"They are highly trained, some are militia trained. They can build bombs, they have heavy weapons, they know how to use the weapons, and their intent is insurrection," he said.
With reports of plans to target the Capitol again, as well as the capitols of all fifty states, Downing says law enforcement agencies are scouring social media and other resources to find out who is still out there.
"There's a lot of people who need to be detained and arrested, and maybe even introduced to the FBI for them to say we know who you are and we're watching you," said Downing.
"Right now there are more troops in Washington, D.C. than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Many of them lining the halls of the Capitol for today's impeachment vote," he said.
Congressman Mark Schiff said, "I feel it's secure, but I have to say it's a terrible tragedy to see the necessity of having troops to protect this citadel of democracy."
A democracy under existential threat just a week ago.
"The intent was to hang the vice president, assassinate the Speaker of the House, kidnap congressional people, and overthrow the government," said Downing.
As for next week's inauguration, Downing says move it indoors.
"I think it's gonna be much safer during this high-threat environment to take it inside a building."
President Trump impeached after Capitol riot in historic second charge