U.S. Park Police were warned as early as December 2020 there was a possibility for an uprising at the Capitol on January 6th, and the FBI was monitoring the demonstrations leading into the riots, newly released documents have proven.
The documents were published in response to a lawsuit that was done by Judicial Watch back in May, after Park Police had denied a FOIA request in March for the records about the January 6th insurrection.
In the days going into the protest, the dept. reportedly knew about the January 6th event “would not be like any of the past protests which were held in 2020,” and were aware that armed groups were going to cause a “strong possibility for violence,” according to a January 26 comment by Acting Police Chief Yoganda D. Pittman.
Judicial Watch announced that it filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Capitol Police seeking for emails and videos concerning the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. READ HERE: https://t.co/9eGgqDOWm7
— Judicial Watch ⚖️ (@JudicialWatch) March 18, 2021
The January 4th arrest of Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio caused concern from officials, primarily because Tarrio “kept the more violent groups ‘under control’ during demonstrations in the District,” according to messages from a January 5 Park Police Operational Snapshot.
Officials said the possibility for violence was “likely” if opposing groups came into contact with each other, but dismissed the idea that any “pre-planned violent acts by individuals or groups,” according to the report.
The reason for the January 6th rally was said to be, in the documents, about “protesting election integrity,” according to a January 5th incident briefing that Judicial Watch obtained.
The FBI and its Information Operations Center was watching numerous events, including the Freedom Rally, the Wild Protest, the Jericho March and the Save America Rally, according to a January 6th situation report.
“This group has high potential to lead to counter-protesters, similar to events in Nov. and Dec. 2020. Multiple acts of violence have happened in downtown DC area during and after other events hosted by this same organizer,” the report says.
The FBI forwarded the report on to Park Police Captain Michael Libby, who said to his colleagues that there were around “200+ Proud Boys” on the Capitol grounds and that the police were “watching these groups’ movements through DC,” according to this report.
Capitol Police reportedly used all available personnel and even its SWAT team to prepare for any possible attack, but when USCP Police Chief Steven Sund asked the National Guard and pushed for declaring a state of emergency, the Capitol Police Board refused his request.
Author: Blake Ambrose