Two reports from the Inspector General for the U.S. Capitol Police reveal the department had advance warning that violence could take place on January 6, 2021, and the unit tasked with civil disruptions had multiple “deficiencies.”
Inspector General Michael Bolton will testify about the reports at a Committee on House Administration hearing on Thursday, including “dozens” of his recommendations on how to avoid any future attacks.
Reuters reported they reviewed the summaries of the two reports and included reporting on how “five people died as a result of the violence, including a Capitol Police officer.”
In fact, three of the people who died had medical emergencies, the cause of the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick has not been made public, and Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran from San Diego and a Trump supporter, was shot by a Capitol Police officer who was not charged in her death.
Reuters reported on some of what the reports said in the summaries:
The inspector general found the department’s Civil Disturbance Unit was operating that day “at a decreased level of readiness.” It also said the department had to do a better job of ensuring that weapons and ammunition, as well as riot shields, are properly maintained and supplied to officers.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Capitol Police officers were instructed by their leaders not to use their most aggressive tactics to stop the rioters. On Jan. 26, Democratic Representative Tim Ryan said officers were told not to use lethal force.
The Times also wrote about a report reviewed:
“Unlike previous postelection protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counterprotesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th,” the threat assessment said, according to the inspector general’s report. “Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.”
But on Jan. 5, the agency wrote in a plan for the protest that there were “no specific known threats related to the joint session of Congress.” And the former chief of the Capitol Police has testified that the force had determined that the likelihood of violence was “improbable.”
Bolton concluded such intelligence breakdowns stemmed from dysfunction within the agency and called for “guidance that clearly documents channels for efficiently and effectively disseminating intelligence information to all of its personnel.”
The Times reported that Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), chairwoman of the Administration Committee, described the inspector general’s findings as “disturbing” but added the report provided Congress with “important recommendations” for improving the Capitol police force.