Prophecies of another attack on the Capitol on March 4, reportedly spread by QAnon, went unfulfilled Thursday, leaving the federal grounds devoid of any action and people other than members of the National Guard.
The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a joint memo just one day before the allegedly potential attack, reportedly warning that “domestic extremists” were ramping up to “take control of the U.S. Capitol and remove democratic lawmakers on or about the 4th of March.”
Capitol Police also signaled the threat of a breach, while federal agents conducted investigations into “whether there was an increase in the number of hotel rooms being rented in Washington, as well as monitoring flights to the area, car rental reservations and any buses being chartered to bring groups into the capital.”
Breaking on @MSNBC: The FBI and DHS have issued a joint intel bulletin warning that domestic extremists have discussed plans to "take control of the U.S. Capitol and remove democratic lawmakers on or about the 4th of March." March 4 is important to QAnon believers. @JuliaEAinsley
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 3, 2021
U.S. Capitol Police say intelligence shows a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. The threat appears to be connected to a conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump will return to power on March 4.https://t.co/h2byAG4P9d
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 3, 2021
Some law enforcement officials including Timothy Blodgett, the acting House sergeant-at-arms, said there was “no indication that groups will travel to Washington D.C. to protest or commit acts of violence,” but some including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi alleged these reports as gospel truth, even canceling Thursday’s session, a fact she downplayed later.
Washington Post, 7:47am: "Ahead of another possible attack on the Capitol," the FBI wants to be allowed to break into American citizens' encrypted communication.
Washington Post, 2:00pm: That possible attack on the Capitol turned out to be a "mirage." pic.twitter.com/QN6jVWrzM0
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) March 4, 2021
Corporate media outlets including The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC also latched onto and amplified the narrative that militias would “attack” the Capitol and declare former President Donald Trump the leader of the nation once again. Contrary to their predictions of a rebellion on March 4, DC streets remained relatively empty as razor-wire topped fences, National Guard members, and other performative deterrents have been stationed around the Capitol grounds and parts of the city for multiple weeks now.
“This threat is credible. It’s real,” Democrat Rep. Michael McCaul told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday.
Rep. Michael McCaul says fmr. Pres. Trump has a responsibility to tell extremists, who believe Trump will be inaugurated on March 4, and who the FBI say are plotting a possible attack on the US Capitol, to stand down. “This threat is credible. It's real." https://t.co/txZq2tbwMH pic.twitter.com/n4X4WbwTIo
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) March 3, 2021
The Capitol complex is on high alert in wake of intelligence obtained by Capitol police suggesting "a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group" on March 4.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 4, 2021
The Capitol Police is preparing for another assault on the Capitol building on Thursday, March 4, after obtaining intelligence of a potential plot by a militia group. “We are taking the intelligence seriously,” the Capitol Police said. https://t.co/VfhvD9kcBw
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 3, 2021
I was told there was going to be an insurrection? Guys you're making me feel kinda silly down here. pic.twitter.com/E2peIa6gvc
— Christopher Bedford (@CBedfordDC) March 4, 2021
March 4 wasn’t the only day the media wrongly predicted violence and chaos by Trump supporters. Shortly before the Democrats’ second attempt to impeach Trump, Politico warned, on the word of unnamed sources in the National Guard, that there were rising “impeachment security concerns” such as rowdy demonstrations that would occur starting at the beginning of the trial in February. The same excuse was used during President Joe Biden’s inauguration, which was heavily guarded and restricted.
Even though the DC streets and Capitol remained devoid of any of the formerly predicted “insurrectionists,” Capitol police asked the National Guard to stay in the city for at least two more months due to unspecific “security concerns.”
Defense officials say the Pentagon is reviewing the proposal to extend the National Guard's mission at the U.S. Capitol by 60 days. The more than 5,000 Guard members currently in Washington, D.C., are currently slated to go home on March 12. https://t.co/7c0ZwFwFba
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 4, 2021