BOSTON (CBS) — The FBI has alerted authorities across the country that groups are calling for the “storming” of courthouses in all 50 states if President Donald Trump is removed from office before Inauguration Day, a law enforcement source tells CBS News.
The House is moving quickly to impeach Trump, whose term expires on Jan. 20. Trump is accused of inciting an insurrection before Wednesday’s deadly Capitol riot.
The groups are calling for people to come armed at their discretion, CBS News reported. The alert also said there are reports of non-specified threats being made against President-Elect Joe Biden, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The FBI Boston Division said in a statement to WBZ-TV that it does not currently know of any planned, armed protests at the Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine state capitals between Jan. 17 and Jan. 20.
“The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. Our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution is dual and simultaneous, not contradictory,” FBI Boston said in the statement. “Accordingly, we are committed to investigating violent behavior and those who are exploiting legitimate, peaceful protests and engaging in violations of federal law.”
The Massachusetts State Police also said Monday that it is “aware of no specific threat to government venues or to public safety generally in Massachusetts.”
Gov. Charlie Baker said last week there is “constant ongoing conversation” about security at the Massachusetts State House. He released a joint statement Friday with House Speaker Ronald Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka.
“As we witness the events in Washington, D.C. and across the nation, we are aware of the need to ensure the safety of this building and those who work within it,” they said. “We continually assess our security needs and will adjust as necessary.”
Former Boston Police Commissioner and WBZ security analyst Ed Davis said if protests come to the State House, local law enforcement agencies will be ready.
“Just like we’ve seen over the summer you’re going to see uniform police officers, you’re going to see tactical teams, you’re going to see National Guard troops I think,” Davis said.
Davis said in the coming days, law enforcement officers need to know they’re supported by their various agencies – something he says was lacking in Washington.
“Those officers were abandoned really by the leadership and we can’t let that happen here, so I would tell them that, but to meet force with force,” Davis said.
The New Hampshire Department of Safety said it is prepared to ensure that any protesters are able to freely express their right to demonstrate provided they comply with all state laws.
“The Department of Safety works diligently and collaboratively with our local and federal partners to investigate any and all threats,” said Robert L. Quinn, Commissioner of the NH Department of Safety. “The New Hampshire State Police takes safety and security threats very seriously, and has a team of experts working on operations plans to ensure safety.”