“It is clear that more must be done to preempt, penetrate, and prevent deadly and seditious assaults by domestic violent extremists in the days ahead,” the statement said.
The lawmakers voiced their concerns moments after a public FBI and Justice Department briefing revealed their belief that the Jan. 6 violence could be part of a much graver, well-organized “seditious conspiracy.”
Security at the Capitol has tightened in dramatic fashion after last Wednesday’s deadly insurrection. Before the riots, President Donald Trump encouraged mobs of his supporters — some equipped with pipe bombs and other weapons — to march to the Capitol and stop lawmakers from certifying the election. The events exposed a dangerously ill-prepared complex, rattling members and staff who had considered it perhaps the most secure place in D.C.
By Tuesday afternoon, metal detectors had been stationed at the entrances of the House chamber, a sign of the potential risks that remain for members and their staff as Washington prepares for a critical vote to impeach Trump on Wednesday. Democratic staff, who were briefed on the changes on a call Tuesday, said all members must be screened before walking on the floor and can be denied entry if they refuse.