A new Senate report has found that U.S. Capitol Police were aware that Trump supporters talked about infiltrating tunnels around the building and hoped to target Democratic Congress members on Jan. 6, but did not act on such threats.
The report found failures on behalf of multiple agencies during the Capitol insurrection earlier this year, which has since been labeled one of the worst domestic terrorism incidents in U.S. history. Some officers reportedly claimed that leaders were silent about the attack when they asked for help.
The report itself did not look at the causes of the attacks, though, including former President Donald Trump’s statements that day. The report also did not call the attack an “insurrection,” despite that being what it is commonly referred to as.
According to the report, police “knew about social media posts calling for violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, including a plot to breach the Capitol, the online sharing of maps of the Capitol Complex’s tunnel systems, and other specific threats of violence,” but some “did not convey the full scope of known information to USCP leadership, rank-and-file officers, or law enforcement partners.”
“This report is important in the fact that it allows us to make some immediate improvements to the security situation here in the Capitol,” said Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, as the Associated Press reports. “But it does not answer some of the bigger questions that we need to face, quite frankly, as a country and as a democracy.”
In the 100-page report, officers said they felt “ill prepared” for the riot, sharing that they were ultimately “informed with intelligence.”
“The objects thrown at us varied in size, shape and consistency,” an officer said. “Some were frozen cans and bottles, rebar from the construction, bricks, liquids, pepper spray, bear spray, sticks of various widths, pipes, bats.”
The report also criticizes the FBI and DHS, which did not publish an intelligence bulletin before the Electoral College vote count that day, when there was several indications of violent protests in Washington.
“A key contributing factor to the tragic events of Jan. 6 was the failure of the Intelligence Community to properly analyze, assess, and disseminate information to law enforcement regarding the potential for violence and the known threats to the Capitol and the Members present that day,” the report says. “Further scrutiny of these failures and the preparations and response of federal agencies will continue.”