The top federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., said on Tuesday that more than 70 people tied to the Capitol riot had been charged with crimes and that he expected that number to rise into the hundreds, with prosecutors looking at charging some rioters with sedition and conspiracy.
Michael Sherwin, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said at a news conference that the federal investigation was unprecedented in its scope, with the entire Capitol grounds being “essentially, a crime scene.” He cautioned that the investigations would take months or longer.
Mr. Sherwin said investigators had identified at least 170 people who they believe committed a wide range of crimes on the Capitol grounds, with prosecutors looking at charges ranging from trespassing to felony murder. At least four people died during the riots — some of medical emergencies — and a fifth, Brian D. Sicknick, a U.S. Capitol Police officer, died the next day from injuries he sustained during the mayhem.
“We’re looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy,” Mr. Sherwin said, adding that he had assembled a team of national security and public corruption prosecutors specifically to pursue sedition charges against people who had committed “the most heinous acts” on the Capitol grounds last week.
Steven D’Antuono, the head of the F.B.I.’s Washington Field Office, defended the agency at the news conference after reports that F.B.I. officials in Virginia had warned about a threat of violence the day before the riots. The Washington Post had reported that the warning had mentioned people sharing a map of tunnels and an online thread in which people said people should be “ready for war.”
Mr. D’Antuono indicated that the information had quickly been shared with other law enforcement agencies and he said other intelligence had led the authorities to disrupt the travel of several people who had planned to attend the rally. He also noted that Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys group known for brawling at protests, had been arrested shortly after arriving in Washington for the event.
The F.B.I. is working around the clock on the investigation, and the agency has already received 100,000 pieces of digital media, Mr. D’Antuono said. He added that agents would identify and pursue anyone who had committed a crime at the Capitol that day, even if they had left Washington.
“Agents from our local field offices will be knocking on your door,” he said.
In addition to pursuing possible charges of seditious conspiracy, which is defined as an effort by two or more people to overthrow the government or use force to hinder its operations, investigators are also prioritizing investigations into attacks against police officers, theft of confidential information from the Capitol and attacks against reporters.
F.B.I. officials in Virginia wrote a stark warning the day before a mob attacked the Capitol last week, raising alarms about the threat of violence, according to a law enforcement official.
The report was produced Jan. 5 by the F.B.I.’s Norfolk office in southern Virginia and sent to the bureau’s Washington Field Office, where it was passed on to other law enforcement agencies, the official said. It was not clear which agencies received it.
The report mentioned people sharing a map of tunnels at the Capitol complex and possible meet-up points in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and South Carolina before traveling to Washington, according to The Washington Post, which first reported on the F.B.I. document.
“Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest,” the document said, according to The Post. “Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”
Officials cautioned the information in the Norfolk report was uncorroborated and the portion that quoted “war” appeared to come from a single online thread.
Nonetheless, the report is likely to put the F.B.I. on the defensive with members of Congress and the public demanding answers about why the bureau and other federal agencies were not more prepared for the protests and mob attack, where at least five people died during the violence and in its immediate aftermath.
Supporters of President Trump had descended on Washington to protest Congress’s ceremonial certification of the Electoral College after weeks of his baseless claims of election irregularities.
Last week, Steven D’Antuono, the head of the F.B.I.’s Washington Field Office, told reporters there was no indication that the day’s events would spiral out of control. He said the F.B.I. saw nothing ahead of time beyond First Amendment-protected activities, which can include protests and even hate speech.
He said the F.B.I. had worked closely with its partners before the Trump supporters, who had come to the Capitol to protest the election results, turned violent.
Since the mob attacked the Capitol, the F.B.I. appears to have taken a more aggressive approach to releasing information to other law enforcement agencies. On Sunday, the F.B.I. warned local law enforcement partners that armed protests were being planned in all 50 state houses and the U.S. Capitol. The warning also included information about an unidentified group calling for others to join them in “storming” state, local and federal courthouses if Mr. Trump was removed as president before Inauguration Day.
House Democrats were briefed Monday night on a handful of specific active threats to the Capitol and to lawmakers in the aftermath of the mob attack on the Capitol.
The briefing by the acting Capitol Police chief and sergeant-at-arms also discussed security steps that were being put in place, as lawmakers pushed for more details on precautions as they returned to Washington for votes on impeachment and a resolution demanding that Vice President Mike Pence wrest the powers of the presidency from President Trump.
