Trump supporters to erupt in protests this weekend – police ‘prepare for the worst’

Nancy Pelosi ’emotional’ discussing attack on Capitol Building

With President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration just days away, concerns are rising about a repetition of the scenes witnessed on January 6, when thousands stormed the Capitol, home to the House of Representatives and the Senate. Five people, including one police officer, died in the ensuing mayhem, with Mr Trump himself widely blamed for having incited the mob with an incendiary speech near the White House hours earlier.

The FBI has warned police agencies of possible armed protests at all 50 state capitols, starting today, led by Trump supporters who believe his baseless claims about voter fraud.

Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Washington are among the states that have activated their National Guards to strengthen security, while Texas took the step of closing its Capitol from Saturday through Inauguration Day.

In Michigan, whose Governor Gretchen Whitmer was the target of a kidnapping plot prior to the election, a fence was erected around the Capitol building in Lansing while troopers were mobilised from across the state to bolster security. 

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Michigan State Police Director Joe Gasper admitted: “We are prepared for the worst but we remain hopeful that those who choose to demonstrate at our Capitol do so peacefully.” 

Meanwhile, Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said in a statement late Friday that intelligence indicated “violent extremists” may seek to exploit planned armed protests in its state Capitol, Austin to “conduct criminal acts”.

Law enforcement officials have trained much of their focus on Sunday, when the anti-government “boogaloo” movement has flagged plans to hold rallies in all 50 states.

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Michael Hayden of the Southern Poverty Law Center said he has not been this worried about the potential for violence in a long time.

Among other factors, he said the perceived censorship of conservative voices by technology companies including Twitter had served to foment right-wing sentiment.

He added: ”It has provided a kind of unifying grievance between groups that had no connection with one another before.”

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The Joint Intelligence Bulletin, produced by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and National Counterterrorism Center, has warned that “false narratives” about electoral fraud will serve as an ongoing catalyst for extremist groups.

Thousands of armed National Guard troops are now on the streets in Washington in an unprecedented show of force in the U.S. Capitol. 

The National Mall and various well-known US landmarks will be closed to visitors into next week.

Speaking to on Thursday, Mr Trump’s former head of communication Anthony Scaramucci, now a fierce critic, said: “You can’t fly into Washington DC with a gun and Airbnb won’t let you book a room.

“I also think impeaching the President has helped, as has taking him off of Twitter.

“It had to happen because he is now the head of a domestic terrorist organisation, which sounds ridiculous but that is what he is.

“He represents an existential threat to the United States.

“We picked somebody who was dangerous.”

Mr Scaramucci is a long-term associate of Mr Trump who worked for him briefly in 2017 before being forced to resign after disparaging remarks about right-wing White House strategist Steve Bannon were published in the New Yorker.

He suggested last Wednesday’s chaos had happened as a result of a number of factors, with degree of complicity within the Capitol police force.

He said: “There were three groups of police we are talking about: ones who supported Trump who didn’t show up for work, ones who didn’t support Trump, who didn’t show up for work, and ones who supported Trump, who did show up for work.

“Those were the ones who were letting terrorists into the Capitol building.”

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