Documents released to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, U.S. Secret Service coup show that the agency and its members were aware of social media posts prior to the attack on the U.S. Capitol. .
The documents, obtained exclusively by CNN, were released to the committee ahead of Thursday’s hearing and shed new light on discussions between law enforcement agencies before the attack.
The documents also show that the Secret Service took into account assessments from supporting agencies, including the FBI and the US Capitol Police, as they determined their security posture ahead of the Jan. 6 vote certification. Despite the violent online rhetoric in these documents, none of the agencies gave clear warnings about the potential for large-scale violence like what happened in the Capitol building that day, despite the information they were sharing.
“No immediate threat continues at this time,” read a summary of the FBI’s intelligence assessment on Jan. 6 that was shared with the Secret Service.
However, the Secret Service reported the social media posts from sites like Parler, then a popular far-right platform.
“Will fight for Trump no matter what,” read one message marked to the Secret Service.
“When we say take power away from corruption, we mean it,” said another.
The documents do not address other concerns raised by the commission last week, including inconsistent testimony from Secret Service witnesses, who told the panel that “they received no information on Jan. 6 about violence that could threaten any of the protected, including the president.”
“The evidence strongly suggests that this testimony is not credible,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said at Thursday’s hearing.
After the hearing, Schiff told CNN in an interview that the commission “plans to bring back people from the Secret Service, some of whom may have testified in ways that we don’t find credible when we get this documentary evidence, but potentially other witnesses that we haven’t heard from.”
In a statement to CNN, Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the service was “sharing robust intelligence” with its members “before and during January 6.”
“Intelligence was received and sent from various federal, state and local agencies. There are redacted examples of those communications that were discussed at Thursday’s committee hearing and show multi-agency communication,” he said.
“While the Secret Service’s specific mission was executed without compromise, the unprecedented events of that day continue to dictate that this attack on our democracy will never happen again,” Guglielmi said. “Not only is this critical to our government institutions, but it speaks to the very existence and purpose of the United States Secret Service.”
Guglielmi also told CNN that the Secret Service “never received any communication from the committee about the contradicting testimony of an employee.”
The House Select Committee declined to comment when asked about the documents.
Thursday’s hearing was the first since July 21. In the nearly three months since that hearing, the committee obtained more than a million records from the Secret Service. The panel explained some of what it learned during Thursday’s hearing.
While there are questions about Secret Service agents’ text messages surrounding the uprising, the panel obtained texts and emails showing the agency received warnings before January 6, 2021, about the possibility of violence, as well as real-time reports of weapons. crowd before Trump’s speech at the Ellipse.
Schiff said in Thursday’s testimony that the Secret Service received alerts of online threats made against then-Vice President Mike Pence before the Capitol uprising, including that Pence would be “‘the walking dead if he doesn’t do the right thing.'”
On January 6, a Secret Service agent sent the message at 12:36 p.m., according to the commission: “With so many weapons found so far; you wonder how many are unknown. It could be sport in the evening.’
Another agent replied a minute later: “Definitely. The people at the Ellipse said they will go to the Capitol after the POTUS speech.”