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Drama in D.C.

Report: Before riot, NYPD, FBI warned Capitol Police about possibility of violence

Prior to Wednesday's riot at the U.S. Capitol, the FBI and New York Police Department notified Capitol Police about the possibility of violence, senior law enforcement officials told NBC News.

On Wednesday, President Trump spoke at a rally held to coincide with the tallying of electoral votes. He said supporters should "walk down to the Capitol" where they could "cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we are probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you will never take back our country with weakness." By saying this, law enforcement officials familiar with the matter told NBC News, Trump likely got more people to go to the Capitol than might otherwise have gone.

Capitol Police were woefully unprepared for the mob that showed up. On Friday, Steven D'Antuono of the FBI's Washington field office told NBC News "there was no indication that there was anything [planned] other than First Amendment-protected activity." Several law enforcement officials dispute this, telling NBC News the NYPD sent intelligence packets to agencies — including Capitol Police — "describing extremist rhetoric and threats of violence that appeared on social media in connection with the rally."

A senior FBI official told NBC News that before the rally, the agency learned "credible and actionable information about individuals who were planning on traveling to the protests who expressed a desire to engage in violence." Agents visited more than a dozen extremists already under investigation, and were able to discourage them from going to D.C.

Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI assistant director, told NBC News there is no domestic terrorism statute, so the FBI has fewer legal avenues to monitor suspects. Unless there is a criminal investigation into a specific individual or organization, "the FBI is not permitted to look and monitor the very same things that you and I can look at on Twitter and Parler," he said. Read more at NBC News.