News & Politics

New Capitol Riot Report Blames Law Enforcement Agencies

AP Photo/Mark Tenally

The bipartisan report on the events of January 6, 2021, found failures at almost every level, except on the part of lawmakers to take election fraud seriously. Democrat Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Gary Peters teamed up with Republican Sens. Rob Portman and Roy Blunt to draft the report, released on Tuesday. Read the cliff notes and a brief statement from the four senators here.

No One Shared Intel

The 128-page report found that the federal intelligence community, led by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, did not issue a threat assessment warning of potential violence targeting the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, despite online calls for violence and multiple visits on January 5 to washingtontunnels.com. The agencies apparently deemed these threats not credible. The report also stated that U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) failed to share intel the department had received, contributing to the agency being unprepared for the events as they unfolded. The report stated that USCP lacked an operational plan and a staffing plan for the January 6 session of Congress.

“The events of January 6th were horrific, and our bipartisan investigation identified many unacceptable, widespread breakdowns in security preparations and emergency responses related to this attack,” Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, stated. “Our report offers critical recommendations to address these failures and strengthen security for the Capitol to prevent an attack of this nature from ever happening again.”

Some of the 20 recommendations of the report include:

  • Capitol Police should conduct joint training exercises with federal, state, and local governments in the future
  • Capitol Police should have a direct line with the National Guard
  • Practice for the mobilization of additional National Guard members from neighboring jurisdictions to provide immediate assistance and report to command and control in the event of an emergency

The USCP responded to the report saying it “welcomes the analysis” and that it “acknowledges it must improve how it collects and shares intelligence with its own officers and stakeholders.”

Page 19 of the report scathingly mentions that the USCP budget is $500 million a year and allows for 1,840 sworn officers and 400 civilian employees, compared to the Washington, D.C., Police Department, which has a budget of $559 million but employs 3,800 officers, more than twice as many cops as the USCP on a 15% larger budget.

The January 6 protest, which by CNN’s standards was mostly peaceful, is said to have cost $1.5 million in damage. Those arrested are expected to be fined $2,000 each to cover the damages. Thus far almost 450 people have been arrested and authorities expect to charge at least 100 more. None of those arrested have been charged with trying overthrow the government, though many arrested remain in solitary confinement.

Recommended: Capitol Police Witnesses Struggle to Explain How Rioters Breached the Capitol on January 6

“The investigation and prosecution of these crimes will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence. Over 450 individuals have been charged. The investigation continues and the government expects that at least one hundred additional individuals will be charged,” Amanda Jawad, an assistant U.S. attorney, wrote in a court filing.

This comes after roughly half of those arrested in Portland for violence including assault and arson are having their federal charges dropped.