Democrats who were on the call said that the presentations detailed the plans of ad hoc militia groups and discussed how determined they were to try to carry them out. At least one plan involved seeking vengeance for the death of Ashli Babbitt, 35, an Air Force veteran from Southern California, who was shot and killed by a Capitol Police officer outside the House chamber last Wednesday.
Lawmakers were left rattled; several confided afterward that they were fearful of re-entering the Capitol this week. Others were also concerned about flying after some were threatened at the airport. Lawmakers pressed the officials on what precautions were being taken to help lawmakers safely travel to and within Washington.
As of Tuesday afternoon, metal detectors had been installed outside the doors to the House chamber, in an apparent response to the siege last week.
In a memo that circulated on Monday, lawmakers were reminded that the purchase of a bulletproof vest was a reimbursable expense, as was security training. Democrats raised the prospect of requiring lawmakers to go through a metal detector on Inauguration Day, citing some Republicans who have pushed to be allowed to carry a concealed gun in Washington despite federal and district law. Given the involvement of several Republicans in various “Stop the Steal” rallies, there is deep mistrust among Democrats toward those colleagues.
One Democrat, who asked to remain anonymous out of security concerns, called the call “the most terrifying hour of my entire life.” But another Democrat on the call, who works on national security issues, said afterward that it was reassuring because it showed that the authorities were properly engaging with the threat, unlike the relative silence and assurances given in the run-up to Jan. 6.
In the Senate, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said in a letter to his caucus that the attack “showed us we need qualified Senate-confirmed people (not in an acting capacity) in key national security positions on Day One, including Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Homeland Security, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and others.”
The Senate was expected to hold a security briefing on Tuesday afternoon.
Federal prosecutors filed charges on Tuesday against a suburban Chicago man with a history of making disturbing phone calls to members of Congress, accusing him of making veiled threats last month to commit violence against President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. at his inauguration.
The suspect, Louis Capriotti, 45, was arrested near his home in Chicago Heights on Tuesday morning, according to a statement by John R. Lausch Jr., the U.S. attorney in Chicago. On Dec. 29, Mr. Lausch said, Mr. Capriotti left a voice message for an unnamed member of the House of Representatives from New Jersey saying that if people “think that Joe Biden is going to put his hand on the Bible and walk” into the “White House on January 20, they’re sadly mistaken.”
Mr. Capriotti also threatened members of the Democratic Party in the voice message, according to a criminal complaint. The complaint accused Mr. Capriotti of saying that he and others would surround the White House on Inauguration Day and “kill” any Democrats that “step on the lawn.”
In the past few years, prosecutors say, Mr. Capriotti has left several messages for members of Congress that “could be interpreted as hateful and threatening.” Last February, F.B.I. agents visited him at his home and during an interview he insisted that he had only been joking and “didn’t mean any ill will,” the complaint said.
But the troubling messages continued in November and December, prosecutors said, when Mr. Capriotti called two House members from Michigan and one from Pennsylvania, making “derogatory remarks” about their “race, religion, political affiliation and physical appearance.”
In the first of those messages, on Nov. 18, Mr. Capriotti said that he had killed “terrorists” while serving in the military and would “continue to kill them because that’s what I am trained to do.”
According to the complaint, he added that in the coming weeks, some “big news is about to go down” and that people “are going to be astonished of what’s going to be revealed.”
In a separate case, federal prosecutors in Washington revealed new details about Lonnie L. Coffman, an Alabama man who was charged last week with bringing 11 homemade Molotov cocktails to the Capitol riot on Wednesday.
In a bail letter, prosecutors said that Mr. Coffman, 70, was discovered after the riot with an arsenal of weapons, including an assault rifle, at least two pistols, a crossbow, a stun gun and a bag of “camo smoke” canisters.
He also had handwritten notes mentioning Rep. Andre Carson, an Indiana Democrat, whom he described as “one of two Muslims in the House of Reps.” In addition, prosecutors say, Mr. Coffman had what appeared to be contact information for the Fox News anchor Sean Hannity, the conservative radio host Mark Levin and Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican.
Michigan’s attorney general said on Tuesday that the State Capitol was still “not safe” even after a commission voted this week to ban people from openly carrying guns inside the building because the decision does not apply to concealed weapons.
Dana Nessel, the Democratic attorney general, said that a recent vote by the Michigan State Capitol Commission to ban open carrying in the Capitol did not include any method by which to check that people entering the building with a concealed weapon were allowed to possess one.
