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Supporters of former President Trump protest inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday issued an advisory warning of a "heightened threat environment" in the U.S. because of "ideologically-motivated violent extremists."

Why it matters: DHS believes the threat of violence will persist for "weeks" following President Biden's inauguration. The extremists include those who opposed the presidential transition, people spurred by "grievances fueled by false narratives" and "anger over COVID-19 restrictions ... and police use of force[.]"

  • The potential perpetrators may feel emboldened by the Jan. 6 attack on Congress by a pro-Trump mob, DHS stated in the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin.

What's happening: Domestic extremists targeted people with opposing views at protests throughout 2020, DHS said. The agency fears the same people will continue to cause violence this year.

  • Violent actors have targeted the electric, telecommunications and healthcare sectors "citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 for their actions."

Zoom in: The advisory says "long-standing racial and ethnic tension — including opposition to immigration" could cause a rise in violence, citing the 2019 shooting in El Paso, Texas, that killed 23 people.

What they're saying: The department "encourages state, local, tribal, and territorial homeland security partners to continue prioritizing physical security measures, particularly around government facilities, to protect people and critical infrastructure," per the advisory.

The big picture: National security officials for years have sounded the alarm about a domestic terror threat in the U.S. Those calls have crescendoed since a pro-Trump mob that included white nationalists and those with anti-government sentiments attacked Congress on Jan. 6.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Conservatives warn culture, political wars will worsen

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The verdict is clear: The vast majority of Republicans will stand firm with former President Trump. The next phase is clear, too: Republicans are rallying around a common grievance that big government, big media and big business are trying to shut them up, shut them out and shut them down. 

Why it matters: The post-Trump GOP, especially its most powerful media platforms, paint the new reality as an existential threat. This means political attacks are seen — or characterized — as assaults on their very being. 

Federal judge says Florida ban on "sanctuary cities" racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing "sanctuary city" policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.

Biden steps into the breach

Sen. Joe Manchin heads to a meeting with President Biden today. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden ramped up the pressure on his fellow Democrats Wednesday, calling a series of lawmakers to the White House in the hope of ending infighting and getting them in line.

Why it matters: Divisions within the party are threatening to derail Biden's top priorities. After several weeks of letting negotiations play out, the president is finally asserting his power to ensure his own party doesn't block his agenda.