New acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman revealed to House members Thursday that there is intelligence that militia members intend to act to blow up the U.S. Capitol during the State of the Union Address, which hasn't even been scheduled yet.
Annually, the president delivers a speech to the bicameral Congress where all House, Senate, Cabinet and Supreme Court members are present.
Speaking at the House hearing, Pittman was asked by Rep. Mark Amodel (R-NV) about the fencing around the building, who's in charge of the National Guard troops at the Capitol complex and if she is aware of the exact number of insurrectionists on Jan. 6.
"We're actively working with a scaled-down approach so we can make sure that we address three primary variables," Chief Pittman began. "One is the known threat to the environment. Two is the infrastructure vulnerabilities. And then that third variable being the limitations that U.S. capitol police knows that it has as it relates to human capital and technology resources. So, we are actively addressing those. If I may just add one more point. With that said, we know that the insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol weren't only interested in attacking members of Congress and officers. They wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as to who was in charge of that legislative process."
She continued: "We know that members of the militia groups that were present on Jan. 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with the direct nexus to the State of the Union, which we know that date has not been identified. So, based on that information, we think that it's prudent that Capitol police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture as we address those vulnerabilities going forward."
She also explained that they hope not to keep the fencing longer than necessary. As for the numbers of attackers on 1/6, she said that the Secret Service screened about 20,000 at the Ellipse, and about 15,000 who were unscreened who were standing outside of the Trump rally area. Those groups then went from the Ellipse to Capitol Hill as observed by traffic cameras.
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