“My job is not to provide state employees & residents or other visitors to our Capitol with a false sense of security, especially given the current state of affairs in Michigan and around the nation,” Ms. Nessel wrote on Twitter. “I repeat — the Michigan Capitol is not safe.”
Her comments came the day after the commission voted unanimously to ban the open carrying of firearms in the Capitol in Lansing. The commission’s members said they did not have the authority to enforce a total ban, which would cost $1 million and require metal detectors and a determination of how it would restrict access to the Capitol. The commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Ms. Nessel’s comments on Tuesday.
Michigan is an open carry state, but after a protest in April when heavily armed men demanded entry into one of the chambers and loomed in a gallery as elected officials conducted state business, more lawmakers began calling for a ban on guns in the building.
My job is not to provide state employees & residents or other visitors to our Capitol with a false sense of security, especially given the current state of affairs in Michigan and around the nation.
I repeat-the Michigan Capitol is not safe.
— Dana Nessel (@dananessel) January 12, 2021
Ahead of Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, and in the aftermath of last Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol, Washington-area airports and hotels, as well as airlines that fly into the region, are tightening security.
“Travelers may notice additional law enforcement and canine presence, especially when events such as what we have just seen and the upcoming inauguration justify an increased security posture,” said Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration.
In addition to government agencies, companies in the private sector are also taking steps to curb potential violence.
GoFundMe, the largest fund-raising site in the world, said it took down fund-raisers for travel expenses for individuals involved in potentially violent political events and would continue to ban them. In recent months, the company removed several fund-raisers attempting to challenge the results of the 2020 election, a spokesman said.
“We strongly condemn the violence and attempted insurrection and will continue to remove fund-raisers that attempt to spread misinformation about the election, promote conspiracy theories and contribute to or participate in attacks on U.S. democracy,” said Patrick Mahoney, a spokesman for the company in an email.
Airbnb said on Monday that it is reviewing all Washington-area reservations, and those associated with hate groups will have their reservations canceled and be banned from the platform, as will people identified as being involved in criminal activity at the Capitol.
Airlines are also taking measures. Before the riots, United Airlines moved its crews from downtown Washington hotels and increased staffing at area airports. American Airlines is banning alcohol in first class for flights out of Washington (the airline stopped serving alcohol in main cabin last year because of the pandemic).
Representative Bennie G. Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi and the chair of the Committee on Homeland Security, said in a statement on Thursday that the Capitol rioters should be placed on the federal no-fly list.
“I am urging the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use their authorities to add the names of all identified individuals involved in the attack to the federal No-Fly List and keep them off planes,” he said.
Ms. Farbstein of the T.S.A. said the agency will accommodate F.B.I. requests and congressional authorizations related to no-fly lists.
The son of a Brooklyn judge was arrested Tuesday morning over his participation in last week’s violent riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The man, Aaron Mostofsky, was taken into custody at his brother’s home in Brooklyn, according to a person briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
Videos and photos from inside the Capitol have shown Mr. Mostofsky wearing fur pelts and what appeared to be a bulletproof vest while holding a protective shield belonging to the Capitol Police.
He faces four federal charges, including illegal entry into a restricted area, disorderly conduct and theft of government property.
Mr. Mostofsky is among the dozens of people who have been investigated by federal and local authorities in the days since a mob of President Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol.
The Justice Department and the F.B.I. are pursuing more than 150 suspects for prosecution, sifting through tens of thousands of tips after asking for the public’s help in identifying those who forced their way into the building.
Mr. Mostofsky’s father is a State Supreme Court judge in Brooklyn, Shlomo Mostofsky.
New York City is considering canceling the Trump Organization’s contracts with the city after last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday.
Mr. de Blasio, who has repeatedly condemned President Trump’s role in the violent siege, said his legal team was assessing the city’s options.
“We are looking at that very, very carefully and very quickly,” Mr. de Blasio said when asked about the contracts at a news conference. “The president incited a rebellion against the United States government — clearly an unconstitutional act and people died. That’s unforgivable.”
It is not the first time the city has examined the Trump Organization’s contracts with the city, which include running two ice skating rinks at Central Park and the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, a city-owned golf course in the Bronx. Mr. de Blasio reconsidered those contracts after Mr. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws in 2018.
Mark Levine, a Democratic city councilman who represents a slice of Upper Manhattan, has long supported cutting the city’s ties with the Trump Organization.
