House panels open review of Capitol riot
The House Intelligence Committee, Homeland Security Committee, Judiciary Committee, and Oversight and Reform Committee announced a review of the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The panels sent a letter to the nation’s top law enforcement and intelligence officials asking for documents into what “warning signs” were missed prior to the riot, if there were “systemic failures” and how to best address “countering domestic violent extremism.”
It comes as media reports have emerged that authorities had intelligence regarding a possible attack on the Capitol when Congress met to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
“These latter reports, if acted upon, might have prompted more extensive planning for the event, and the infusion of far greater security and other resources,” the panels wrote. “Tragically that did not happen.”
The lawmakers want to know if any elements of the intelligence community and federal law enforcement were aware of threats of violence leading up to or after the riot, as well as whether any of information about the threats was withheld.
The panels are also probing whether anyone who currently or previously held security clearances or positions within national security or homeland security organizations participated in the riot, as well as the policies or other responses to apprehend or prevent travel of those who committed crimes.
The letter was sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray, acting National Counterterrorism Center Director Steve Vanech, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, and Joesph Maher, who is performing duties of the acting Under Secretary in the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
Lawmakers have called for investigations in the days since the riot that forced them to evacuate for safety.
Some members have called for an independent commission to investigate the events that occurred at the Capitol, and over 30 have demanded an investigation into lawmakers that gave “suspicious” tours the days before the riot.
Five people died in the Jan. 6 riot, and over 100 people have been arrested.
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