The U.S. Capitol Police intelligence unit was aware, days before last week’s insurrection, that a mob of Donald Trump’s supporters posed a serious threat to the Capitol building and everyone inside, a report obtained by The Washington Post on Friday shows.
The 12-page, internal report was issued on Jan. 3, three days before the attack, and warned that the “sense of desperation and disappointment” among Trump supporters “may lead to more of an incentive to become violent. Unlike previous post-election protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counter-protesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th.”
It appears that the report was not widely shared with other law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, the Post reported, noting it could have alerted authorities to the high risk of a security breach at the Capitol.
Two people familiar with the internal report told the Post that the intelligence unit’s director, Jack Donohue, relayed its message to all Capitol Police command staff. Another law enforcement official said the report led the department to place barricades farther from the Capitol than it has during past events.
Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned days after the siege, told the Post last weekend that he was worried about security in the days leading up to the attack, but that top congressional security officials turned down his requests to declare an emergency and activate the National Guard.
But according to another report from The Associated Press last week, Sund’s department is the one that rebuffed help. According to two people familiar with the matter, Capitol Police turned down offers of help from the Penatgon days ahead of the insurrection and from the Justice Department as the mob was descending on Congress.
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the Capitol Police, said this week that he’s been struggling to get information from the department. The lawmaker said he’d had “100 conversations with rank-and-file members, but we’re not getting the kind of information flow from the Capitol Police. It’s an issue we’ve been trying to deal with, and it hasn’t changed much in the last week.”
Government watchdogs from the justice, defense, interior and homeland security departments announced Friday that they were investigating what led to the security failure ― a probe several lawmakers have demanded. The inspector general’s office from the Capitol Police also said earlier this week that it will carry out a separate investigation.
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