FBI warns of nationwide armed protests ahead of Biden’s inauguration
(Update 1: adds information about FBI bulletin pars 1-6, minor edits, changes headline, lede)
Washington, Jan 11 (efe-epa).- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned of armed protests in all 50 United States capitols, including Washington DC, in the lead-up to president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, US media widely reported Monday, citing an internal bulletin.
The protests are being planned from Jan. 16 through Jan. 20, the day of Biden’s public inauguration, and comes after pro-Donald Trump radicals rioted through the US Capitol last week, leaving five people dead.
The bulletin said the FBI had also received information on “an identified group calling for others to join them in ‘storming’ state, local and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings in the event POTUS is removed as president prior to Inauguration Day,” according to CNN.
The bulletin added that an armed group intending to travel to Washington DC on Jan. 16 has warned that if Congress attempts to remove Trump via the 25th amendment, a “huge uprising will occur,” according to ABC, which first reported the memo.
Threats against Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were also reported.
However, Biden said Monday that he was not afraid of taking the presidential oath of office on the steps of the Capitol as is US tradition.
“I’m not afraid of taking the oath outside,” Biden told the media at a hospital in Newark, Delaware, where he went to get his second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
Biden said that he thought Trump “should not be in office. Period.” But he did not comment on congressional Democrats’ call to Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president or they will begin a second impeachment process against him on Wednesday.
The president-elect also said that he hopes that those people who engaged in “seditious” behavior in the violent invasion of the Capitol legally pay for what they did.
Biden will assume the presidency on Wednesday next week in a ceremony that traditionally has been held on the steps of the US Capitol, surrounded by key figures in US politics and society.
Washington will hike security for the event by deploying up to 15,000 members of the National Guard to guarantee public safety, while the city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, has asked the public either not to attend the inauguration at all or to gather on the National Mall out of fear of new confrontations.
The assault on the Capitol last Wednesday came as lawmakers were proceeding with certifying Biden’s victory in the Nov. 3 presidential vote. But in a speech before his supporters gathered in front of the White House, Trump urged them to march to Congress and once again repeated his baseless, and oft disproven, allegations that massive election fraud was the only reason that Biden had defeated his reelection bid.
Those election certification proceedings were temporarily disrupted by the violence, chaos and mayhem associated with the invasion of the Capitol. EFE-EPA