Police chief warns of ongoing threat to 'blow up' US Capitol

780

Republicans in Congress have been attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over security measures put in place after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

At a congressional hearing on Thursday, Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman testified that an ongoing threat connected to the upcoming State of the Union address has required ongoing heightened security.

"We know that members of the militia groups that were present on Jan. 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union," Pittman said in testimony to a House Appropriations subcommittee.

Pittman noted that the date for President Joe Biden's first joint address to Congress has not yet been determined. As a result, she said that based on the information law enforcement has, "It's prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture" until existing security vulnerabilities are addressed.

The dire warning comes as Republicans have made their complaints about the security procedures put in place after Jan. 6 into a major issue.

Members of Congress, like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) have referred to the protective fencing around the Capitol as "Fort Pelosi" and a "fortress," and have alleged that it is unnecessary.

"Tear down the fence," Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) tweeted on Tuesday, while Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) accused Democratic leaders of "hid[ing] behind walls and fences."

Republicans have also flouted the security rules by trying to bypass metal detectors put in place in the Capitol, and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) referred to the presence of security forces in the building as an "occupation."

The complaints have been made while the Department of Justice continues to arrest people who took part in the Jan. 6 attack that killed five.

The FBI continues to look for individuals connected to the attack at the same time Republicans minimize the threat.

In addition to playing down the continuing threat from pro-Trump insurrectionists, some Republicans, like Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) have promoted falsehoods about the initial attack, by deflecting blame from Trump supporters and denying that weapons were in use at the scene.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.