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Katie Porter says she could tell Capitol security was too lax ahead of riot

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) said she could tell the day of the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill that security in the area was too relaxed given potential unrest.

In an interview with “The Carlos Watson Show,” a clip of which was shared first with The Hill, Porter described being dropped off at her office by a staffer and noticing what she said was insufficient security in front of the building.

“[E]ven that morning when my staffer picked me up, I said, ‘do we have to allow a lot of time for parking or walking,’ and he said, ‘no, I’m just going to drop you off right in front of the building.’ And I said, ‘between the Capitol and my office building?’ And he said, ‘oh yeah, Independence Avenue is open.’ So I said, ‘so they can drive by and shoot us?’ And I was kidding but kind of not, right?” she told host Carlos Watson, the co-founder and CEO of OZY. 

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“To me that was a big sign that they weren’t getting the picture here on how much security we needed. I walk in the door, there’s six doors to that building, there were two police officers, for six doors. We just got lucky that they didn’t come to our office building, that’s what it was. They didn’t know that that’s where most of us were.” 

The remarks come amid ongoing criticism of law enforcement’s preparedness for the mob that overran police on Jan. 6 while seeking to halt Congress’s certification of the Electoral College results. Officers appeared woefully underprepared to beat back the crowd despite intelligence indicating that it could become violent.

Several security leaders, including the Capitol Police chief, House sergeant-at-arms and Senate sergeant-at-arms, stepped down from their positions over the criticism, and the House is planning a commission to investigate the events of that day.

Several people were killed during the riot, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died the day after the riot from injuries he sustained responding to the mob. Two other officers who responded to the insurrection later died by suicide.