First Amendment cited in failure to provide intelligence before Capitol riot

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) limited access for law enforcement to intelligence reports about election-related threats, citing the First Amendment. There are concerns that law enforcement at the Capitol failed to realize the severity of the threats prior to the January 6 insurrection given limits to pertinent intelligence. (CNN, September 14, 2021, by Zachary Cohen)

Former DHS intelligence official Joseph Maher said he was aware of the increased level of violence reflected in the language during the 2020 election but gave a nod to the First Amendment, “Civil unrest and election- or voter-related issues often invoke U.S. Persons and First Amendment-protected activity.” (The Hill, September 14, 2021, by Jordan Williams)

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