March 7, 2021

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Capitol Police intelligence report before Jan. 6 riot warned ‘Congress itself’ could be targeted: report – Fox News

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An internal Capitol Police intelligence report issued three days before the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 said “Congress itself” could be targeted by protesters gathering in Washington, D.C., that day, according to a report.

The 12-page intelligence memo, parts of which were obtained by The Washington Post, said the potential targets of the rioters were “not necessarily the counter-protesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself.”

The House and Senate had come together in a joint session that day to certify the Electoral College votes that were collected Dec. 14, but Congress was delayed for hours after rioters broke into the building. 

“Supporters of the current president see January 6, 2021, as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election,” the report continued, adding, “This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent.” 

Rioters and police clash outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021. (Getty Images)
Rioters and police clash outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021. (Getty Images)

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The report said that combined with the likelihood the “Stop the Steal” rally would “attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence,” it could lead to “significantly dangerous situations for law enforcement and the general public alike.”

The Capitol Police assessment hadn’t been widely shared, including with the FBI or other law enforcement agencies, the Post reported.

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog Friday announced it would investigate how the department and its law enforcement agencies prepared for and responded to the siege.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the office’s review will “examine the role and activity of Department of Justice and its components in preparing for and responding to the events.”

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“The DOJ OIG review will include examining information relevant to the January 6 events that was available to DOJ and its components in advance of January 6; the extent to which such information was shared by DOJ and its components with the U.S. Capitol Police and other federal, state, and local agencies; and the role of DOJ personnel in responding to the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6,” Horowitz said.

The review is one of multiple probes launched by inspectors general, including probes into the departments of Homeland Security and Defense and the Interior Department, which oversees the Park Police.

In a statement provided to Fox News, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said the “American people deserve transparency” about the Jan. 6 events.

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Former Capitol Police chief Steven Sund, who resigned after the attack, previously told The Post: “We looked at the intelligence. We knew we would have large crowds, the potential for some violent altercations. I had nothing indicating we would have a large mob seize the Capitol.”

The Capitol Police did not immediately respond to Fox News’ after-hours request for comment. 

Fox News’ Jake Gibson and Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.

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