Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump board a bus for an overnight ride to Washington, DC, in Newton, Massachusetts on January 5, 2021.
Joseph Precious | AFP | Getty Images
House Democrats on Friday asked more than two dozen private companies to take action to prevent domestic terrorist threats after President Donald Trump’s supporters fatally entered the U.S. Capitol last week.
Companies were asked to step up their screening efforts and keep any service requests and reservation records made in January that could be used as evidence to identify those involved in the mob.
“While the instigators and attackers bear direct responsibility for the siege of the Capitol and are fully accountable, they relied on a number of companies and services to get them there and accommodate them upon their arrival,” said Carolyn Maloney, Chair of the House Oversight Committee. DN.Y. wrote in their letters to the companies.
The Oversight Committee sent the letters as law enforcement officers prepared for potentially more violence ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday. Officials fear extremists are targeting state houses across the country as people try to organize pro-Trump rallies online.
Legislators from both parties have called for a Capitol siege investigation that forced a joint congressional session to go into hiding and left five dead, including a Capitol police officer.
Maloney sent letters to 27 hotel, bus, and rental car companies, including the Hyatt and Hilton hotel chains and the online travel company Expedia.
The other companies are Greyhound, Megabus, BoltBus, Lux Bus America, Vamoose, Jefferson Lines, Peter Pan, Flixbus, RedCoach, Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, National, Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Accor Group, Choice Hotels, Marriott, Best Western International, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Extended Stay America.
A local resident looks at a billboard with pictures of supporters of US President Donald Trump who were wanted by the FBI and who were involved in the storming of the US Capitol. Congress had to postpone a session confirming the results of the 2020 US presidential election in Washington on January 13th. 2021.
Carlos Barria | Reuters
Maloney also urged companies to submit to their committee by January 29 all “policies and procedures currently in place or under development to ensure their services are not being used to facilitate violence or domestic terrorism”.
Maloney’s letters indicated that Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had urged Americans to stay out of their city during the inauguration. National Guard troops are deployed to the nation’s capital to ward off possible violence.
The letters also identified actions already in place by some companies, including Airbnb, which canceled all reservations in the DC area during housewarming week and blocked all new bookings during that time.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said Thursday that more than 100 arrests were made in connection with the Capitol riot.
Among the arrests are a Delaware resident and his father, who was photographed with a Confederate flag in the building, and a retired firefighter accused of throwing a fire extinguisher at police officers.
“We know you’re out there and FBI agents are coming to find you,” Wray said.
JW Marriott Hotel guests look out from their rooms as a pro-Trump rally takes place in Freedom Plaza on January 5, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Samuel Corum | Getty Images