WASHINGTON, D.C. – The FBI has sent a memo to authorities across the country, warning of the possibility of armed protests at all 50 state capitols starting this week and lasting through Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, ABC News, NBC News and The Associated Press report.
ABC News was the first to report the bulletin Monday, which also reportedly says the FBI received information about an armed group intending to travel to Washington D.C. on Jan. 16.
The group has reportedly warned that if Congress attempts to remove President Donald Trump from office via the 25th Amendment, “a huge uprising will occur.” However, Congress doesn’t have that power. It lies with Vice President Mike Pence.
Law enforcement sources have told ABC News that federal law enforcement officials have advised local police to prepare for the possible protests with increased security measures at statehouses and other government buildings.
Though the memo highlights possible threats discussed online, NBC News reports it doesn’t mean authorities expect violent protests in every state.
These potential protests come after Wednesday’s riots, where a mob of Trump supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress held a joint session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. At least five people died as a result of the riots, including a Capitol police officer.
Following the riots, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for Trump to leave office or be removed before Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20.
Meanwhile, Trump declared an emergency for Washington DC through the Inauguration Day.
"The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the District of Columbia," the White House said.
Monday, the House requested unanimous consent to bring up a resolution that calls on Pence to mobilize the Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment to declare Trump incapable of executing the duties of his office. That was struck down by Republicans. Next, the House will bring the measure to the floor for a vote on Tuesday.
The House is also expected to introduce impeachment legislation on Wednesday, charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.