It’s exhausting and frankly terrifying to write this sentence, but: The FBI has intelligence that suggests Trump supporters are planning “armed protests” in all 50 states on Inauguration Day.
ABC News reports that the bureau warned of the uprisings in an internal bulletin, writing that the imminent riots may start later this week and last for several days leading up to the event.
“The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January,” read the bulletin, which was obtained by the outlet. “They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur.”
Extremist groups have specifically called for Trump supporters to “storm” state capitols and other government buildings during this time. This is similar to the language groups and individuals used to describe plans to breach the Capitol on Wednesday, which they discussed for weeks in advance of the riots where they did exactly that.
Luckily, government officials and authorities seem to be paying closer attention this time!
“We’re keeping a look across the entire country to make sure that we’re monitoring, and that our Guards in every state are in close coordination with their local law enforcement agencies to provide any support requested,” Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told the press.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has already declared a state of emergency in the Capitol (she did so on Wednesday, immediately after the riots took place). And Trump followed suit on Monday, stating that “emergency conditions” surrounded his successor’s inauguration. At Bowser’s request, the Department of Homeland Security has also extended the U.S. Secret Service’s National Special Security Event for the inauguration, which guarantees additional security measures. They will now go into effect on Jan. 13, instead of Jan. 19, the eve of the ceremony.
It’s hardly surprising that Trump’s supporters are moving ahead with plans for riots this week. The response to the one they orchestrated on Wednesday only proved that attacks against the government were eminently possible to pull off and might even be met with sympathy. Of course now they have the disadvantage of not being underestimated or ignored. Or so I hope.