Just two days before armed rioters stormed and ransacked the Capitol, about 300 law enforcement officials got on a conference call to talk about the possibility that Donald Trump’s supporters would turn violent on Jan. 6. They specifically discussed the possibility that the day’s gatherings would turn into a mass-casualty event, and they made plans on how to communicate with each other if that happened.
The officials were so prepared for chaos that they even had a hashtag to share information on the FBI’s private communication service: #CERTUNREST2021.
These previously unreported details come from a person familiar with the call and an email summarizing it obtained by the transparency group Property of the People. The Wall Street Journal first reported that the call occurred.
“Reporting indicates a significant number of individual [sic] plan to or are advocating for others to travel to Washington, DC to engage in civil unrest and violence,” reads the summary of the call, which included officials from so-called fusion centers — regional intelligence hubs set up after 9/11 to track major domestic threats.
The extent of the FBI’s awareness that the rally by Trump backers could turn violent raises fresh questions about why national security and law enforcement officials didn’t do more to protect the Capitol on that volatile day