The Secret Service had early warnings that supporters of President Trump were plotting an armed attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to records disclosed in a congressional hearing. Agents in charge of assessing the risks around the protests had been tracking online chats on pro-Trump websites and noted that rallygoers were vowing to bring firearms, target the Capitol for a siege and even kill Vice President Mike Pence, reports the Washington Post. As early as Dec. 26, Secret Service officials shared a tipster’s warnings about extremist groups with murderous plans. “They think they will have a large enough group to march into DC armed and will outnumber the police so they can’t be stopped,” the tip read. “Their plan is to literally kill people. please, please take this tip seriously and investigate further.”
Evidence presented at the hearing adds the Secret Service to a long list of national security agencies who received prescient warnings about the assault protesters planned for Jan. 6, yet failed to respond with urgency to prevent the insurrection. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said the new details — retrieved in internal emails from a trove of more than a 1 million records the Secret Service provided the House panel — raise questions about how the agency shared its intelligence and whether officials have been forthright about their knowledge of the warnings. Schiff said "White House and Secret Service witnesses previously testified that they had received no intelligence about violence that could have potentially threatened any of their protectees on January 6th, including the vice president. Evidence strongly suggests that this testimony is not credible.” Secret Service Deputy Director Faron Paramore noted that the agency is not a “member of the Intelligence Community” and said it had shared its information widely with others. At the Jan. 6 rally, Schiff noted, the Secret Service knew many of the protesters in the crowd on the Ellipse had weapons, but it’s unclear what steps the agency took.