Washington (Trends Wide) — Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said Monday night that law enforcement must take “very seriously” the upcoming right-wing march in support of protesters jailed on January 6 as concerns mount about increased potential violence in the United States Capitol.
“I think they should take it very seriously. In fact, they should take it more seriously than they took the same kind of intelligence that they probably saw on January 5,” Trends Wide contributor McCabe told Trends Wide’s Poppy Harlow on the show. “Erin Burnett OutFront”.
Members of law enforcement in Washington brace themselves against possible unrest at the “Justice for J6” rally, planned for September 18, which aims to support the insurgents accused in the riot.
The event, hosted by a former Trump campaign staff member, has raised security concerns on Capitol Hill, and some precautionary measures will be taken. However, it is unclear how many protesters plan to attend. The rally will also take place on a Saturday, when the House of Representatives will be in recess, so there will be far fewer legislators or staff around.
A law enforcement source previously told Trends Wide that the Metropolitan Police Department will be fully activated, including canceling days off for sworn officers and putting Civil Unrest Units on hold. The source said the department will monitor open source information, such as online conversations and travel reservations, to assess potential crowds.
National Security Intelligence Chief John Cohen told Trends Wide last month that extremist rhetoric online is strikingly similar to that accumulating in the lead up to the Jan.6 attack, with increasing calls for violence linked to conspiracy theories. and false narratives.
Security preparations for September 18 underscore the tense atmosphere on Capitol Hill following the January 6 attack. In August, a man critical of Democrats was arrested after a hours-long confrontation near the Capitol during which he claimed to have an explosive device; The event ended without incident, but it still sent chills on Capitol Hill and provided law enforcement with another example of the risks of a toxic political climate. In April, a Capitol police officer was killed after a man rammed a vehicle into a police roadblock.
The charged environment has prompted lawmakers to invest in bulletproof vests and security systems, while the United States Capitol Police opens field offices in cities across the country.
Still, McCabe, who served as deputy director of the FBI from 2016 to 2018, including a stint as acting director, said Monday that police have “some factors that are tilted in their favor” this time around. “There is no sitting president who is actively fanning the flames and trying to get people to attend the rally,” he said.
McCabe continued: “And on the other hand, it appears that, by all indications, our law enforcement partners are well prepared for this. They appear to be taking intelligence very seriously, which raises the question of whether they are He did that on January 6, but that’s another problem. “
Trends Wide’s Melanie Zanona, Whitney Wild, and Geneva Sands contributed to this report.