“It’s been a no-brainer for years, but it would be beyond outrageous if even now we allow him to continue to profit off those businesses, which are on public property that is our sacred public green space,” Mr. Levine said.
Mr. Levine, who chaired the Council’s parks committee, said he believed the city had the legal grounds to terminate the contracts because they were “at will” agreements that could be ended with 30 days’ notice. There is also a business rationale, he argued. Even before the pandemic, the concessions run by the Trump Organization were not doing well, he said.
“They’ve been underperforming so the city is getting a worse and worse deal out of it,” he said. “People are avoiding these places because of the Trump name.”
President Trump on Tuesday showed no contrition or regret for instigating the mob that stormed the Capitol and threatened the lives of members of Congress and his vice president, saying that his remarks to a rally beforehand were “totally appropriate” and that the effort by Congress to impeach and convict him was “causing tremendous anger.”
Answering questions from reporters for the first time since the violence at the Capitol on Wednesday, the president sidestepped questions about his culpability in the deadly riot that shook the nation’s long tradition of peaceful transfers of power.
“People thought what I said was totally appropriate,” Mr. Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews, en route to Alamo, Texas, where he was set to visit the border wall. Instead, Mr. Trump claimed that racial justice protests over the summer were “the real problem.”
“If you look at what other people have said, politicians at a high level about the riots during the summer, the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle and various other places, that was a real problem,” he said.
Mr. Trump’s defiance came despite near universal condemnation of his role in stoking the assault on the Capitol, including from within his own administration and some of his closest allies on Capitol Hill.
Earlier, he asserted that it was the impeachment charge, not the violence and ransacking of the Capitol, that was “causing tremendous anger.”
Mr. Trump has been largely silent since Friday, when Twitter permanently suspended his Twitter account. When asked directly on Tuesday morning if he would resign with just nine days left in office, Mr. Trump said “I want no violence.”
He did not address his own role in inciting the mob of Trump supporters. Instead, the president framed himself as a victim, calling impeachment a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.”
“I think it’s causing tremendous anger,” he said.
The aim of the trip to the border with Mexico is to promote the partially built border wall, which the Trump administration views as an accomplishment. The president is scheduled to land in Harlingen at 1 p.m. local time, then fly by helicopter the short distance to McAllen. From there, he is expected to visit a portion of the border wall in nearby Alamo, along the Rio Grande River.
Across the street from McAllen airport, pedestrian fences have been placed where the president’s motorcade is expected to travel. Vehicles from the McAllen Police and the U.S. Border Patrol, as well as unidentified unmarked vehicles, patrolled the area ahead of Mr. Trump’s arrival.
At the Aztek Barber Shop in Alamo, Alejandro Silva, 27, said he held nothing against Mr. Trump and did not have an opinion about the border wall.
“But he shouldn’t be visiting now,” said Mr. Silva, a mechanic. “He should leave office and leave everyone alone.”
The president’s supporters were planning two parades on Tuesday in Harlingen and McAllen, but a coalition of anti-border wall activists, led by La Unión del Pueblo Entero, circulated a petition to urge politicians to cancel Mr. Trump’s trip to Alamo.
“We cannot allow Trump to bring his racist mob to the Rio Grande Valley,” said John-Michael Torres, a spokesman for the organizers.
In response to fears, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling said in a statement: “I understand that emotions are high on both sides, for or against the President and I hope that if there are demonstrations for or against, that they are peaceful with respect to our law enforcement personnel.”
James Dobbins and
A third lawmaker has tested positive for Covid-19 in the days since a mob roamed the halls of Congress and forced lawmakers to jam into cloistered secure rooms where a number of Republicans were not wearing masks.
The announcement came as a grim reality has begun to dawn on Capitol Hill: The riot on Wednesday may have started a coronavirus superspreader event.
On Tuesday, Representative Brad Schneider, Democrat of Illinois, said he had received a positive virus test, following similar statements from two other Democrats, Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey and Pramila Jayapal of Washington.
All three Democratic lawmakers have pointed at Republican counterparts who refused to wear masks while members of Congress were sheltering in place.
“I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff,” Mr. Schneider said in a statement. “We can no longer tolerate Members coming to the floor or gathering in the halls of Congress without doing the bare minimum to protect those around them.”
After Mr. Schneider’s announcement, two of his Democratic colleagues, Debbie Dingell of Michigan and Anthony Brown of Maryland, introduced legislation that would impose $1,000 fines on members of Congress who refused to wear a mask at the Capitol during the pandemic.
