House impeachment manager Stacey Plaskett claimed former President Trump and his social media team were aware of people planning the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol on social media sites and online forums, adding that the administration ignored warnings from the FBI that the violent threats were credible.
“They posted exact blueprints of the attack openly, loudly, proudly – and they did this all over public forums,” Plaskett said during her remarks. “These were not just hidden posts and dark websites that Trump would not have seen. Quite the opposite. We know President Trump monitored these websites. We know this because his advisers confirm it,” she said.
Plaskett claimed that Trump’s team “actively monitored” these sites and that they “would have seen a clear road map of exactly what happened.”
She showed several posts on these sites, including one that said, “the Capitol is our goal. Everything else is a distraction. Every corrupt member of Congress locked in one room and surrounded by real Americans is an opportunity that will never present itself again.”
“They said it out loud on sites that the Trump administration was actively monitoring,” she said. “There it is in black and white,” she added.
Another post detailed how to carry guns and other weapons into the Capitol that said “yes, it’s illegal, but this is war, and we’re clearly in a post-legal phase of our society.”
Plaskett said on these online forums, people talked through other details like which tunnels to use and how to get to the Senate chamber. Some even posting specific floor plans and the layout of the Capitol building, she said.
She pointed out that before the riot on Jan. 6 several media outlets, including Fox News, reported that there were hundreds of these violent posts online. She said city leaders and the FBI also issued warnings.
“The day before the rioters stormed the Congress an FBI office in Virginia also issued an explicit warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and, quote, war, according to internal reports,” she said.
Plaskett ended her argument by saying Trump spent months calling his supporters to an event that had a specific time and place.
“Leading up to the event there were hundreds, hundreds of posts online showing that his supporters took this as a call to arms to attack the Capitol,” Plaskett said. “There were detailed posts of plans to attack online. Law enforcement warned that these posts were real threats and even made arrests days leading up to the attack.”