Capitol Police Memo Issued Days Before Deadly Riot Warned 'Congress Itself' Could Be Targeted
A report from The Washington Post found that the memo was conveyed to all Capitol Police command staff
A Capitol Police intelligence report, dated three days before the Jan. 6 riots in Washington, D.C., warned that "Congress itself" could be targeted by supporters of President Donald Trump, according to The Washington Post.
The report from the Post, which obtained portions of the intelligence memo and published them on Friday, is bringing greater scrutiny on the police force for failing to prevent the violent breach of the Capitol building that occurred last week.
"Supporters of the current president see January 6, 2021, as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election," the internal memo read, according to the Post. "This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent. 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."
A spokesperson for the Capitol Police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
The Jan. 3 intelligence report further warned that thousands of protesters were likely to come into D.C., potentially leading to a "significantly dangerous situation."
"The Stop the Steal protest in particular does not have a permit, but several high profile speakers, including Members of Congress are expected to speak at the event," the memo stated, according to the Post. "This combined with Stop the Steal's propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members and others who actively promote violence, may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike."
Two people familiar with the 12-page document told the Post on the condition of anonymity that the report was conveyed to all Capitol Police command staff by the intelligence unit director, Jack Donahue.
Also on Friday, Capitol Police said they would be investigating claims that Republican lawmakers gave tours of the Capitol building to Trump supporters prior to the riots.
New Jersey Rep. Mikie Sherrill previously called for an investigation into members of Congress she saw on Jan. 5 leading groups of people through the Capitol in what she has described in a Facebook Live video as "a reconnaissance for the next day."
In a letter sent Wednesday to the Acting House Sergeant at Arms, Acting Senate Sergeant at Arms, and United States Capitol Police, and signed by Sherrill and 33 other House Democrats, "an immediate investigation" was sought into the "extremely high number of outside groups" in the Capitol Complex on January 5.
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Amid the increased scrutiny since the deadly riots, several Capitol Police officers have been suspended for their behavior during the events, according to a Monday statement from acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman.
Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund additionally submitted his letter of resignation just one day after the riots, informing the members of the Capitol Police Board at the time that his resignation would go into effect on Jan. 16.