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A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday released damning findings of extensive government, military and law enforcement missteps during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The 128-page report detailing an extensive investigation into the riot showed a breakdown within multiple intelligence agencies and a lack of training and preparation for Capitol Police officers who were quickly overwhelmed by the crowd.
It recounts how the National Guard was delayed from being deployed for hours as officials in multiple agencies were tied up by bureaucracy.
It also condemns widespread failures from multiple agencies that did not predict the rampage — even though participants were planning it openly on the internet.
The police’s intelligence unit “knew about social media posts calling for violence at the Capitol on January 6, including a plot to breach the Capitol, the online sharing of maps of the Capitol Complex’s tunnel systems, and other specific threats of violence,“ the report says.
But agents did not properly inform leadership of everything they had found, according to the report, which recommends creating a consolidated intelligence unit within the Capitol Police.
During the attack, the report says, Capitol Police were heavily compromised by multiple failures — bad intelligence, poor planning, faulty equipment and a lack of leadership.
The force’s incident command system “broke down during the attack,” leaving officers on the front lines without orders. There were no functional incident commanders, and some senior officers were fighting instead of giving orders.
“USCP leadership never took control of the radio system to communicate orders to front-line officers,” the investigation found.
“I was horrified that NO deputy chief or above was on the radio or helping us,” one officer told the committee in an anonymous statement.
“For hours the screams on the radio were horrific(,) the sights were unimaginable and there was a complete loss of control. … For hours NO Chief or above took command and control. Officers were begging and pleading for help for medical triage.”
It details officers’ complaints of getting “absolutely brutal” abuse from rioters, including racial slurs and Nazi salutes.
The rioters told police officers they would kill them, and then the members of Congress. One officer said he had a “tangible fear” that he might not make it home alive.
At the same time, the senators acknowledge the officers’ bravery, noting that one officer told them, “The officers inside all behaved admirably and heroically and, even outnumbered, went on the offensive and took the Capitol back.”
“This report is important in the fact that it allows us to make some immediate improvements to the security situation here in the Capitol,” said Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which conducted the probe along with the Senate Rules Committee.
“But it does not answer some of the bigger questions that we need to face, quite frankly, as a country and as a democracy.”
With Post wires
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