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STORY BY NICHOLAS WU, NICK NIEDZWIADEK AND JOSH GERSTEIN

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Published on June 16, 2021 3:43 AM

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Protestors on the steps of the Capitol. (Brett Davis, https://flic.kr/p/2kpXH7i; CC BY-NC 2.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/)
Days before the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, social media company Parler flagged dozens of worrying messages to the FBI — warnings that appeared to go unanswered.

"Don't be surprised if we take the Capitol building," says a post from a Parler user who concluded, "Trump needs us to cause chaos to enact the Insurrection Act."

At a House Oversight Committee hearing on Tuesday, Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) disclosed the message, one of dozens Parler sent to the FBI on Jan. 2 — four days before the insurrection. FBI Director Christopher Wray said he did not "recall" hearing of the posts but that some were routed to FBI squads investigating domestic terrorism. The FBI is now reviewing whether that information was handled appropriately, Wray said.

Wray and the FBI were not the only ones pressed by lawmakers about missed warning signals and the faulty response to the Jan. 6 attack by supporters of former President Donald Trump. The lack of preparation by both the Pentagon and the Capitol Police's emergency units also came under fire, as lawmakers continue to reckon with the security failures that allowed an invasion of the Capitol while they voted to certify the presidential election.

Democrats hammered two Pentagon officials over the delay in the response to the insurrection. In her opening remarks, Maloney said the Pentagon "took far too long" to act on Jan. 6 despite warning signs and pleas from other law enforcement leaders that day.

"This is a shocking failure," she said.

"I did not use the word "optics,' nor did I hear the word used during the call on January 6, 2021, in response to any requests for support or during the planning and execution of that support," Flynn told lawmakers, adding that he did not hear other Army leaders use the word. (Charles Flynn is the brother of Michael Flynn, who served as national security adviser to Trump and has disputed Trump's election loss to President Joe Biden.)

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) pressed Wray on whether the FBI has arrested any people who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 who may not have realized that they lacked permission to do so. He described it as ...