An excerpt of a new biography of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) published in The Atlantic Wednesday tells the story of how Maine Sen. Angus King reportedly texted Romney four days before the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol Building warning of threats of violence, gun smuggling, and plans to “storm the Capitol.”
Romney relayed Sen. King’s warnings to then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — who did not respond.
King texted Romney on Jan. 2, 2021, citing a conversation that he had with a high-ranking Pentagon official, to tell him that “right-wing extremists” were “planning something bad” for Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 rally.
“Law enforcement has been tracking online chatter among right-wing extremists who appear to be planning something bad on the day of Donald Trump’s upcoming rally in Washington, D.C. The president has been telling them the election was stolen; now they’re coming to steal it back, the excerpt of the biography, Romney: A Reckoning, reads.
“There’s talk of gun smuggling, of bombs and arson, of targeting the traitors in Congress who are responsible for this travesty,” it continues. “Romney’s name has been popping up in some frightening corners of the internet, which is why King needed to talk to him. He isn’t sure Romney will be safe.”
Romney then forwarded King’s warnings to McConnell.
“In case you have not heard this, I just got a call from Angus King, who said that he had spoken with a senior official at the Pentagon who reports that they are seeing very disturbing social media traffic regarding the protests planned on the 6th. There are calls to burn down your home, Mitch; to smuggle guns into DC, and to storm the Capitol,” Romney texted, according to the book.
“I hope that sufficient security plans are in place, but I am concerned that the instigator—the President—is the one who commands the reinforcements the DC and Capitol police might require,” Romney wrote.
The book states that Romney, who was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump on impeachment charges related to Jan. 6, never received a response from McConnell.
The book is the first reporting to show that King, a member of the Intelligence Committee, was in communication four days before Jan. 6 with members of the intelligence community.
It’s unclear what other steps King may have taken based on his communications with Pentagon officials to prepare for the expected threats.
The riot at the Capitol Building occurred just four days later, amid what then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund told Tucker Carlson was a “systematic denial of intelligence” by several agencies that refused to provide support for the Capitol Police in defending the building.
In a statement following Jan. 6, King called the riot an “insurrection” which was “spurred by President Donald Trump’s continued attempts to undermine faith in America’s elections.”
“Today’s violent insurrection at the Capitol is an unspeakably sad moment for our nation – one I never thought I would see in our country,” King said.
“The violent, anarchist criminals who defiled the Capitol Building and threatened both public officials and law enforcement officers need to be arrested, prosecuted, and held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” the Maine Senator said. “No person should feel empowered to engage in these violent acts without facing grave consequences.”
Two Maine men — Matthew Brackley, 39, of Waldoboro, and Kyle Fitzsimons, 39, of Lebanon — have been arrested in connection with the events of Jan. 6.
Brackley, a former GOP State Senate candidate, made his initial court appearance in July.
Fitzsimons was convicted and will spend seven years in prison with credit for two-and-a-half years served.