Yogananda Pittman, the acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, appealed to congressional leaders Thursday to use their influence to keep National Guard troops at the Capitol, according to the Associated Press.
Pittman told the leaders in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that the board that oversees her department has so far declined to extend an emergency declaration required by the Pentagon to keep Guardsmen who have assisted Capitol officers since the Jan. 6th riot.
Pittman said she needed the leaders’ assistance with the three-member Capitol Police Board, which reports to them.
“The letter underscored the confusion over how best to secure the Capitol after a dismal lack of protection in January and biting criticism for law enforcement’s handling of the invasion,” said the Associated Press.
The letter also came as authorities spent Thursday on high alert, primed for a “possible plot” by a militia group to storm the building again, two months after Trump supporters smashed through windows and doors in an insurrection meant to halt the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
However, no protest led by the pro-Donald Trump conspiracy theory movement QAnon materialized at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday.
An intelligence bulletin issued by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security obtained by CBS News said the U.S. Capitol was the target of a potential plot by a militia group.
“As of late February, an unidentified group of militia violent extremists discussed plans to take control of the U.S. Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers on or about 4 March and discussed aspirational plans to persuade thousands to travel to Washington, DC, to participate,” the bulletin reads.
The bulletin also noted that Pittman said militia groups have expressed a desire to blow up the Capitol when lawmakers are attending President Joe Biden’s first presidential address to a joint session of Congress, which has yet to be scheduled.
The House canceled its Thursday session due to the threat.
QAnon adherents borrowed from the obscure US-based sovereign-citizen movement to suggest that Trump would return to power on March 4, 2021. Yahoo reported that sovereign citizens “believe that they get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit organization that tracks extremism.
But now, QAnon influencers are backtracking via another conspiracy theory, claiming that the March 4 date is a false flag event planned by outsiders to “make the whole movement look dumb,” as David Gilbert reported for Vice.
Another channel run by a major QAnon influencer with 71,000 subscribers made a similar claim on Wednesday morning. “March 4 is a Trap.”