Thousands of Armed “Patriots” Planning to Surround Capitol on Inauguration Day

Thousands of armed pro-Donald Trump extremists are plotting to surround the U.S. Capitol in advance of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week, according to a member of Congress who was among those briefed by law enforcement late Monday on a series of new threats against lawmakers and the Capitol itself.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) said, “They were talking about 4,000 armed ‘patriots’ to surround the Capitol and prevent any Democrat from going in. They have published rules of engagement, meaning when you shoot and when you don’t. So this is an organized group that has a plan. They are committed to doing what they’re doing because I think in their minds, you know, they are patriots and they’re talking about 1776 and so this is now a contest of wills.”

Monday’s briefing followed a bulletin published by the FBI in which it warned of armed protests being planned by pro-Trump factions at all 50 state capitols and in Washington. It provides the latest sense of a heightened state of alarm among lawmakers and law enforcement officials following last week’s deadly siege at the Capitol.

Lamb added, “We are not negotiating with or reasoning with these people. They have to be prosecuted. They have to be stopped. And unfortunately, that includes the president, which is why he needs to be impeached and removed from office.”

Thousands of National Guard troops are expected to be in place beginning tomorrow in an effort to secure the nation’s capital. The National Park Service has closed the Washington Monument and the National Mall. A wide swatch of downtown D.C. already is sealed off from vehicular traffic.

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