25th February local time, Peterman, acting police chief of Congress, warned that militias involved in the Capitol riots on January 6 wanted to “blew up the Capitol” and “kill as many MPs as possible” when President Biden addressed Congress.
During a hearing about the reasons for the failure of the relevant security measures at the time of the January 6, Pittman told House lawmakers that law enforcement remained concerned that the known militia threat was directly related to Biden’s speech.
“Members of the militia at the scene of [the Capitol Hill riots] on January 6 had said that they wanted to blow up the Capitol and kill as many MPs as possible, which was directly related to the State of the Union speech, and we knew that the date had not been set.
“We know that the rebels who attacked the Capitol were not only interested in attacking members of Congress and officials, but also wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation that who is the master of the legislative process,” she added.
CNN reported that Pittman’s remarks marked the first public mention of specific threats against Congress and lawmakers by U.S. law enforcement officials, which is related to Biden’s expected speech in the joint congressional session.
Normally, while the president of the United States won’t deliver a formal State of the Union address in the first months of his first term, the Biden administration is considering addressing Congress later this year, but a date has not yet been set.
The report said that despite bipartisan calls for reducing security measures around the U.S. Congress, Pittman refused to elaborate on the arrangements for the removal of the fence and the removal of the Washington National Guard.
Pittman said: “We do not intend to continue to retain the National Guard soldiers when actually need it.
We are actively taking a downsizing approach to ensure we can address three major variables: one is the perceived threat to the perimeter, the other is the vulnerability of the facility, and the third is the shortcomings known to the U.S. Capitol Police in terms of human capital and technical resources.”
At the subsequent hearing, Pittman said that the fences set up around the Capitol were not permanent.
She said: “The temporary facility is only to solve the loopholes after the January 6 attacks.
Our first priority is to ensure the safety of parliamentarians and ensure that the democratic process is protected.
Once we have the right facilities and human resources, we will remove the fence.” CNN has previously reported that the U.S. Capitol police told lawmakers that the barbed wire around the Capitol should be maintained until at least September because security problems related to threats to members of Congress persist.