US police were reportedly warned about violent attacks on Congress by angry mobs of Trump supporters, according to internal police intelligence.
The Capitol Police document dated January 3, obtained by The Washington Post, warns authorities supporters of US President Donald Trump would see January 6 as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the US election.
Thousands stormed the US Capitol building on that day leaving five people dead as Congress confirmed the Electoral College was won by Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump has continued to falsely claim the election was rigged against him causing his supporters to become despondent and aggressive.
“This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent,” the report read.
“Unlike previous post-election protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counter-protesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th."
The document is yet to be verified but it also claimed those attending were going to be carrying specialised combat gear, including gas masks and bulletproof vests.
It also warned of a “significantly dangerous situation” given white supremacists and militia would be at the event adding these groups have a propensity to promote violence.
The event was also “promoted by President Trump himself”, the document read.
Trump told his supporters before the violence broke out: “We won this election and we won it by a landslide.
“They said it’s not American to challenge the election. This is the most corrupt election in the history, maybe of the world.”
None of his claims have been substantiated.
Police ‘didn’t believe the threat’
A source told The Post police didn’t believe it was warning of a threat officers hadn’t faced before and the crowd would be similar to past “Stop the Steal” rallies.
Hundreds of National Guard members are camped out at the Capitol to protect lawmakers, some still reeling from the violence and preparing for Biden’s inauguration next week.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels those responsible for the attacks on the Capitol needed to be held accountable.
“Democracy must always prevail over violence, and I’m confident that the democratic institutions of the United States will handle this challenge,” he said.
Mr Stoltenberg, a former prime minister of Norway, said what happened in Washington last week was “absolutely unacceptable.”
He said it “was shocking, and the outcome of the election has to be respected and we have to make sure that our democratic values are fully respected”.
Trump has been impeached twice, with the second time coming after the violence broke out.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who led the push to impeach Trump a second time, asked Republicans and Democrats during a debate before the vote to “search their souls”.
She added Trump “must go”.
“He is a clear and present danger to the nation we all love,” Pelosi said.
The Associated Press
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