President Joe Biden commissions domestic terrorism review amid flurry of sweeping orders

  • Video report by ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy

Joe Biden has directed the US intelligence community to study the threat of domestic extremism as the new president acted swiftly to begin implementing his agenda.

The review comes weeks after the storming of the US Capitol by Trump supporters, which left five people dead and shocked the world.

The announcement was made by White House press secretary Jen Psaki and involves the director of national intelligence, an office created after 9/11 attacks to prevent international terrorism.

Biden has pressed ahead with his coronavirus relief plan. Credit: AP

The move suggests that American authorities are examining how to pivot to a more concerted focus on violence from radical extremists at home rather than from threats abroad.

The policy review will involve all of the USA's major intelligence organisations who will make recommendations to the government.

Ms Psaki said the attack on the Capitol "underscored what we all know: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat.”

The riot at the Capitol, which led last week to Donald Trump’s second impeachment, raised questions about whether a federal government national security apparatus was doing enough to protect its citizens from homegrown forms of domestic terrorism.

FBI Director Chris Wray said year the most lethal violence has come from anti-government activists and the far-right.

Earlier the US Senate moved to begin the impeachment trial of Mr Trump will begin on Monday, after the newly sworn-in Democrat majority overrode Republican desires to begin proceedings in February.

President Biden discusses the timeline of Donald Trump's second impeachment trial

President Biden appeared to favour a longer wait when asked about impeachment proceedings on Friday.

He said he wanted to prioritise getting his administration up and running with several key appointments needing Senate approval.

He also pressed ahead with his plans for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic in the US, warning on Friday the US death toll could rise to 600,000 before the end of the pandemic, the number currently stands at over 410,000.

On Friday he said "We're in a national emergency" and the country should act like it. He signed an executive order aimed at preventing evictions and getting food to people who can't afford it.

President Biden said: "We cannot, will not, let people go hungry, we cannot let people be evicted because of nothing they did themselves, we cannot watch people lose their jobs and we have to act. 

"We have to act now."

He also more than doubled the minimum wage for federal employees to $15 per hour.

The president also urged congress to work together to pass his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package promising to provide further stimulus checks to the population after the previous administration cut them from $2,000 to $600.