Tennessee, Virginia lawmakers respond to FBI warning of planned armed protests across nation

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJHL) – Elected officials in both Tennessee and Virginia are discouraging anyone who may plan to take part in armed protests in the coming days.

On Monday, outlets reported that an internal bulletin of the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals starting later this week and extending to January 20.

Following the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, lawmakers warned both Tennesseans and Virginians against being involved in such protests.

News Channel 11’s Anslee Daniel reached out to Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger, representing the First District of Tennessee, and U.S. Senator Mark Warner from Virginia.

Rep. Harshbarger said in a statement that those responsible for the violence in Washington last week ought to be prosecuted and commended Capitol Police for their efforts. She also encouraged potential protesters to listen to President Trump, who announced support for a peaceful transition of power.

“Americans have the right to peacefully protest under the First Amendment, but violence like what we saw last Wednesday in Washington is not acceptable and should be strongly condemned by everyone. Those who attacked our Capitol should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I am grateful for the heroic men and women serving in the Capitol Police who protected us and saved many lives. I hope anyone thinking about future violent protests rethinks those plans. Following the atrocities on January 6th, President Trump announced his full support for a peaceful transition of power and anyone who is thinking about starting riots should listen to the President. I will be working with my colleagues on assessing what happened and working with them on finding solutions to security problems at the Capitol.”

Rep. Diana Harshbarger (TN-1)

Senator Warner (D-VA) also issued a statement, saying last week’s display was a result of President Trump’s words. Warner urged Virginians who may be considering taking part in violent protests to consider the consequences of doing so.

“Last week, we saw the real-life consequences of the President’s inflammatory rhetoric with the ransacking of the United States Capitol and the subsequent deaths of at least five Americans. Peaceful protesting is one thing, but I urge every Virginian thinking about using violence to storm any state, local or federal government building to seriously consider the legal and moral consequences of such actions. Displays like the ones we saw last week only serve to advance the interests of our adversaries abroad who want to see our democracy undermined and our most sacred institutions desecrated.”

Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA)

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