WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen warned potential domestic terrorists against further attacks as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office after pro-Trump insurrectionists attacked the U.S. Capitol last week.
In a video released overnight, Rosen urged the public to come forward with any tips about potential attacks and other threats before Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration as federal law enforcement officials prepare for potential further violence with more planned protests ahead.
“I want to send a clear message to anyone contemplating violence, threats of violence or other criminal conduct: We will have no tolerance whatsoever for any attempts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power,” including “attempts to forcefully occupy government buildings,” he said.
“There will be no excuse for violence, vandalism or any other form of lawlessness.”
As many as 15,000 National Guard troops, included some armed members, have been ordered to Washington, D.C., to secure the city before Biden’s inauguration, with new fencing and other security measures engulfing the U.S. Capitol area. Some congressional leaders have also called for insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol to be placed on no-fly lists.
Rosen’s warning was posted online hours after federal prosecutors held their first news conference nearly one week after the Jan. 6 assault as U.S. lawmakers and President Donald Trump’s own vice president, Mike Pence, met to certify Biden’s victory that left five people dead and lawmakers running for cover.
U.S. law enforcement officials have opened criminal investigations into more than 170 people who stormed the Capitol building and plan to charge some of the most serious offenders with assault and seditious conspiracy, they said on Tuesday.
“Those efforts remain active and will continue until justice is done,” Rosen said in his remarks. “There is a lot more to come. The wrongdoers will be held responsible.”
Former FBI Director Andy McCabe said it was unclear why Rosen and other top U.S. officials had taken so long to speak publicly, or why Rosen’s video was posted overnight, raising further questions about how federal law enforcement responded to the mostly white mob’s attack last week compared with the more diverse Black Lives Matters protests last summer.
“It’s inexplicable,” McCabe told CNN on Wednesday, noting that Rosen and FBI Director Christopher Wray still have not answered questions from the press since the Jan. 6 attack.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
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