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House cancels session over ‘possible plot’ to breach Capitol
The threat comes two months after the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
staff video, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives canceled its Thursday session after receiving information about a possible security threat at the Capitol on March 4.
The United States Capitol Police said Wednesday they were aware of a “possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group,” and a notice sent to all congressional offices said the agency was bolstering its security presence on Capitol Hill.
March 4 has been highlighted by the debunked QAnon conspiracy as the “true inauguration day” for former President Donald Trump. It is the date presidents were inaugurated on until 1937.
“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,” Capitol Police said.
The Senate has not announced plans to discontinue its Thursday session.
The House moved its remaining votes for the week to Wednesday night to avoid putting lawmakers at risk on Thursday. The House will vote on a police reform bill named for George Floyd on Wednesday instead.
The threat comes two months after the deadly attack by supporters of Trump at the Capitol, where rioters attacked police officers and threatened the lives of members of Congress and former Vice President Mike Pence on the day Congress certified results of the 2020 presidential election.
“The USCP is steadfast in ensuring that an incident of this nature will never occur again, especially with the realization that the possibility of a similar incident occurring in the current environment is a very real and present danger,” acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told lawmakers Wednesday.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told reporters he had heard “rumors” about March 4 but had not been briefed on threats. “In light of what we went through on Jan. 6, it’s understandable that people are concerned,” he said.
Though the decisions in both chambers might appear to be contradictory, “I’m not going to second-guess Speaker Pelosi,” he said. “At this point, Sen. Schumer has not released the same conclusion.”