Capitol Police Report Before Riot: 'Congress Itself' Could Be Hit Kevin Seefried, second from left, holds a Confederate battle flag as he and other insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol in Washington. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Saturday, 16 January 2021 10:27 AM
A 12-page internal Capitol Police intelligence report issued three days before the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol warned that "Congress itself" could be the target of protesters in Washington, D.C.
In parts of the memo received by The Washington Post, the intelligence report says that potential targets of rioters were "not necessarily the counter-protesters, but rather Congress itself."
The memo also said that supporters of President Donald Trump "see Jan. 6, 2021, as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election. This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent."
The report also said that the president's rally, being held as Congress gathered to vote, would "attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence," and that it could result in "significantly dangerous situations for law enforcement and the general public alike."
The Post reports that the department's assessment had not yet been widely shared with the FBI or other law enforcement agencies. The document was revealed after the Department of Justice's internal watchdog said it is investigating how the Capitol Police and other agencies had been prepared and how they responded to the siege.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the review will include "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 Jan. 6."
Former Capitol Police chief Steven Sund, who resigned after the attack, told The Post after the incident that the department had 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."