The New York City Police Department gave Washington law enforcement officials raw intelligence from internet chat rooms that potential trouble was brewing in the days before a mob of President Donald Trump supporters stormed U.S. Capitol building last week, senior law enforcement officials said Monday.
The information gleaned by the NYPD was sent as a matter of course to U.S. Capitol Police officials and didn’t contain any specific threats of people planning to storm the building, said one of the officials, who requested anonymity. The material the NYPD was similar to what the Capitol Police already had, the official said.
Officials in New York confirmed the NYPD’s intelligence involvement after it was first reported Monday by NBC News. It comes at a time when law enforcement officials across the country are tracking down those believed to have participated in the violence.
According to another official who requested anonymity, the NYPD material didn’t contain any "shocking intelligence" and was material gleaned from rhetoric internet forums and chat rooms used by right wing groups and others.
"At no time did the NYPD determine that thousands of people were to storm the [Capitol] building," the official explained.
The NYPD routinely passes along intelligence to other police units and did so for the Capitol Police before last Wednesday, the official said.
The Capital Police, the agency responsible for the security of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, did not return calls to comment on the NYPD information Monday.
In an interview which appeared Monday in The Washington Post, outgoing Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said he had become increasingly worried about the size of the pro-Trump crowds expected to come to Washington to protest. Sund said he asked House and Senate security officials for approval to ask that the Washington, D.C., National Guard be placed on standby if they were needed but was turned down over concern about the "optics," according to the Post.
"We had looked at the intelligence. We knew we would have large crowd, the potential for some violent altercations," Sund told the Post. "I had nothing indicating we would have a large mob seize the Capitol."
Multiple investigations are underway in search of those who are believed to have taken part in the violence. Five people died as a result of the siege, including a Capitol Police officer and a protester shot by police.
FBI agents and federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York are assisting federal law enforcement officials in Washington in tracking down and arresting residents of the district who allegedly participated, sources familiar with the investigation said.
The FDNY said Saturday that the FBI was investigating allegations that current or former FDNY members were involved in the Capitol mob.
NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea on Monday told NY1 the department was looking into an allegation that one of his officers may have taken part in the Capitol mob. "I can tell you that anyone committing crimes, certainly, will have a very short shelf life with the NYPD," Shea said.
Local officials said they were not aware of county employees participating in the violence.
"We would cooperate fully with federal law enforcement authorities pursuant to any investigation," said Derek Poppe, a spokesman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
"Nassau County has not received an inquiry by federal law enforcement regarding the attack at the Capitol last week," said Nassau County spokeswoman Justine DiGiglio. "At this time, there is no indication that any county employee or member of our law enforcement were in attendance."
With Rachel Blidner, Candice Ferrette and Robert E. Kessler