leaders to cancel Thursday’s legislative session and do some rescheduling of morning votes after police officials warned of a possible plot by a militia group to again storm the Capitol.
Steny Hoyer, D.-Md. said late Wednesday that all votes set for later this week would be wrapped up in the evening. Capitol Police said they have obtained intelligence that “shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group” on Thursday.
The Senate planned to convene at noon, according to Democratic aides. They moved Thursday morning’s votes to Wednesday evening.
Democratic aides have been working to complete changes to President Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid aid bill.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint intelligence bulletin highlighting the belief among some members of the conspiracy-theory group QAnon, that former President Donald Trump “will be inaugurated on 4 March or will return to power on 20 May with the help of the US military.”
The memo, dated March 2 and viewed by the Wall Street Journal, says domestic violent extremists remain inspired by “election fraud and other conspiracy theories associated with the presidential transition.”
Rep. Michael McCaul, R.-Texas said on CNN that Trump “has a responsibility to tell them to stand down.” Aides to Trump didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Citing FBI reporting, the security bulletin says extremists discussed plans as of late February to take control of the Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers “on or about 4 March and “discussed aspirational plans to persuade thousands to travel to Washington DC to participate.”
March 4 was the nation’s Inauguration Day until 1937.
The agencies recommend that federal, state and local counterterrorism and police officials “remain vigilant in light of the persistent threat posed by (domestic violent extremists) and unpredictable target selection.”
Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the commanding general of the Washington, DC, National Guard, told the senators he was able to quickly get approval for National Guard troops during a social justice protest in June but faced what he called unusual delays of several hours on Jan. 6.
No Defense Department official involved in the Jan. 6 decision-making was present during the hearing, annoying some lawmakers.
The current deteriorating elements that could destroy our democracy provide a chilly atmosphere in what was once an enviable system of government.