Two Senate committees have released comprehensive reports on the January riots that killed 5 people at the Capitol

By Steve Helling
June 09, 2021 08:46 AM
Advertisement
pro Trump protesters breach Capitol building
Rioters at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6
| Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty

The U.S. Capitol Police's main intelligence unit "was aware of the potential for violence in the days and weeks ahead of January 6," two Senate committees alleged in a report released on Tuesday.

The report, obtained by CNN and other news outlets, alleges that the Capitol Police didn't heed the warnings of possible rioting in the halls of the United States Congress.

According to the report, congressional investigators reviewed thousands of documents and received statements from more than 50 police officers who defended the Capitol. They also interviewed officials who organized the security preparations.

The Capitol insurrection, in which five people died, saw an infuriated crowd forcibly break into the Capitol after former President Donald Trump urged his supporters to march on the place where Congress had assembled to certify the November election results.

Days later, Trump was impeached for an unprecedented second time for "inciting" the riot. The former president was acquitted by the Senate, though seven Republicans voted to convict.

In May, Republican lawmakers blocked the investigation into the riots.

capitol coup
Riots at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6
| Credit: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

But the report released on Tuesday lists several breakdowns in intelligence, interoffice miscommunications, and ignored warnings in the Capitol response to the riots.

The report alleges that the Capitol Police had seen comments from a pro-Trump website that included descriptions of Capitol's tunnel system. The site allegedly encouraged demonstrators to bring weapons to subdue members of Congress and police and reverse the presidential election's results.

"This is do or die. Bring your guns," one comment read, according to the report.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Capitol Police Department defended its response, saying that neither the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice provided them with sufficient intelligence to comprehensively assess the threat.

"The USCP consumes intelligence from every federal agency," the agency said in the statement, according to NPR. "At no point prior to the 6th did it receive actionable intelligence about a large-scale attack."

In the statement, the Police department said that it welcomed the Senate report and agreed that all agencies need to improve their communication and intelligence sharing so that a similar event never happens again.