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The Latest: Board reportedly wants Capitol fencing removed

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Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

National Guard stand guard at a perimeter fence at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, March 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON – The Latest on a possible threat against the Capitol (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

The acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police says its oversight board is suggesting the razorwire-topped fencing that has surrounded the Capitol since the insurrection in January should come down next week.

But Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman says in a letter to congressional leaders Thursday that she isn’t clear if it is a recommendation or an order from the Capitol Police Board. The letter to the leaders of the House and Senate was obtained by The Associated Press.

Pittman says the board suggested some temporary fencing would be removed starting Friday, and the fencing around the outer perimeter of the Capitol complex would be removed starting March 12. Some fencing is likely to remain as law enforcement officials continue to track an increased number of threats against lawmakers and the Capitol.

The letter exemplifies the ongoing confusion and communication issues between top law enforcement officials who are charged with ensuring the security of the Capitol complex. The failures that allowed thousands of pro-Trump rioters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6 have shined a spotlight on the opaque police force and the complicated oversight process that governs it.

The Capitol Police Board, comprised of the House and Senate sergeant at arms and the Architect of the Capitol, is charged with oversight of the police force.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A POSSIBLE THREAT AGAINST THE CAPITOL:

Law enforcement is on high alert around the U.S. Capitol after intelligence uncovered a “possible plot” by a militia group to storm the iconic building again, two months after a mob of Donald Trump supporters smashed through windows and doors to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s victory.

Read more:

Takeaways: What hearings have revealed about Jan. 6 failures

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HERE'S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

12:10 p.m.

Security is high outside the U.S. Capitol, with National Guard troops and Capitol Police officers on alert inside a massive black fence that surrounds the Capitol grounds and several neighboring buildings.

On one of the warmest days in weeks, the National Mall was almost totally deserted Thursday, save for joggers, journalists and a handful of tourists trying to take photos of the Capitol dome through the fence.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the Guard troops protecting the Capitol should stay as long as they are needed amid a new threat of another mob attack.

Law enforcement is on high alert after intelligence uncovered a “possible plot” by a militia group to storm the Capitol again, just two months after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.

The new threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory promoted by QAnon supporters that former President Donald Trump will rise again to power on Thursday.

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11:40 am.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the National Guard troops protecting the Capitol should stay as long as they are needed amid a new threat of another mob attack.

The House wrapped up its work early amid reports of a threat on the Capitol on Thursday.

Pelosi says a draft security review from the deadly Jan. 6 mob siege is making various recommendations to beef up Capitol security and is expected to be made public next week.

Law enforcement is on high alert around the Capitol after intelligence uncovered a “possible plot” by a militia group to storm the iconic building again. This comes two months after Trump supporters smashed through windows and doors to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s victory. Five people died.

The new threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory promoted by QAnon supporters that former President Donald Trump will rise again to power on Thursday.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York says, “Domestic terrorism will not prevail. Democracy will prevail.”

Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas says lawmakers are braced for the threat against the Capitol.

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10:30 a.m.

A top House Democrat says the threat of mob violence at the Capitol won’t stop Congress from doing its work.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York says, “Mob rule will not prevail. Domestic terrorism will not prevail. Democracy will prevail.”

Jeffries says he thinks “there’s a reason for all of us to continue to be concerned about the heightened security environment.” Jeffries blames “a ‘big lie’ that Donald Trump perpetrated in respect to the election that has radicalized millions of folks across the country.”

Law enforcement is on high alert around the U.S. Capitol after intelligence uncovered a “possible plot” by a militia group to storm the iconic building again. This comes two months after a mob of Trump supporters smashed through windows and doors to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s victory. Five people died.

The new threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory promoted by QAnon supporters that Trump will rise again to power on Thursday.

Jeffries says lawmakers “will not allow those anti-democratic forces across the country who want to undermine our ability to get things done for the American people to prevail.”

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9:50 a.m.

A former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee who was among those briefed about a possible new threat against the Capitol says lawmakers are braced for it.

Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas says he thinks “we’ll see some violence.”

The threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory promoted by QAnon supporters that former President Donald Trump will rise again to power on Thursday, which is March 4, the original presidential inauguration day.

But unlike on Jan. 6, the Capitol is now fortified against intrusions. McCaul says there’s razor wire and a National Guard presence that weren’t at the Capitol on Jan. 6 so he feels “very confident in the security.”

McCaul warns there could be another diversionary tactic — much like the pipe bombs discovered at the political campaign offices on Jan. 6 appeared to be an attempt to lure law enforcement away from the Capitol ahead of the insurrection.