As lawmakers grapple with President Donald Trump’s role in the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week, the FBI believes there may be more violence yet to come from the president’s supporters, according to a bulletin obtained by ABC News.
"Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the US Capitol from 17 January through 20 January," ABC News reported Monday, citing an FBI bulletin.
Should President Trump be removed before inauguration day, an unnamed group is encouraging supporters to storm government buildings across the country, per ABC’s report.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi worked swiftly Monday to try to oust Trump from office, pushing the vice president and Cabinet to act first in an extraordinary effort to remove Trump in the final days of his presidency.
A House resolution calling on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office was blocked by Republicans. However, the full House is set to hold a roll call vote on that resolution on Tuesday, and it is expected to pass.
After that, Pelosi said Pence will have 24 hours to respond. Next, the House would proceed to impeachment. A vote could come Wednesday.
But the choice to remove President Trump from office before Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 has angered many of his supporters, and may lead to violent outbreaks should the president be forcibly removed from office.
The bulletin also reportedly warned of an “identified armed group” planning to travel to Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 16, warning of a “huge uprising” should Trump be removed via the 25th Amendment this week.
NBC News also obtained the memo, and the Associated Press confirmed details of the FBI bulletin with two law enforcement officials who read details of the memo to the outlet.
The FBI did not answer specific questions regarding the memo when reached for comment by Spectrum News, instead saying they are "focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity."
“While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, the FBI is supporting our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners with maintaining public safety in the communities we serve," the FBI statement began. "Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity. As we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats and are sharing that information with our partners. The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights."
"Our focus is not on peaceful protesters, but on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property," the agency added.
It’s hardly the first warning that violence may marr Biden’s inauguration day.
Twitter on Friday permanently suspended President Trump from its platform, citing two tweets in particular, including Trump's announcement that he would not be attending President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.
The tweets, the company wrote, must be “read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks.”
While some welcomed the president’s announcement that he would not be attending Joe Biden’s inauguration — including the president-elect himself — Twitter found his supporters are viewing the tweet as a further message that Trump does not accept the results of the November election.
“The second Tweet may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a 'safe' target, as he will not be attending,” the company added.
Security in the nation’s capital has already been stepped up in the wake of last Wednesday’s events. Roughly 6,200 members of the National Guard from six states — Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland — will help support the Capitol Police and other law enforcement in Washington for the next 30 days.
Crews erected tall black metal fences on the Capitol grounds that are designed to be impossible to climb. Similar structures have previously been used around the White House and in other cities that faced prolonged demonstrations.
And District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser is seeking increased security around the inauguration in the wake of the mob insurrection at the Capitol.
“We believe strongly that the 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20 will require a very different approach than previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury, and death experienced at the United States Capitol during the insurrection,” Bowser wrote in a letter to Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
She asked for a “pre-disaster declaration” for the District to allow for federal assistance.
Bowser cited “new threats from insurgent acts of domestic terrorists” and asked that the security period around the inauguration be extended from Monday through Jan. 24 and that the Capitol be included in the perimeter. She is urging that any applications for demonstrations be denied during that period.
The letter was dated Saturday and released Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This article has been updated to reflect a statement from the FBI.