It will be days before the full virus-related impact of the riot will be known, but it likely could have been worse. Because of the pandemic, lawmakers were instructed to remain in their offices unless speaking during the debate over the certification of votes. Tourists had been temporarily barred and the number of reporters allowed in each chamber at a time had been substantially curtailed.
But the normal precautions — already haphazardly enforced — collapsed as pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. Did six feet of distance matter when lawmakers huddled on the ground as a mob tried to break through the door? Or as they tried to rush through tight corridors and into a cramped elevator to a secure space? Or as they sought to comfort a traumatized colleague?
On both sides of the Capitol, lawmakers, aides, police officers and reporters who had fled to secure locations have been warned that they might have been exposed to the coronavirus while hiding from the mob. Some people who had taken refuge in a room that included senators have been warned of possible exposure, while Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician of Congress, wrote to House lawmakers telling them to obtain a P.C.R. test as a precaution and to continue taking preventive steps against the spread of the virus.
In a letter referring to a crowded House safe room, Dr. Monahan said that “the time in this room was several hours for some and briefer for others,” warning that “individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection” during that period.
That person has not been identified, but on Monday, Ms. Coleman became the first lawmaker to announce that she had tested positive. She directly pointed at a handful of Republicans who had refused to wear masks in the room despite entreaties from Democrats to do so.
Hours later, Ms. Jayapal said that she had also tested positive, also suggesting unmasked Republican lawmakers were in part to blame. Ms. Jayapal said she had been self-isolating since last week’s riot as a precaution.
Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, called on Tuesday for federal law enforcement officials to add the people who participated in the violent riot at the Capitol last week to the Transportation Security Administration’s no-fly list.
“The folks, the people, the insurrectionists who breached the U.S. Capitol fall under the definition of threats to the homeland and should be immediately added to the T.S.A. no-fly list,” Mr. Schumer said at a news conference in New York City.
The comments by Mr. Schumer, who is poised to become the Senate’s majority leader, come amid growing concerns over the security of the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Jan. 20.
Experts have warned of threats by some far-right extremist groups, which are already discussing an assault similar to the one on the Capitol. There have also been calls for similar marches at state capitols, with the F.B.I. warning local law enforcement agencies about potential armed protests in all 50 states.
Mr. Schumer is not the only lawmaker to call for the Capitol rioters to be placed on the no-fly list. Last week, Representative Bennie G. Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi who is the chair of the House’s Committee on Homeland Security, also said in a statement that all those identified as being involved in the mob should not be allowed on planes.
“Alleged perpetrators of a domestic terrorist attack who have been identified by the F.B.I. should be held accountable,” Mr. Thompson said.
Carter Langston, a spokesman for the T.S.A., said in a statement that the no-fly list is pulled from a segment of a database of known or potential terrorists that is maintained by the F.B.I.’s Terrorist Screening Center.
The F.B.I. declined to comment on whether it or other agencies had placed any of those identified or charged in connection with the Capitol riot on a no-fly list.
Senator Ted Cruz’s communications director, Lauren Blair Bianchi, has resigned in response to Mr. Cruz’s efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election.
Mr. Cruz’s office confirmed Ms. Bianchi’s resignation, which was first reported by Punchbowl News.
“Senator Cruz and Lauren agreed that it would be best to part ways,” the office said in a statement. “He thanks her for her service and wishes her the best.”
A person familiar with Ms. Bianchi’s decision said she had made it because of Mr. Cruz’s actions last week, when he and Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri formally challenged President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania, promoting false claims of election fraud even as a pro-Trump mob motivated by those claims stormed the Capitol.
Ms. Bianchi, who did not respond to an email seeking comment on Tuesday, “was unhappy with the direction the office had taken,” the person familiar with her decision said.
The events of last week sent a shudder through Mr. Cruz’s and Mr. Hawley’s offices, with many staff members, especially junior aides, discussing whether their bosses’ behavior should compel them to quit, according to several aides close to both offices.
So far, Mr. Hawley, who has sought to reassure his aides, has not suffered any defections. The atmosphere is more tense in the office of Mr. Cruz, who is known to cycle through staffers even during calmer times.
At least one prominent former supporter of Mr. Cruz — the chairman of his 2016 presidential campaign, Chad Sweet — has also broken with him since the attack on the Capitol, and he and Mr. Hawley have become increasingly isolated even within the Senate Republican caucus.
