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FBI monitoring plans for pro-Trump protests in Washington, state capitols: reports

Click to play video 'Security response under scrutiny after Trump supporters storm U.S. Capitol' Security response under scrutiny after Trump supporters storm U.S. Capitol
WATCH: Security response under scrutiny after Trump supporters storm U.S. Capitol – Jan 7, 2021

The FBI has warned armed protests are being planned for Washington, D.C., and in 50 U.S. state capital cities ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden‘s Jan. 20 inauguration.

ABC News reported on Monday that it had obtained an internal bulletin from the nation’s top law enforcement agency, which detailed calls for the “storming” of state and local federal courthouses and buildings if Trump is removed from power before Inauguration Day.

A federal law enforcement source confirmed the plans for protests to Reuters on Monday as well.

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An identified armed group has said it plans to travel to Washington on Jan. 16 and vowed “a huge uprising” if attempts are made to remove Trump from office, said the ABC News reporter on Twitter, citing the bulletin.

The law enforcement source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the FBI warnings were from Jan. 16 and at least through Jan. 20 for state capitals and for the three days leading up to Inauguration Day in Washington D.C.

U.S. House Democrats formally introduced a single article of impeachment earlier Monday, charging Trump with “inciting an insurrection” in connection with last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, which left five dead.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, among others, have called on Vice-President Mike Pence to use constitutional authority and invoked the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from power.

Read more: Violence at U.S. Capitol raises security concerns for Joe Biden’s inauguration

However, that route seems unlikely. Pelosi said Pence would have 24 hours to respond once the request is formally made. Next, the House would proceed to impeachment. A vote on that could come as early as Wednesday.

Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who is among the House members leading the impeachment, tweeted Monday that the resolution has enough support to impeach the president, once it is formally tabled.

Elsewhere in Washington, officials are preparing for Inauguration Day amid rising safety concerns. Non-scalable fencing was seen going up around Capitol Hill last week, and up to 15,000 members of the National Guard have been authorized to support the event — about 10,000 of those are expected to be in the city by Saturday to help with logistics and communications.Tourists have also been barred from visiting the Washington Monument through Jan. 24 due to safety concerns from threats to disrupt the inauguration.
Click to play video 'U.S. election: Biden presidential inauguration to go ahead publicly despite violence at Capitol, D.C. mayor says' U.S. election: Biden presidential inauguration to go ahead publicly despite violence at Capitol, D.C. mayor says
U.S. election: Biden presidential inauguration to go ahead publicly despite violence at Capitol, D.C. mayor says – Jan 11, 2021
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently asked the Department of Homeland Security for more assistance ahead of the inauguration. She requested that all permits for public gatherings submitted for Jan. 11-24 be cancelled or denied, and that a “pre-disaster declaration” be approved in advance of Jan. 20, to allow for federal assistance.
Last week, upon announcing the permanent suspension of Trump’s Twitter account, the company alluded to similar safety concerns in the days preceding Biden’s formal inauguration.Among the list of factors for removing Trump permanently from the platform, Twitter mentioned “plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the U.S. Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.”

Read more: Trump shows no signs of resigning amid U.S. Capitol fallout

A U.S. presidential inauguration traditionally draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to the U.S. capital, but the ceremonies have been scaled back dramatically because of the COVID-19 pandemic.Trump said last week he would not attend the ceremony, a decision the president-elect supported.This is a developing story. More information to come.— with files from Reuters
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