News & Politics

Capitol Police Worried About Threats to Biden’s Address to Congress

Militia groups have reportedly talked about possible attacks.

Photograph by Evy Mages

Acting US Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman warned Congress yesterday that militia groups want to “blow up the Capitol” when Joe Biden gives his first address to Congress. Biden will address a joint session of Congress, so the speech (which currently does not have a date set) will present an opportunity for militias involved with the January 6 insurrection to, as Pittman put it, attempt their goal of killing “as many members [of Congress] as possible.”

“We know that the insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol weren’t only interested in attacking members of Congress and officers,” Pittman told House lawmakers. “They wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as to who is in charge of that legislative process.”

The razor wire fence surrounding the Capitol grounds will remain up in light of that threat. Pittman declined to say exactly when that fence and additional security forces would be removed but did say that “we have no intention of keeping the National Guard soldiers or that fencing any longer than what is actually needed.” CNN has previously reported that Capitol Police told lawmakers the fencing should remain up until at least September.

A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson said last month that the department was not tracking any “credible or specific threats,” according to CNN, but that officials were continuing to monitor online conversations about violence in DC or against lawmakers.

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Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.