Capitol Police said in a statement Wednesday that it has increased security in light of a “possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.”
March 4 is the date that signifies with a far-right conspiracy theory which claims that former President Donald Trump will be put back into office.
“The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” the statement reads. “We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.”
The House Acting Sergeant-At-Arms also issued a bulletin that informed members of Congress about the increased security presence and that his office, along with Capitol Police, are monitoring online chatter about potential unrest related to the March 4 date.
“As a precaution, and to support the safety and security of Members and staff, the USCP will have additional personnel posted throughout Capitol Grounds,” Blodgett said. “Additionally, the National Guard continues to maintain a presence on Capitol grounds to support the USCP with maintaining an increased security posture.”
Capitol Police declined to provide any other information about the threat “due to the sensitive nature of this information.”
“We have already made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress, the public and our police officers.
“Our Department is working with our local, state, and federal partners to stop any threats to the Capitol,” they concluded. “We are taking the intelligence seriously.”
March 4 was the original presidential inauguration day until 1933, when it was moved to Jan. 20. A far-right conspiracy theory, mainly promoted by supporters of QAnon, that Trump will rise again to power that day.
Police did not identify the militia group in the statement on Wednesday. In her testimony to the House panel, acting Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman said her investigators had collected “some concerning intelligence,” but declined to provide any details publicly, saying it was “law enforcement sensitive” and that she would provide a private briefing for the subcommittee members.
Capitol Police have stepped up security around the Capitol complex since January’s insurrection, adding physical security measures such as the fencing topped with razor wire around the Capitol and members of the National Guard who remain at the complex.
So far, about 300 people have been charged with federal crimes for their roles in the riot. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died.
Thousands of accounts that promoted the Jan. 6 event that led to a violent storming of the U.S. Capitol have since been suspended by major tech companies like Facebook and Twitter, making it far more difficult for QAnon and far-right groups to organize a repeat of the mass gathering on Thursday.
Twitter banned more than 70,000 accounts after the riots, while Facebook and Instagram removed posts mentioning “stop the steal,” a pro-Trump rallying cry used to mobilize his supporters in January. And the conservative social media platform Parler, which many of Trump’s supporters joined to promote false election fraud conspiracy theories and encourage friends to “storm” the Capitol on Jan. 6, was booted off the internet following the siege.
Since his defeat, Trump has been promoting lies that the election was stolen from him through mass voter fraud, even though such claims have been rejected by judges, Republican state officials and Trump’s own administration. He was impeached by the House after the Jan. 6 riot on a charge of incitement of insurrection but was acquitted by the Senate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.