Secret Service messages show they knew the crowd outside the January 6 rally was armed

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The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 riot on Capitol Hill on Thursday released freshly obtained Secret Service communications showing that officers were aware of concerns about the violence leading up to that day and that officers knew that some in the crowd were armed.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) said the committee obtained “nearly one million Secret Service emails, tapes and other electronic documents.”

“Documents we obtained from the Secret Service clearly indicate that the crowd outside the magnetometers was armed and that the agents knew it,” Schiff said.

Schiff read several messages in chats between Secret Service agents and emails exchanged between members. He posted an intelligence summary from late December 2020 that included online discussions of the occupation of federal buildings and “the intimidation of Congress and the invasion of the Capitol building.”

A Secret Service email dated Dec. 26 showed the agency had advice that the Proud Boys, a far-right group, planned to march on the Capitol and believed they had a large enough group to overwhelm law enforcement.

“The Secret Service had advanced information more than 10 days in advance regarding the Proud Boys’ planning for January 6,” Schiff said. “We now know of course that the Proud Boys and others led the assault on our Capitol building.

A Jan. 5, 2021, email from a Deputy Secret Service Chief asked officers to add certain items to a list of items supporters could not bring to a rally on the Ellipse near the White House scheduled for January 6, including ballistic vests, tactical vests and ballistic helmets.

“Calm before the storm I guess,” an agent wrote in a group chat on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021.

Schiff said the panel in August began reviewing “hundreds of thousands of pages and many hours of this material.” He said the documents provide “substantial new evidence about what happened on January 6 and the days leading up to it.”

“This review is ongoing,” he added.

The committee issued a subpoena to the Secret Service in July after the panel and the agency became embroiled in a controversy. News broke that some text messages sent by the Secret Service to agents on January 6 had been deleted.

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