WASHINGTON | Security has been tightened and votes have been put forward in the US Congress after police alerted the “possible militia plan” to attack the Capitol on Thursday, the target of a deadly assault by pro-Trump protesters in January.
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Members of the QAnon conspiracy movement, who have never accepted Joe Biden’s victory, believe March 4 will see Donald Trump invested as president of the United States for a second term.
As that date approached, police were closely monitoring calls for a rally by pro-Trump protesters these days, in a country still reeling from the Jan.6 attack. And on Wednesday, the forces tasked with protecting the seat of Congress signaled a threat.
“We have obtained information which shows a possible plan of an identified militia to force the entry of the Capitol on March 4”, warned the police, affirming to be “prepared for any potential threats”.
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She said she had “already significantly strengthened the security” of the Capitol since the coup in January, when hundreds of supporters of Donald Trump had invaded the seat of Congress while parliamentarians certified the victory of Democrat Joe Biden.
Members of the National Guard still patrol the grounds of the Capitol, protected by barriers and barbed wire.
The police are monitoring “different information closely” on “potential gatherings from March 4 to 6,” security officials in Congress said Wednesday in a note to Capitol staff.
On Monday, their leader, Timothy Blodgett (“Acting Sergeant at Arms”), told parliamentarians that he was monitoring information “related to March 4 and possible protests surrounding what some call” the real day of the inauguration “” .
“The importance of this date has apparently diminished in different groups in recent days,” he stressed, however.
3:19 to deploy the military
After the alert given by the police, the House of Representatives advanced to Wednesday evening two votes scheduled for Thursday, which will allow its some 430 parliamentarians not to return to the hemicycle before next week. On the other hand, the Senate will be in session from noon, under even reinforced security.
Democratic Senator Mark Warner said Wednesday night on CNN that the House decision responded to “extreme caution” in a still traumatized Capitol.
Until 1933, the American presidents were invested on March 4, and not on January 20 as is now the tradition.
During Donald Trump’s presidency, members of the QAnon nebula were convinced that the Republican was going to save the world in the face of corrupt and pedophile elites. Some, hoping Congress would not certify Joe Biden’s victory on January 6, were among the protesters.
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If the Democrat was finally invested on January 20, activists still believe that his Republican rival will return to power on Thursday, even if it is difficult to estimate their number or if the online conversations of the pro-Trump can convert. in action this time.
The price of rooms at the luxurious Trump International hotel, near the Capitol, has exploded to $ 1,331 a night for Wednesday and Thursday evening, against $ 476 until the end of March.
Five people, including a Capitol policeman, died in the January coup. More than 270 people are being prosecuted for their participation in the attack, according to the FBI.
Accused of “incitement to insurgency” for calling on his supporters to march on Congress, Donald Trump was acquitted in the Senate on February 13.
He never accepted the result of the presidential election, believing without foundation that his defeat was due to massive fraud.
The assault sparked a national controversy over the lack of preparation of the police. And Congress is continuing its investigation through several commissions.
In a new hearing on Wednesday, General William Walker, chief of the Washington National Guard, claimed that it took 3 hours and 19 minutes for the Pentagon to authorize the deployment of its troops after the police chief’s request of the Capitol, overwhelmed by demonstrators.