U.S. House Cancels Thursday Session After Police Warn Of Possible Plot On Capitol

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
The sun rises on the U.S. Capitol dome before Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2021. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo)

The U.S. House of Representatives canceled its planned Thursday session, after the Capitol Police warned on Wednesday that a militia group could be plotting to breach the building that was subjected to a deadly attack on Jan. 6.

The House had been scheduled to debate and vote on a police reform bill, but a Democratic aide said plans changed due in part to the police warning, based on intelligence that “an identified militia group” could present a security threat.

The Senate will convene as planned to begin debating President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19-relief bill on Thursday.

Authorities have said right-wing extremists were among a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, interrupting the formal certification of Biden’s election victory.

Some right-wing conspiracy theorists have falsely claimed that Trump, defeated by Biden in the Nov. 3 election, will be sworn in for a second term on Thursday.

The Justice Department has charged more than 300 people with taking part in the January Capitol siege, in which five people, including a police officer were killed. Among those arrested were members of the right-wing groups called the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters and Proud Boys. The Oath Keepers and Three Percenters are armed militia groups.

“The United States Capitol Police Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex,” it said in its statement.

It said it is working with local, state and federal agencies “to stop any threats to the Capitol,” adding, “We are taking the intelligence seriously.” It did not disclose the nature of the intelligence.

For nearly a century, U.S. presidents have been inaugurated on Jan. 20, including Biden, who took the oath of office on the grounds of the Capitol. Previously, March 4 had been the swearing-in date.