Previously hidden documents show that on the day before the January 6 rally featuring President Trump, US Park Police expected a “large portion” of the attendees to march to the US Capitol and that the FBI was monitoring the demonstrations, including travel there by “subjects of interest.”
In sum, federal law enforcement was closely monitoring the First Amendment-protected activities of Americans and had plenty of warning there would be a huge crowd at the US Capitol on January 6.
This was clear in 329 pages of records we received from United States Park Police related to the January 6, 2021, demonstrations and disturbance at the U.S. Capitol.
We received these documents in response to our May 2021 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the U.S. Park Police failed to comply with our March 2021 FOIA request for records regarding the January 6 rally (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Department of the Interior (No. 1:21-cv-01302)).
The documents reveal the following:
At 1:39 p.m. on January 6, Park Police Sgt. James Murphy notified colleagues:
POTUS event concluded.
Crowds are marching towards Capitol.
Capitol PD working three very suspicious packages around Capitol proper.
We are checking our NPS areas for suspicious packages out out [sic] an abundance of caution.
NPS areas are clearing out. Still heavy visitation throughout Mall Core.
Capitol PD and MPD are engaged with crowd and munitions being deployed. Crowd has breached the fence lines.
Large crowds at BLM Plaza as well. In a text exchange between Park Police officials on January 6 beginning at 11:19 a.m., Park Police Capt. Michael Libby texts colleagues the following:
Large group (200+) of Proud Boys are on the US Capitol grounds. We are monitoring the groups’ [sic] movements through the city. There are no large groups of counter protesters currently being tracked.”
Large group has breached the fence line at the west front of the US Capitol. USCP are handling and not requesting assistance from USPP at this time.
USCP working three separate suspicious devices.
USCP heavily engaged w/ protestors at the west front of the Capitol. Chemical munitions and physical altercations on going.
Official Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles replies to this text requesting clarification: “What does that mean? USCP deploying chemicals or protesters are deploying chemicals?”
Libby replies, “Both.”
Libby then asks officer Tim Wallace, “Are you in the JOC [Joint Operations Center]? Are they tracking any large groups other than the Proud Boys at the capitol?”
Wallace responds, “Not tracking any other splinter groups other than that one towards the Cap. Right now all focus on these weapons reports.”
Wallace then informs Libby of an “IED” [Improvised Explosive Device] located at 300 1st Street, SE. And then of a “Second device” found at 430 South Capitol Street and asks Libby, “Are you hearing anything about 2 more devices? Unconfirmed here.”
Libby replies, “No – nothing.”
Wallace later texts Libby, “DC Fire reporting smoke in Capitol.”
Finally, at 2:14 p.m., Libby texts a Coast Guard official: “Capitol fence has been breached on both sides, east and west. USCP, MPD, and USPP have our backs to the Capitol wall … Mutual Aid assistance has been requested to all metro LE agencies.”
On January 6, 2021, a situation report submitted by Adamchik details the following:
[Metropolitan Police] declared the activity a riot (per commander assigned to the [Metropolitan Police-Joint Operations Command Center]). USCP [US Capitol Police] and [Metropolitan Police] both reported empty on less lethal pepper ball at the West Front of the Capitol and were actively being assaulted…. [Park Police] had pepper ball and pepper spray engagements with criminal actors actively assaulting officers, destroying property and crossing a police line.
In a January 6 FBI situation report sent to the Park Police at 10:28 am on January 6, the FBI reported: No civil disobedience reported at this time” in the “Active Crowds,” which included “10,000 plus waiting in line” to go through magnetometers to be on the Ellipse during Trump’s speech.
Currently, the IOC [Information Operations Center] is monitoring the suspected or reported travel of [redacted] subjects of interest from various field offices [redacted]. [Redacted] of the subjects were reported as not traveling to the NCR [National Capital Region]. As of 1000, the IOC had not confirmed the arrival for the rest of these subjects of interest in Washington, DC.
The FBI’s IOC was “tracking” the following events: Freedom Rally, Wild Protest, Jericho March and Save America Rally. The report was forwarded to Park Police Capt. Michael Libby, who told colleagues a, “Large group (200+) of Proud Boys are on the US Capitol grounds. We are monitoring the groups’ [sic] movements through the city. There are no large groups of counter protesters currently being tracked.”
In a January 6, 2021, situation report Park Police Major Mark Adamchik, advises colleagues “in addition to the pepper ball team, USPP has offered portions of the Motorcycle Unit for dignitary escorts as well as a cadre of [redacted].” Adamchik also notes that, “No injuries to USPP personnel.”
In a January 5, 2021, Park Police “Incident Briefing” report, the purpose of the January 6 rally was described in part as being “to protest election integrity.” The report notes:
This group has significant potential to attract counter-protesters, similar to events in November and December 2020. Multiple acts of violence have occurred in the downtown Washington, DC area during and after similar events hosted by the same organizer.
As long as POTUS has finished speaking, we still expect a large portion of this group to depart the Ellipse at some point and march to the U.S. Capitol prior to 1300 hours.
On January 5, 2021, in an email with the subject line “BLM from Baltimore,” a Capitol Police official in the Intelligence and Interagency Coordination Division forwarded a tweet to colleagues that warned of “Pantifa/bLM Balt/DC branches are already bussing in people to disturb January 6th. Orders given to dress like ‘MAGA’ blend in cause trouble especially around cameras. At night arson has been ordered. All to be blamed on Trump supporters attending.” The police official notes “There are multiple replies to this comment that says BLM/Antif will wear MAGA hats backwards, wear camo, and attempt to blend in with MAGA crowd.”
