The House of Representatives has canceled its Thursday session after law enforcement officials warned that a militia group could be plotting to breach the Capitol building on March 4, a day some online rumors have claimed would see former President Donald Trump restored to power.
While police did not provide additional details about the intelligence, they said they’re working with local and federal law enforcement agencies to “stop any threats.” The agency was caught flat-footed and left embarrassed after protesters and rioters breached security lines on Jan. 6 and overran the Capitol. Several Capitol Police officials resigned following the breach.
“Some DVEs motivated by the QAnon conspiracy theory believe that the previous president will be inaugurated on March 4 or will return to power on May 20 with the help of the U.S. military,” the agencies said in the bulletin.
Also an unidentified group of militia violent extremists (MVE), which the agencies define as “individuals who seek, wholly or in part through unlawful acts of force or violence, to further their belief that the U.S. government is purposely exceeding its Constitutional authority and is attempting to establish a totalitarian regime,” discussed plans to take control of the Capitol on or around March 4, according to the bulletin.
“MVEs also have allegedly threatened an attack against the U.S. Capitol using explosives to kill as many members of Congress as possible during the upcoming State of the Union address,” the agencies warned. So far, no date has been set for President Joe Biden to deliver the customary State of the Union speech to Congress, a fact that has fed into online rumors questioning the legitimacy of his presidency.
On Tuesday, Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett notified Congress members of a possible security threat spanning Thursday through Saturday, referring to “potential protests and demonstration activity surrounding what some have described as the ’true Inauguration Day.'”
For nearly a century, U.S. presidents have been inaugurated on Jan. 20, including Biden, who took the oath of office on the grounds of the Capitol. Previously, March 4 had been the swearing-in date.
The Senate will convene as planned to begin debating Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19-relief bill on Thursday.