The Secret Service was tracking at least one neo-Nazi group and multiple individuals that planned to engage in violence and occupy the Capitol building more than a week before the January 6th insurrection, according to documents obtained by CREW. The documents do not show the agency taking action to prevent violence on the 6th.
A member of Vorherrschaft Division posted on Telegram—a messaging site in part associated with far-right extremists and white supremacists—saying, “We need boots on the ground and voices loud enough to be heard for miles. That’s the only way things are going to change…” In other posts, the same member encouraged users to “push for more nationalist policies and attitudes.”
The threat, which was originally flagged by SITE Intelligence Group, a non-governmental organization tracking online activity of white nationalists and extremist groups, was passed on to US Capitol Police by the Secret Service under the subject line “NEO-NAZI calls on D.C. Pro-Trump Protesters to Occupy Federal Building” in December 2020. Capitol Police acknowledged these notifications replying “Thanks!” and “Thanks bro!”
Vorherrschaft Division is a neo-Nazi group and one of several white nationalist groups organizing on Telegram. The group was never one to take lightly, but the Secret Service appears to have paid it only passing attention.
In addition to the neo-Nazi threat, the Secret Service received multiple tips from a “concerned citizen” who claimed that two people, including a subject who previously made threats against Joe Biden, were flying to DC to attend Trump’s rally and “incite violence,” and that another individual would be driving to DC with “ballistic helmets, armored gloves and vests, rifles and suppressors.” The Secret Service then spoke to the two subjects who flew in upon their arrival at BWI, where the subjects acknowledged that there was the possibility of violence if they encountered counter protestors and refused to tell the Secret Service where they would be staying. The agency further validated the tipster’s claims by finding a post on one of the subjects’ Facebook pages.
CREW previously detailed the ways in which the Secret Service failed to respond to threats ahead of the January 6th insurrection, from explicit plans to occupy the Capitol made by far-right groups to the anticipated militant activity by the Proud Boys to a threat against the Speaker of the House. In addition to these right-wing groups, we now know the agency was tracking neo-Nazis and secretive individuals intending to cause violence on January 6th.