Parler Warned FBI Ahead of Capitol Riots
Conservative social media network Parler recently wrote a letter to a Democratic lawmaker. In the letter, the platform stated it had warned the FBI of “specific threats of violence” days before the January 6 riot at the Capitol.
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Parler describes itself as a platform for free speech and unregulated language. The Washington Post reported that the letter, dated March 25 and addressed to the New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, reads that Parler warned the FBI about the threats more than 50 times. Parler also said it alerted the FBI about posts that made references to the Capitol.
A user published a post on Parler on December 24, 2020, calling “for the congregation of an armed force of 150,000 on the Virginia side of the Potomac River to ‘react to the congressional events of January 6th.’” Another user allegedly published a post saying that an event scheduled on January 6 was “not a rally” and “no longer a protest.”
According to the letter, one user allegedly wrote, “This is the final stand where we are drawing the red line at Capitol Hill. I trust the American people will take back the USA with force and many are ready to die to take back #USA so remember this is not a party until they announce #Trump2020 a winner . . . And don’t be surprised if we take the #capitalbuilding (sic).”
At least five people, including a police officer, lost their lives in the Capitol riot. According to authorities, members of the Proud Boys were present at the riot. Former President Donald Trump’s calls to protest the results of the 2020 US election emboldened the organizers, despite Joe Biden’s victory. While members of Congress certified the results inside the Capitol, pro-Trump supporters organized an attempted coup and stormed the building.
Parler has been criticized for its alleged role in the Capitol riot. Parler’s user base primarily comprises far-right extremists. The Department of Justice previously said that many of these extremists used Parler to organize the violent events for January 6. After former President Trump’s Twitter account was disabled, top conservatives started sharing their Parler accounts on the platform, encouraging their followers to switch to Parler.