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House cancels Thurs. votes over Capitol attack warnings by FBI, DHS; reports

Barbed wire, is seen atop security fencing, with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
March 03, 2021

On Wednesday night, multiple news publications reported leaders in the House of Representatives canceled votes scheduled for Thursday amid reports by the Capitol Police, FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that groups may try to use explosives to lay siege to and take over the Capitol building in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

Some Thursday events on the House schedule were labeled “postponed” on Wednesday, while other Thursday events appeared to have been moved up to Wednesday. The House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said, in a statement reported by The Wall Street Journal, that votes scheduled for the remainder of the week have been moved up to Wednesday night.

Thousands of National Guard troops remain in Washington D.C. and an actual attack on the Capitol is unlikely.

In a Tuesday bulletin, the FBI and DHS said some domestic violent extremists (DVE) groups believe a QAnon conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump “will be inaugurated on 4 March.”

The FBI/DHS bulletin further stated militia violent extremists (MVEs) have discussed plans since late February “to take control of the US Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers on or about 4 March and discussed aspirational plans to persuade thousands to travel to Washington, DC, to participate, according to FBI reporting.”

“MVEs also have allegedly threatened an attack against the US Capitol using explosives to kill as many members of Congress as possible during the upcoming State of the Union address, according the US Capitol Police Chief,” the FBI/DHS bulletin states.

The Capitol Police also said in a Wednesday press release, “We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.”

“We have already made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress, the public and our police officers,” the Capitol Police said. “Our Department is working with our local, state, and federal partners to stop any threats to the Capitol. We are taking the intelligence seriously. Due to the sensitive nature of this information, we cannot provide additional details at this time.”

USA Today and Fox News similarly reported on cancellations, based on security concerns.

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) tweeted, “While grateful for the concern for our safety by leadership, I’m disappointed by this decision. We cannot allow threats by misinformed, cowardly seditionists to impact our work in Congress. Doing so only rewards such behavior and emboldens traitors who which to harm our country.”

As of this publishing, the Senate schedule appears unchanged, despite the House schedule changes.