Pre-planned parachuters cause Capitol Police to issue evacuation alert

The plane reportedly carried a parachute team for a baseball game.

Updated: April 20, 2022 - 9:46pm

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U.S. Capitol Police, already facing questions about the Jan. 6 response, evacuated the Capitol Wednesday evening over an airplane posing a "probable threat," but the all-clear was given after authorities discovered it was part of a pre-planned flyover for a Washington Nationals baseball game.

Authorities ordered an evacuation of the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Botanic Garden, and the surrounding House and Senate office buildings.

The plane, which circled the D.C. area, carried a U.S. Army parachute team for the Nationals game.

"It appears that someone forgot to tell USCP, triggering tonight’s evacuation order," Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio noted.

DC sports reporter Olivia Garvey tweeted a video of the parachute team coming down over Nationals stadium.

Capitol Police said more details about the incident will be forthcoming.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) invoked the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot and criticized the Federal Aviation Administration in response to the evacuation.

"The Federal Aviation Administration’s apparent failure to notify Capitol Police of the pre-planned flyover Nationals Stadium is outrageous and inexcusable," she wrote in a press release.

"The unnecessary panic caused by this apparent negligence was particularly harmful for Members, staff and institutional workers still grappling with the trauma of the attack on their workplace on January 6th," she said.

Capitol Police have already been under fire for their handling of Jan. 6. 

The law enforcement agency also faces an investigation over allegations of spying on lawmakers.