The FBI warned law enforcement agencies ahead of last week's breach of the U.S. Capitol about the potential for extremist-driven violence, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, contradicting earlier statements that they were caught off guard by the assault by supporters of President Donald Trump.
The Washington Post reported on the existence of a Jan. 5 report from the FBI’s field office in Norfolk, Virginia, that forecast, in detail, the chances for “war” in Washington the following day.
Nearly a week after the riot, officials said they were combing through mountains of evidence and vowed to aggressively seek out those who perpetrated the brazen attack on the U.S. Capitol. Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said the Justice Department was considering bringing sedition charges against some of the rioters, effectively accusing them of attempting to overthrow or defeat the government.
Officials said they were utilizing some of the same techniques in the riot probe as they use in international counterterrorism investigations. But the statements by FBI and Justice Department officials raised new questions about the coordination across agencies for the Jan. 6 riot, which was sparked by Trump's calls for his supporters to fight Congress' vote confirming President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
Trump is taking no responsibility for his part in fomenting a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week, despite his comments encouraging supporters to march on the Capitol and praise for them while they were still carrying out the assault. Trump says, “People thought that what I said was totally appropriate.”
Trump’s days in office are numbered. But he’s already stopped doing much of his job. His transgressions, big and small — of norms, of leadership, of human decency — are casting a pall over his final days in office and, in the view of even close advisers, are indelibly staining his legacy.
• An uptick in party switching since the Capitol insurrection is an early sign of the volatility ahead for the GOP as the party braces for political fallout of the riots that Trump incited.
• Prosecutors have brought dozens of cases after the Capitol attack, and more charges are expected in the coming days as investigators identify more members of the pro-Trump mob. The AP answers some key questions about the investigation.
• Last week’s violence at the Capitol starkly highlighted a longstanding local security paradox: The District of Columbia government lacks authority over much of the area within its borders. The security debacle has lent momentum and urgency to the longstanding effort for D.C. to gain direct authority over its National Guard contingent.
• Within a span of about 24 hours, three House Democrats have announced they tested positive for COVID-19, prompting concern that the siege at the Capitol has also turned into a super-spreader event threatening the health of lawmakers and their staffs.