‘Their plan is to literally kill people’: Newly released emails show Secret Service knew of plans for violence on Jan. 6

Emails and messages between members of the US Secret Service at least 10 days before the attack on the US Capitol reveal the agency was well aware of violent threats and plans to take over the halls of Congress, according to the House committee investigating the attack .

A Secret Service field office relayed a tip sent to the FBI warning that members of the far-right nationalist Proud Boys gang were planning to march, armed, on Washington.

The message, sent on December 26, 2020, said “their plan is to literally kill people.”

“Please take this advice seriously and investigate further,” the message said, according to the committee.

The FBI also informed the Secret Service on January 5, 2021, a day before the attack, that right-wing groups were planning “quick reaction forces” set up near the Capitol that were “ready” in case Donald Trump “asked for help ». “

These “rapid response forces” are also central to federal prosecutors’ argument that the far-right anti-government group The Oath Keepers planned for weeks to violently disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s election, with members of the militia facing sedition conspiracy charges in connection with with the attack.

After underlining his links to the attack and his firm plans to reject the election result, the former president was also summoned by the commission.

Committee members argued that Trump and his rhetoric were “central” to the Jan. 6 violence.

US Rep. Elaine Luria said Mr Trump’s failed attempts to overturn the results informed his decision to make a “coordinated, multi-pronged plan to ensure he stays in office” and that he was the “leader” and “personally , directly involved” in carrying out his attempt to subvert the will of the American people.

Other Secret Service messages released by the committee describe how agents observed online threats against Vice President Mike Pence, who was described in a message shared with agents as the “dead man walking” if he did not support Mr Trump’s baseless efforts. to reject the result of the election.

The committee also revealed that the Secret Service was aware of planning and violent chatter on far-right social media platforms and message boards in the days after the 2020 election — and that members of the crowd that would later enter Capitol Hill to block those results were armed.

“A number of White House and Secret Service witnesses previously testified that they had received no information about violence that could threaten any of their protégés on January 6,” according to committee member Adam Schiff.

“The evidence strongly suggests that this testimony is not credible.”

The lawmaker said the violence on Capitol Hill was “entirely consistent with the violent rhetoric that has been circulating in recent days on pro-Trump websites.”

For years, federal law enforcement agencies have sounded the alarm about growing threats of far-right violence in congressional testimony, detailed reports and internal memos.

Users on far-right social media platforms have openly discussed plans to fulfill the former president’s plans to overturn the 2020 election results.

They were posted around January 6 on the pro-Trump message board The Donald and QAnon-hosting 8Kun, and on messaging platforms and apps such as Parler, Gab and Telegram.

Efforts to organize and discuss have not been limited to darker corners of the internet, but to mainstream platforms such as Facebook groups and Instagram stories, Reddit, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.

In September 2020, months before Election Day, the FBI issued an intelligence report warning that far-right groups and white supremacists pose a “violent extremist threat” to the US, specifically between Election Day and of the 2021 presidential inauguration. could serve as a “potential flashpoint” for violence.

The committee subpoenaed the Secret Service for communications surrounding the attack in July after reports that most text messages shared between agents on their official cellphones on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 were deleted as part of a planned phone upgrade.

The Secret Service provided the committee with about 1 million electronic communications, according to the committee. These do not include texts.

In a statement, Secret Service spokesman Steve Kopek said the agency continues to “cooperate fully” with the committee.

“While no additional text messages were recovered, we have provided a significant level of detail from emails, radio broadcasts, Microsoft Teams chat messages and exhibits relating to aspects of design, operations and communications surrounding [6 January]he said in a statement this week.

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