New documents relating to the United States Capitol Police Department’s preparation for the certification of the Electoral College showcase that they were concerned about the potential for violence on January 6 — but from leftist counterprotesters rather than Trump loyalists.
It was a mob loyalists to the former President that attacked the Capitol to disrupt the certification process for 2020’s presidential election. No leftist groups were involved in the day’s violence whatsoever, according to the FBI.
A document titled “The Civil Disturbance Unit Operational Plan,” first reported on by PoliticoThis highlights a five-point plan that Capitol police adopted on January 6th. One of their five objectives was to “[e]stablish and maintain a fixed march route” for Trump supporters on the way to the Capitol “while excluding access to counter-protestors to minimize potential for violent interactions.”
“[C]ounter-protestors will be expected to attempt to gain access” to Trump loyalists “by entering shrubbery and other natural fixtures” in the area, the document noted.
Capitol Police predicted violence between the two sides, but it never happened. Instead, hundreds remained loyal to Trump. Empowered by an incendiary address delivered by former President Donald Trump moments before,This book was filled with lies and false statements. forced their way past barricades and broke windows and doors to the Capitol buildingThe incident disrupted the proceedings on both floors. Lawmakers had to be evacuated after a mob of Trump supporters entered their offices. the Senate chambers.
Trump wrongly told his loyalists that day that the election was “stolen” from him by “radical left Democrats” and “the fake news media.” He also encouraged his supporters to descend on the Capitol to urge lawmakers to vote against certifying the Electoral College, telling them to “fight like hell,” and that they’d “never take back our country with weakness.”
Capitol police have been criticized for wrongly focusing their attention on the idea that leftist counterprotesters would spark violence in Washington D.C. that day, even though anger over the election’s outcome was emanating loudly from the far right. Indeed, a high-ranking official of the Capitol Police Department had stated to his subordinates on that morning that leftist violence would be taking place.
“With regards to pedestrian traffic on — on the grounds today, we anticipate a — a large presence for pro-Trump participants. What we’re looking for is any anti-Trump counterprotesters,” deputy chief Eric Waldow radioed officers that day.
Of course, police departments have a long history of enabling and even participating in far right violence, and they have been instrumental in suppressing leftist protest, particularly uprisings for racial justice, since the United States’ inception.