“Donald Trump and those who aided and abetted him in his relentless undermining of our democracy — including Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz — must be denounced,” Mr. Sweet wrote in a statement on Friday. “In particular, I made it clear to Senator Cruz, whom I have known for years, before the joint session of Congress, that if he proceeded to object to the electoral count of the legitimate slates of delegates certified by the states, I could no longer support him.”
In the House, a senior Republican aide on the Armed Services Committee also resigned, calling out lawmakers on the panel who had voted to overturn the election on Wednesday hours after the rioters stormed the Capitol.
“Anyone who watched those horrible hours unfold should have been galvanized to rebuke these insurrectionists in the strongest terms,” the aide, Jason Schmid, wrote in a searing resignation letter. “Instead, some members whom I believed to be leaders in the defense of the nation chose to put political theater ahead of the defense of the Constitution and the Republic.”
He called the Republicans who objected to the election results “congressional enablers of this mob” who had “made future foreign conflict more likely, not less.” The letter, sent to committee staff members and obtained by The New York Times, was first reported by Politico.
Mr. Schmid reported to Representative Mike Rogers of Alabama, the highest-ranking Republican on the committee, who voted to reject the election results. He had also worked closely with Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, a rising Republican star who also voted to overturn the results and was removed on Tuesday from a Harvard political advisory committee.
Klete Keller, a champion swimmer who won two Olympic gold medals as a relay teammate of Michael Phelps, was identified by former teammates and coaches as a member of the crowd that surged into the U.S. Capitol during violent protests on Wednesday.
A video posted by a reporter from a conservative news outlet, Townhall, appeared to show Mr. Keller, who is 6 feet 6 inches tall, towering over a crowd that was pushing and shoving police officers who were trying to clear the Capitol Rotunda.
Several former teammates and coaches said they recognized Mr. Keller in the video because of his size and because he was wearing a U.S. Olympic team jacket that had “U.S.A.” printed across the back and down the sleeves. A green face covering hung around his neck, making his face clearly visible.
A swimming news website, SwimSwam, first reported Mr. Keller’s presence at the Capitol riot on Monday. The video had been circulating in the swimming community since last week, and several people who saw it are said to have reported Mr. Keller to the authorities.
Efforts to reach Mr. Keller were unsuccessful.
Few of the people who recognized Mr. Keller in the video expressed surprise at his presence in Washington. His deleted social media accounts, several of them said, had in recent years included a stream of pro-Trump messaging.
No video has emerged of Mr. Keller participating in any violent acts in the Capitol, but his mere presence in the building, if confirmed by the authorities, may have placed him in legal jeopardy, given that many people who entered the building have already been charged by federal authorities.
With the resignation of Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary for the Homeland Security Department, on Monday, the task of coordinating the security of the upcoming inauguration, will now fall to Peter T. Gaynor, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who will replace Mr. Wolf for the remaining days in the Trump administration.
The Secret Service, which falls under the Homeland Security Department, is leading the security operations for the event on Jan. 20, and officials are bracing for heightened threats of violence.
Before his resignation, Mr. Wolf announced that enhanced security measures would begin on Jan. 13 instead of Jan. 19 as initially planned.
Mr. Wolf said he did so “in light of events of the past week and the evolving security landscape leading up to the inauguration.”
On Saturday, the mayor of Washington, Muriel E. Bowser, sent a firmly worded letter to the Department of Homeland Security, asking officials to move up security operations and requesting a disaster declaration, which would free federal funding for the inauguration. President Trump granted the request on Monday night.
Ms. Bowser’s call to action came as law enforcement officers in several states made arrests related to the assault on the Capitol.
Security experts have warned that some far-right extremist groups have now started to focus attention on Inauguration Day and are already discussing an assault similar to the one on the Capitol last week. Sixteen groups — some of them armed and most of them hard-line supporters of Mr. Trump — have already registered to stage protests in Washington.
The National Guard plans to deploy up to 15,000 troops to the nation’s capital for the inauguration.
Six thousand troops from six states have already arrived, according to the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson. Defense officials have not made a decision on whether the troops will be armed, but they indicated that even if they were initially unarmed, the troops would not be far away from their weaponry.
On the Telegram messaging app, there were calls for armed marches on state capitols and the offices of tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter, starting on Jan. 16. On Gab, a social media network, fliers were posted about a rally in Washington. The date: Jan. 17.
