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A day before former President Donald Trump is set to appear in federal court for a Thursday criminal hearing, a call warning of an active shooter threat sent the U.S. Capitol into a frenzy on Wednesday.
According to two law enforcement officials who spoke with NBC News, U.S. Capitol Police officers evacuated and locked down the Russell Senate Office Building after receiving tips about an active shooter in the area.
Officers reportedly responded within seconds after receiving a call about an active shooter in the Hart Senate Office Building at 2:30 p.m. By 4 p.m., all Senate offices had been evacuated. The call warned about a “heavyset Hispanic male wearing body armor,” U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger told reporters Wednesday. Yet after a thorough search, authorities believe the call was a hoax.
“So far, nothing. We found nothing concerning,” Manger said. “We’ve got nobody that actually heard shots, and certainly nobody, no victims. And as we’ve gone through the building, no one has said that they’ve seen anything.”
Capitol active shooter threat comes day before Trump to appear in court on felony charges
The threatening call comes a day before Donald Trump is expected to appear at a federal courthouse in D.C. The former twice-impeached president faces four felony charges for his role in the January 6 coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol in 2021.
On Tuesday, Trump was officially indicted on four felony charges: Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, and Conspiracy Against Rights.
The charges come after a years-long investigation by the Department of Justice and were announced by DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith.
“On January 6, starting in the early morning hours, the Defendant again turned knowingly false statements aimed at pressuring the Vice President to fraudulently alter the election outcome and raised publicly the false expectation that the Vice President might do so,” an excerpt from the indictment reads.
To read the full indictment, click here.
It marks the third criminal case against Trump, who faces over 70 felony charges altogether.
Trump responded to the charges accusing the DOJ of seeking to upend his election in what he called “prosecutorial misconduct.”
If convicted, Trump faces life in prison.