“Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”
That was just some of the inciting rhetoric FBI officials observed online ahead of the deadly pro-Trump riots targeting the US Capitol building last week, according to a new report, contradicting previous statements from the bureau that said it had not received any warnings about the mob.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the FBI field office in Norfolk, Virginia released an internal warning of the potential for violence during demonstrations scheduled as Congress was convening to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Federal agencies and the United States Capitol Police department have both received criticism from lawmakers for their apparent unpreparedness during the violent riots, which left at least 14 officers injured and one dead as a result of injuries he sustained in the clash.
Whereas the FBI previously said it was unaware of calls for violence at the demonstrations in support of President Donald Trump and his false claims of a rigged election, the new report seemed to indicate officials within the bureau were sounding the alarm well before the rioters befell Washington and ransacked the offices of government.
The Justice Department has since announced it was investigating “significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy” as reports said the FBI received over 100,000 pieces of digital evidence from the public since the Capitol riots.
Videos posted to social media have also shown accounts of the president’s supporters who were allegedly involved in the Capitol riots being escorted off of planes. Those reports appeared to indicate the rioters had been added to no-fly lists as a result of the deadly mob attacks.
The Virginia field office drafted a situational information report approved for release, according to the newspaper, which read as follows: “As of 5 January 2021, FBI Norfolk received information indicating calls for violence in response to ‘unlawful lockdowns’ to begin on 6 January 2021 in Washington. D.C.”
It continued: “An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”
Lawmakers from across the country have since called for additional security measures throughout the transition of power, with President-elect Joe BIden insisting he was confident his inauguration ceremonies could go forward as planned with the Secret Service conducting oversight of the day, which has been declared a special national security event.
The document was reportedly shared with others in the bureau, though it remained unclear to what extent the FBI was aware of the calls for violence online ahead of the riots. The FBI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.