Officials ‘Prepare For The Worst And Hope For The Best’ In Colorado Leading Up To Inauguration

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Capitol Breach
Patrick Semansky/AP Photo
Preparations take place for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the building.

The U.S. Attorney for Colorado Jason Dunn said he is currently splitting his days between investigating people connected to the riot last week in the U.S. Capitol and preparing for additional unrest in the state ahead of Inauguration Day.

Dunn and the state’s FBI Special Agent in Charge say they are already monitoring movements and plans by Coloradans who may want to cause bodily harm and property destruction ahead of the event in Washington, D.C.

And closer to home, they’ve already stood up an emergency operations center to keep an eye on any activity in downtown Denver and are monitoring Coloradans’ potential travel to the East Coast.

“We prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” Dunn said. “I’m hopeful that people have spent all their money traveling to D.C. once and won’t do it a second time.”

Although the FBI has warned there could be “armed protests” in all 50 state capitals, Dunn said he is unaware of any “specific” threats in Colorado connected to the inauguration.

“We don’t have information about specific acts to cause harm to people or to buildings,” Dunn said, in an interview on Tuesday. “There’s a difference between asking about whether there are legitimate threats … versus saying there is intelligence saying individuals who are armed will be protesting around the inauguration.”

Dunn noted federal officers are working with local law enforcement on monitoring gatherings downtown, starting this weekend.

“Certainly when you have individuals who are armed gathering to protest, that’s something that law enforcement wants to watch and make sure that occurs safely,” he said.

So far, two Coloradans have been arrested in connection to the protests and U.S. Capitol riot last week in Washington, D.C.

A third man who traveled from Colorado was arrested for making specific threats to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but Dunn said he hasn’t lived in the state for several years.

Dunn said he expects additional arrests in Colorado in coming days as federal officials continue to flesh out investigations.

Denver FBI Special Agent In Charge Michael Schneider’s office released a statement on Tuesday saying the collaboration with various law enforcement agencies, including the Colorado State Patrol, is “focused on providing a centralized structure to effectively share information … to identify, investigate and disrupt individuals who are threatening or inciting violence.”