The House of Representatives has canceled plans for a session on Thursday after what Capitol Police described in a statement as a “possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group.” The threat comes less than two months after a violent mob of then-President Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, leading to five deaths.
The Capitol Police’s statement noted that due to the sensitive nature of the threat they cannot release any more information, but that they have “made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress,” and they are taking the intelligence they have received about a possible March 4th attack seriously.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) notified lawmakers of the cancelation, and votes that has been scheduled to take place Thursday will instead by held Wednesday night. As of publication, the Senate plans to be in session on Thursday.
The threat of a plot falling on March 4th is significant. Adherents of QAnon, a baseless conspiracy built around the belief that the world is run by a cabal of liberal pedophiles, expected that January 21st would mark not Joe Biden’s inauguration, but the long-heralded “Storm,” in which then-President Trump would expose a said liberal pedophilia cabal. When that didn’t happen, conspiracy theorists turned their attention to March 4th, believing this to be the real Inauguration Day, and that Trump would reclaim the presidency. The theory hinges on the idea that in 1871 Congress turned the government into a corporation, and that every president who has held office since is illegitimate. The theory continues that on March 4th, which served as Inauguration Day prior to 1933, Trump will be sworn in as Ulysses S. Grant’s first legitimate successor, the 19th president.
Concern has swelled that the theory could lead to another mobilization of right-wing extremists. As the Capitol Police noted in their statement on Wednesday, security around the Capitol has been bolstered significantly since January 6th, but this apparently hasn’t tempered the resolve of right-wing militant groups.