RELEASE: Gottheimer Formally Requests FBI Threat Assessment on Future Armed Demonstrations, Attacks on U.S. Capitol & State Capitols in Coming Days

Jan 14, 2021
Press

Following the failed insurrection and deadly attacks on the U.S. Capitol last week

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer has formally requested an FBI briefing on the current threat assessment and intelligence gathering for planned armed demonstrations in the coming days at the U.S. Capitol and State Capitols nationwide, as well as current defense capabilities and guidance on how Americans can protect themselves and their communities from these threats.

Gottheimer cites reports from the FBI anticipating large-scale armed demonstrations in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C. leading up to the Inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden. According to the investigators, the organizers of these demonstrations include members of extremist groups. 

“I am deeply alarmed by reports of ‘storming’ State Capitols and the U.S. Capitol, especially given what transpired on January 6th, 2021,” Congressman Josh Gottheimer wrote in a letter this week to FBI Director Christopher Wray. “It is critically important that the deadly and damaging attack on the U.S. Capitol never be permitted to happen again, or be replicated at any of our state houses across the country.”

Some organizers of last week’s deadly riot included members of dangerous extremist groups, like the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and other right-wing militia groups. 

The letter is available HERE, the text of which is provided below.

January 13, 2021

Christopher A. Wray
Director
Federal Bureau of Investigations
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20535

Dear Director Wray:

Thank you for your leadership and for the hard work of all those at the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in the days since the deadly and damaging attack on the U.S. Capitol. I appreciate the Bureau’s commitment to bring the perpetrators of this violent insurrection to justice. 

However, I am concerned about reports of the possibility of similar attacks and threats in the coming days and weeks. According to a recent FBI bulletin, the Bureau anticipates large-scale armed demonstrations in all fifty states and in Washington, D.C. as soon as this week and leading up to the Inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden. (1) According to the investigators, the organizers of these demonstrations include members of extremist groups. I am deeply alarmed by reports of “storming” State Capitols and the U.S. Capitol, especially given what transpired on January 6th, 2021. (2)

I greatly appreciate the work of FBI personnel, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Defense Department, U.S. Park Police, the U.S. Marshals, and other agencies to compile this information from social media and other sources. (3) According to the FBI, many Americans are helping to bring these perpetrators to justice, with nearly 45,000 digital media tips having been submitted and currently under review. (4)

It is critically important that the deadly and damaging attack on the U.S. Capitol never be permitted to happen again, or be replicated at any of our state houses across the country. I therefore request a briefing from the FBI on: 

1) The current threat assessment and intelligence gathering for these planned demonstrations;

2) Our current defense capability including federal law enforcement and the National Guard; and 

3) Further guidance for all Americans to protect themselves and their communities should these demonstrations occur. 

I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter, given the time sensitive nature of this intelligence. Thank you for your leadership.

Sincerely,

Josh Gottheimer
MEMBER OF CONGRESS

(1) — https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/fbi-memo-warns-law-enforcement-across-u-s-possible-armed-n1253750
(2) — https://abcnews.go.com/US/armed-protests-planned-50-state-capitols-fbi-bulletin/story?id=75179771
(3) —   https://apnews.com/article/fbi-warns-armed-protests-next-week-ec75b26289166b4afd30c15b0dd2ded5
(4) —  https://abcnews.go.com/US/armed-protests-planned-50-state-capitols-fbi-bulletin/story?id=75179771

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