Three days before the Jan. 6 insurrection, Capitol police intelligence analysts warned of potential danger stemming from comments made by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).
The warning was part of a Special Event Assessment dated Jan. 3, 2021 — analyzing threats associated with Congress' impending vote on the certification of electoral votes on Jan. 6.
Politico's Betsy Woodruff Swan, who obtained a copy of the Special Event Assessment, reported Wednesday: "The Jan. 3 assessment noted that Gohmert had sued to try to get then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results. The assessment added that a federal judge had thrown out Gohmert’s suit."
Capitol police analysts wrote in the intelligence assessment: “In an interview Friday evening on pro-Trump news network Newsmax, Representative Gohmert claimed that letting the will of the voters stand would ‘mean the end of our republic, the end of the experiment in self-government. Representative Gohmert then seemed to encourage violence as a means to this end. ‘But bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this. You have no remedy – basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you gotta go to the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM.’”
Later in the report, Capitol police intelligence analysts noted that the White House was actively helping to plan a rally on the Ellipse on Jan. 6. And they warned that Trump supporters' "sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent."
At the time, Gohmert issued a statement claiming he had “not encouraged and unequivocally do not advocate for violence.”
A.J. Swinson, a spokesperson for Gohmert, alleged Wednesday that the intelligence assessment had taken the congressman's remarks out of context.
“Therefore, such an out of context statement promotes fake news, promotes injustice, and fails to note his ongoing advocacy as a former judge and appellate court Chief Justice," Swinson told Politico. "The institutions created to resolve disputes MUST have the courage to resolve the disputes they were created to resolve so our system can function peaceably.”
Appearing on MSNBC shortly after her story broke, Woodruff Swan said the intelligence assessment also raised concerns about white supremacists and people with weapons endangering lawmakers and law enforcement officers on Jan. 6.
"The problem with comments like this is that not every person hearing them is the most sophisticated news consumer," Woodruff Swan said of Gohmert. "When you have lawmakers making comments along the line of 'you've got to go out into the streets and be violent,' that's the kind of thing that worries people who are in the intelligence space, and it worried people in the Capitol police department just three days before this extraordinarily violent attack on the Capitol."