As Inauguration Nears, Concern Of More Violence Grows

NPR: Matthew S. Schwartz


The violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was unprecedented in modern U.S. history — but some pro-Trump extremists are promising it was just a taste of things to come.


"Many of Us will return on January 19, 2021, carrying Our weapons, in support of Our nation's resolve, towhich [sic] the world will never forget!!!" one person wrote on Parler, a site friendly to right-wing extremists. "We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match."


That post was one of dozens spotted by the Alethea Group, which tracks online threats and disinformation. Various virtual fliers circulating on social media promise an "armed march" on Capitol Hill and in every state capital a few days before the inauguration. Other posts promise violence on Inauguration Day itself. One post encourages supporters to meet in D.C. specifically to prevent President-elect Joe Biden from entering the White House.


It's unclear how serious the threats of more violence are, but the continued determination of the president's most die-hard supporters to fight what they incorrectly perceive as an unfair election has some members of Congress wondering: Will the insurrection continue? And how can they stop it?


"What happened on Jan. 6, this past Wednesday, might not be the end of the insurrection, but the beginning," Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois told NPR's Weekend Edition.


"We need to be concerned," said Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat who is a member of the House Intelligence committee. Krishnamoorthi says he didn't anticipate how large the crowd outside the Capitol would become or that "the president would incite this mob to march on the Capitol to 'go wild' and instigate the insurrection."


"But we, at this point, have to be wiser to what's possible — and we have to prepare accordingly," he said. "Our democracy will be OK; we just have to defend the Constitution and our country at all costs, at this point."


The Washington Post reports that FBI agents are investigating whether some of the Capitol rioters intended not just to disrupt the certification of the Electoral College votes, but also to capture or kill lawmakers. "Tell Pelosi we're coming for that [expletive]!" one rioter screamed at law enforcement. Others chanted, "Hang Mike Pence!"


Five people died in Wednesday's violence, including a Capitol police officer. And Krishnamoorthi is just one of several lawmakers who worry about what might be coming next.




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