Parler, a social network popular among conservatives, is claiming that it repeatedly warned the FBI that there could be violence on January 6. The app sent a letter to the House Oversight Committee on Thursday saying it developed “formal lines of communication” with the FBI to refer violent threats made on its platform.
Days and weeks before rioters pushed their way into the U.S. Capitol, Parler says it referred violent content to the FBI more than 50 times, including specific threats being planned.
“Parler even alerted law enforcement to specific threats of violence being planned on the Capitol,” the letter said.
One post Parler said it forwarded to the FBI called for an “armed force of 150,000” to “react to the congressional events of January 6th,” Parler said. Another read, “This is the final stand” and “I trust the American people will take back the USA with force and many are ready to die.” Another post claimed then-President Trump “needs us to cause chaos.”
“These referrals represent only a fraction of the dozens of posts with violent rhetoric that Parler collected and forwarded to the FBI for investigation in the days leading up to January 6th,” the company said. “Even after the violent attacks stopped, Parler continued to dutifully and proactively report posts to the FBI where users threatened additional violence.”
The FBI did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request for comment.
Former Secret Service intelligence analyst Jeff James called the social media posts “inflammatory and concerning.”
“You look at, do they have the means? Do they have the opportunity, and do they have the will? And we’re reading those posts, it looks like, absolutely, they have all three,” he said.
Authorities have connected more than 50 alleged rioters to extremist groups, including the Oath Keepers. Some of those charged say they were following Mr. Trump’s orders that day. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump defended the rioters in an interview with Fox News.
“It was zero threat, right from the start, it was zero threat,” he said.
But over 100 rioters have been charged with assaulting federal officers or local police during the riot, federal prosecutor Michael Sherwin said in an interview with “60 Minutes.” The Justice Department has “over 400 criminal cases” connected to the siege, he said.