In the days since rioters stormed Capitol Hill, fringe groups like armed militias, QAnon conspiracy theorists and far-right supporters of President Trump have vowed to continue their fight in hundreds of conversations on a range of internet platforms.
Some of the organizers have moved to encrypted messaging apps like Telegram and Signal, which cannot be as easily monitored as social media platforms.
Social media has played a crucial role in the support of Mr. Trump since he announced his intention to run for president five years ago. And the rioters who attacked the Capitol last week did much of their planning in the open on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Parler, a lesser-known platform that had become popular in right-wing circles in recent months.
But after many groups were banned from mainstream social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the groups have been relegated to half a dozen apps and platforms to organize their next steps. Parler was also effectively taken off line on Monday when Amazon — following Google and Apple’s moves to drop Parler from their app stores — said it would no longer host the service in its data centers.
Adding to the muddle, when Twitter and Facebook kicked Mr. Trump off their platforms last week, they made it harder for organizers to rally around a singular voice. The result is an unexpected side effect of the expulsions from mainstream social media platforms: Attempts at disruption could be harder to predict and could stretch for days.
Just hours after rioters were cleared from the Capitol on Wednesday, there was already discussion about what would happen next on Parler and Gab, another social-media platform that has become popular with the far right.
Mr. Trump was expected to take his megaphone to the platforms, and tens of thousands joined those sites expecting him to land there. But by Monday night, Parler was mostly offline. Gab had also become largely unusable, as a flood of new users and downloads appeared to crush the site, making it impossible to search for, or post, new items.
Some groups have moved to smaller sites, like MeWe and CloutHub, as well as fringe messaging boards.
“There is a massive exodus that is happening, and we are really seeing people scatter across different sites as they look for a home,” said Marc-André Argentino, a researcher who studies the far right. “Different groups have settled in different places.”
The scattered attempts to coordinate next steps appeared to be confusing for many of Mr. Trump’s supporters, who called on the president to tell his followers what should happen next.
In the comments underneath one flier, which featured the Statue of Liberty on a red background, instructions were given by different people to gather at state capitols at noon on Jan. 17, 19 and 20. In comments left Sunday, people asked one another who was behind the event and how they could find more information about it.
“I’d like to come to this, but want to know, does our president want us there?” asked one person. “Awaiting instructions.”
Both men had similar backgrounds, working for years as Secret Service agents but considered more skilled in navigating the agency’s political infighting than as experts in protection. Both went on to land plum assignments: the sergeants-at-arms of the Senate and House.
Now, the two men, Michael C. Stenger and Paul D. Irving, have resigned from those posts and are facing intense scrutiny over the security failure last week that led to the deadly siege of the Capitol, its first occupation since the War of 1812. The former chief of the Capitol Police Steven Sund told The Washington Post that they refused to grant his requests to put the National Guard on standby leading up to Congress’s Electoral College certification, which Trump supporters ultimately disrupted, because they were too concerned about the “optics” of such a move.
The jobs forced both men to balance an array of often-conflicting forces, according to interviews with former colleagues, law enforcement experts and former sergeants-at-arms. Attempts to reach Mr. Stenger and Mr. Irving were unsuccessful.
The sergeant-at-arms posts are unique because they come with the responsibility of overseeing not only security but also protocol and the day-to-day operations of the Capitol, like arranging V.I.P. parking passes or even the printing of posters that lawmaker use as props for speeches.
Both positions derive their power directly from lawmakers. The Senate elects its sergeant-at-arms and the speaker of the House picks that chamber’s. Mr. Stenger, who worked for the Senate, and Mr. Irving, his House counterpart, deftly tried to satisfy the 535 lawmakers who often had competing demands.
The accusations by Mr. Sund, who had reported to both men, ignited criticisms that Mr. Stenger and Mr. Irving had placed politics over the safety of lawmakers, staff members and journalists assembled for the count of the Electoral College vote.
Lawmakers often held significant sway over how decisions about security were made, former law enforcement officials and a former sergeant-at-arms said.
Terrance W. Gainer, who previously served as both the chief of the Capitol Police and the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms, said that based on his experience, Capitol security officials often had to run their plans by members of Congress before major events. He said that given the blowback after the heavy policing of demonstrations against police brutality this summer, lawmakers were likely wary of allowing the Capitol to appear like a fortress.
“It wouldn’t surprise me, having been chief, if there was some reticence on behalf of leadership in the House and Senate not wanting to look like we were overarmed,” Mr. Gainer said.
