Trump supporters continue to plot violence as second impeachment trial approaches

Thousands of National Guard troops will remain in Washington, D.C., through the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump thanks to continuing threats of violence against lawmakers. The number of troops has already dropped and will continue to drop from a high of around 25,000 to below 20,000 now. It is slated to drop to 5,000 in February.

In addition to the threat of armed protesters returning during the impeachment trial, law enforcement agencies are looking into threats that were “Mainly posted online and in chat groups” and “have included plots to attack members of Congress during travel to and from the Capitol complex during the trial,” the Associated Press reported based on information from an unnamed official who “had been briefed on the matter.”

These threats are not hard to imagine. Indeed, one of the alleged Capitol attackers already faces charges for threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and for saying it’s “huntin[g] season” with respect to the officer who fatally shot rioter Ashli Babbitt as she tried to climb through a broken window to get to where lawmakers were evacuating the House chamber.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been flailing in his response to the Capitol attack, but even he has been very clear about the threat to members of Congress, telling his caucus not to attack any of their colleagues by name because “it's putting people in jeopardy.” 

Saying he had reached out personally to some Republicans—we can guess which offenders those might have been—McCarthy emphasized, “Do not raise another member's name on a television, whether they have a different position or not. Let's respect one another and you probably won't understand what you're doing, and I'm just warning you right now—don't do it.”

The insurrection Donald Trump incited isn’t going to go away all at once. The threats continue, and they’re not just threats to individual members of Congress—they’re threats of continuing attacks on our democracy.