National Security

Capitol Police watchdog: Agency failed to respond to ‘long-standing issues’ ahead of riots

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A government watchdog found U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) was supplied with aging equipment and failed to follow up on additional intelligence head of the Jan. 6 attack, according to a portion of a report obtained by CNN.

A summary of the report obtained by the outlet paints a picture of an agency that failed to act on various deficiencies that had already been brought to the attention of leadership.

“One thing that is clear from the report is that many of the problems that contributed to the 6th were long-standing issues the department either knew and did not address in time or did not address on a routine manner to prevent,” according to a summary from the Office of Inspector General within USCP.

The report specifically highlights intelligence from the Department of Homeland Security sent to the agency on Dec. 21 warning of online chatter discussing the Capitol tunnels. 

“The Department of Homeland Security notified the Department of a blog referencing tunnels on U.S. Capitol grounds used by Members of Congress and research of the website identified four ‘threads/blog topics containing comments of concern,’ ” according to the summary.

“The report identifies the website as and includes several pages of comments posted to the website.”

The excerpts obtained by CNN come as USCP Inspector General Michael Bolton is expected to appear before the House Committee on Administration on Thursday.

Neither Bolton’s office nor USCP responded to request for comment.

The summary also details that officers had been given aging equipment, with shields improperly stored at temperatures that rendered them ineffective and ammunition that had also expired.

Roughly 140 law enforcement officers were injured during the attack, and Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died shortly after responding to the riot.

The report also found Capitol Police responding to the attack didn’t use some of its less lethal options, like sting balls, which elicit a bright flash as they explode, dispersing rubber pellets. 

In all, the Civil Disturbance Unit responsible for responding to the attack was “operating at a decreased level of readiness.”

The summary lists 27 recommendations, including the need to “refine document reporting that better captures operational impact to include improbable outcomes based on intelligence, trend data, threats to members, and information analysis.”

The report is the second from Bolton’s office slamming “deficiencies” in the agency’s handling of intelligence leading up to the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol after issuing a report last week.

Tags Capitol breach Capitol riot

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