The January 5, 2021 “Daily Operational Snapshot” notes: “Reported Proud Boys leader, Enrique TARRIO was arrested on 4 January by the Metropolitan Police Department on an outstanding DC Superior Court arrest warrant. It is unknown what effect this will have on the actions of the Proud Boys over the next 48 hours. TARRIO was viewed by some as keeping the more violent factions of the Proud Boys ‘under control’ during recent demonstrations in the District.”
Also included in this report: “Women for America First will hold a rally on the Ellipse. President Trump is scheduled to speak at this event around 1100 hours. The permit application states that 20,000 people will attend this event. It is expected that a portion of this group will march to the US Capitol prior to 1300 hours.”
In a text exchange on January 4-5, 2021, Park Police officials discuss the arrest of Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and state that the January 6 rally is being manipulated by a “grand puppeteer:”
Official One: “No arrest warrant for [redacted]. Tarrio arrested at 1630.”
Official Two: “Copy”
Official Two: “I’m assuming he will get kicked tomorrow and still be around for the Wednesday.”
Official Two: “Dude this is insane. I’m more confused now than before 9am.”
Official One: “These ‘organizers’ are being played by the grand puppeteer and seems like the goal is to confuse, confuse, confuse so they can get what they want when they want it, on their terms. Very annoying.
A January 4, 2021, Park Police “Daily Operational Snapshot” notes: “While the probability of sporadic violent actions is likely if opposing groups are allowed to come into physical contact with each other, at this time we have no indication of any acts of violence being pre-planned by an specific individual(s) or groups.”
In a December 30 email a DC Metropolitan Police Department official instructed colleagues, “We need PIC [Presidential Inaugural Committee] NOT to release their permits!!!!!”
A colleague replies, “Agreed. This is all over the place.” Another police official responds, “POTUS?”
David Lamond, Commander of the Park Police Special Events Unit, replies, “I’m more confused than I was before. If am tracking correctly, no one knows what is going on anymore.”
An MPD official then mockingly compares that planning to a chaotic football play, “Ok – you go long – [redacted] will fall out to the weak side – [redacted] will go strong side – and [redacted] up the middle – then I’ll pass it off to [redacted] and she will end around on the strong, weak, and middle???”
A December 28, 2020, Park Police Executive Brief details the January 6 protest as follows:
There is some concern that individuals may display aggressive and desperate behavior as they interpret 6 January as their final opportunity to act on their grievances. A recent event on Christmas morning may directly reference this desperation leading to violent action by a motivated and determined individual.
The report references the December 25, 2020, bombing in Nashville, TN:
While the exact motive behind the bombing remains unknown, there have been some social media postings concerning conspiracy theories stating that election data stored at the AT&T building was targeted by the bomber…. [T]he 25 December bombing should act as a vivid reminder as to the despair and the dedication to act that exists from a small minority of individuals concerning social and political events.
The Park Police report also notes:
We are aware that many members of the far-right group ‘Proud Boys’ plan on being in Washington on this date.
We also expect far-left groups to continue to engage law enforcement and their opposition with weapons such as bottles, bricks, commercial grade fireworks, and laser pointers.
On December 22, 2020, a Lieutenant of the MPD Special Operations Branch messaged colleagues, “Well, here we go again. I am sure you are aware of the First Amendment demonstrations to occur again on Wednesday, January 6, 2021; hopefully it will not be as big as the November 14th or December 12, 2020, weekend.”
In a December 19, 2020, email to Capitol Police and US Park Police colleagues, an MPD Homeland Security Bureau official told them he was “hoping” that an announcement about an upcoming pro-Trump rally in January “is a hoax.”
In a December 18, 2020, text exchange, two Park Police officials had the following conversation:
Official One: “Good one two punch there.”
Official Two: “I took a clipping penalty but scored 2 points for a takedown.” <laughing emoji>
Official One: “Got her to slip up and say she is just going [sic] what the president is telling them to do.”
Official Two: “Interview and Interrogation Training paid off.” <laughing emoji>
Official One: “45 minutes of my life I’ve never get back.”
Official One: “I am not tracking one actionablebthing [sic] I can do with what she provided.”
Official Two: “We need to convince the pic [Presidential Inaugural Committee] not to give up their regulatory preference.”
Official One: “That ship may have already sailed I’ll follow up.”
Official Two: “Mark filled me in some back story about Justin and RNC [Republican National Convention]”
Official One: “Yup” In a situation report sent on December 12, 2020, about “First Amendment Demonstrations” notes, “Currently there are 2000 people (Proud Boys group) on the Washington Monument grounds, within the flagpole circle. At 1303 hours, there was a fight involving this group, which broke up without incident.”
This lawsuit is part of our comprehensive investigation into the January 6 disturbance.
Earlier this month, we received records from the DC Metropolitan Police about the shooting death of Ashli Babbitt on January 6, 2021, in the U.S. Capitol Building.
On August 3, we obtained new documents showing the Washington, D.C. Medical Examiner submitted a request to cremate Babbitt two days after gaining custody of her body.
Also in August, we uncovered records related to the death of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick which show major media representatives pressuring the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) of the District of Columbia over its conclusion that Officer Sicknick had died of natural causes.
In July, we announced a lawsuit against the FBI for records of communication between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and several financial institutions about the reported transfer of financial transactions made by people in DC, Maryland and Virginia on January 5 and January 6, 2021. The FBI has refused to confirm or deny the existence of any such records.
In May, we sued both the Department of the Interior and the Department of Defense for records regarding the deployment of armed forces around the Capitol complex in Washington, D.C., in January and February of 2021.
We also filed a lawsuit for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s communications with the Pentagon in the days after the January 6 incident.
As Speaker Pelosi’s January 6 star chamber proceeding abuse and targets the First Amendment rights of Americans, using the Capitol disturbance as a pretext, your Judicial Watch is stepping up to conduct an independent and honest investigation.