A handful of Mr. Trump’s most loyal supporters in Congress had urged the public to come to Washington on Jan. 6 in a defiant last stand aimed at keeping the president in power.
At least two lawmakers referred to the day as a “1776 moment” for Republicans.
One hundred thirty-five House Republicans, including the party’s two top leaders, voted to throw out millions of lawfully cast votes even after the violent siege of the Capitol. But in the days and weeks before the riot, some lawmakers went even further.
Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona told supporters in an op-ed to “be ready to defend the Constitution and the White House.” Representative Pete Sessions, Republican of Texas, wrote in a since-deleted tweet that he “had a great meeting today with the folks from Stop the Steal,” one of the leading groups that organized last week’s rally.
The actions of these ultra-loyal lawmakers have furthered the debate about if, and how, they should be held accountable for the violence that engulfed the Capitol last week.
Representative Tom Malinowski, Democrat of New Jersey, introduced a resolution on Monday to formally censure Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama, who asked a crowd of Trump supporters at the National Mall on Wednesday if they were “willing to do what it takes to fight for America.”
Ali Alexander, a far-right activist and conspiracy theorist who emerged as a leader of Stop the Steal, claimed that he, along with Mr. Brooks, Mr. Gosar and Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona, had set the Jan. 6 event in motion.
Mr. Brooks told a local newspaper that he would “make no apology for doing my absolute best to inspire patriotic Americans to not give up on our country.”
Some House Democrats have pushed to invoke Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which disqualifies people who “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States from holding public office. Representative Cori Bush, Democrat of Missouri, introduced a resolution on Monday with 47 co-sponsors that would initiate investigations for “removal of the members who attempted to overturn the results of the election and incited a white supremacist attempted coup.”
A move by two colleges to rescind honorary degrees they had previously awarded to President Trump has emboldened students and professors at other universities seeking to distance their institutions from political figures who played a role in last week’s events at the Capitol, including Rudolph Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, and Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, who led efforts to deny certification of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the Electoral College.
Lehigh University in Pennsylvania last week revoked the honorary degree it had awarded to Mr. Trump in 1988, as did Wagner College on Staten Island, which had given one to Mr. Trump in 2004.
On Tuesday, Harvard’s Institute of Politics removed Representative Elise Stefanik, a Republican of New York who voted to overturn the election results, from its senior advisory committee. In a letter to other committee members, Douglas Elmendorf, the Harvard Kennedy School’s dean, cited Ms. Stefanik’s “public assertions about voter fraud” and “incorrect” statements she had made about lawsuits seeking to overturn results in key states.
Ms. Stefanik, a close ally of Mr. Trump who graduated from Harvard in 2006, criticized the move, saying in a statement that she was honored to “join the long line of leaders who have been boycotted, protested, and canceled by colleges and universities across America.”
On Sunday, the president of Middlebury College in Vermont said it was considering revoking the honorary degree that it had awarded in 2005 to Mr. Giuliani, citing his role in “fomenting the violent uprising against our nation’s Capitol building,” which the president, Laurie L. Patton, called “an insurrection against democracy itself.” Mr. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, is also facing possible expulsion by the New York State bar association.
Thousands of lawyers and law students, including many associated with Harvard, which Mr. Cruz attended, and Yale, where Mr. Hawley earned his degree, have signed a petition similarly calling for the two Republican senators to be disbarred for “leading the efforts to undermine the peaceful transition of power after a free and fair election.”
The petition, started by Yale law students, said the senators had fomented “insurrection” by a mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. It was posted on social media over the weekend and had more than 7,500 signatures by Monday afternoon, including more than 1,800 members of the Missouri, Texas and District of Columbia bars, where the senators are based.
“I think like many people across the country, we were horrified as we watched the Jan. 6 insurrection,” said Daniel Ki, a Yale law student and one of the authors of the petition. “We’ve really just been inspired and heartened by the response.”
Mr. Cruz also faces backlash at Princeton, his undergraduate school, where hundreds of students, alumni and faculty have urged the university’s president, Christopher Eisgruber, to publicly condemn his actions. Mr. Eisgruber wrote on his university blog that “every leader has a responsibility to oppose” the kind of events that happened at the Capitol, but he did not mention Mr. Cruz by name.
Elite universities often promote themselves by pointing to prominent leaders, including members of Congress or the Supreme Court, who graduated from them, but those connections have increasingly created strain in recent years as politicians and judges have been associated with Mr. Trump.