Capitol Police chief says he doesn’t expect security threats on Jan. 6 anniversary
Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger said Tuesday that he doesn’t anticipate any security threats to the Capitol on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack, maintaining the department is far better equipped for an emergency than it was one year ago.
During a news conference on Capitol Hill, Manger said that while the Capitol Police are aware of several commemorative events planned for Thursday, “there’s no intelligence that indicates that there would be any problems.”
Manger did note that the Capitol Police is “paying attention to” an event at the D.C. jail.
Look Ahead America, the same group that organized the “Justice for J6” rally in September to protest the treatment of people charged in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection, is planning a candlelight vigil outside the D.C. jail on Thursday.
“But again, really nothing that is of great concern to us at this point,” Manger said.
The Capitol Police briefly restored a fence around the Capitol in anticipation of the September rally and partnered with other law enforcement agencies to ensure a massive security apparatus amid fears that demonstrators supporting former President Trump could cause another disturbance. But the crowd that did attend the rally was ultimately dwarfed by the news media and law enforcement presence.
Manger outlined a series of reforms the Capitol Police has made in the past year based on recommendations from external reviews of what went wrong on the day of the attack.
That included overhauling how the Capitol Police assesses and acts upon intelligence; conducting joint exercises ahead of large events; providing cell phones to all officers so they can be informed of intelligence assessments and operational plans each day; and updating necessary police equipment.
Asked if the Capitol would be strong enough if another similar attack happened again, Manger said: “I believe it is, yes.”
Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton said that his agency has also made physical upgrades to the Capitol complex, including enhanced security lighting and repairs to windows damaged during the riot.
Blanton said that in addition to an upgraded camera system, new windows that are currently in the design process will be installed in the spring.
“The windows are under design right now. You’ll see the installation will start in the spring. The reason it’s starting then is because it’s weather-dependent on when we can do it. And you need to have above-freezing temperatures,” Blanton said.
The Senate is scheduled to be in session on Thursday, but the House is only holding a brief pro forma session at noon while it remains officially on recess.
Some House members will be at the Capitol for a series of commemorative events planned by Democratic leaders, including remarks from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a moment of silence on the House floor, as well as lawmaker testimonials and a prayer vigil on the Capitol steps.
President Biden and Vice President Harris will also deliver remarks at the Capitol on Thursday morning.