Senate Committees Release Bipartisan Report Detailing Intelligence & Security Failures Related to January 6th Capitol Riot
Should the committees’ recommendations about fixing these failures be enacted?
What’s the story?
- A pair of Senate committees on Tuesday released a bipartisan report finding numerous intelligence failures and lax security preparation contributed to the riot at the U.S. Capitol during the certification of the Electoral College on January 6th.
- The report, prepared by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee with the Rules and Administration Committee, detailed the findings of the joint investigation and provided recommendations about addressing those shortcomings to prevent a future breach of the U.S. Capitol.
- The report found that the Intelligence Community (IC), including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS), failed to provide a warning about potential violence on January 6th.
- The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) intelligence components failed to convey the full scope of the threat information they possessed about potential violence on January 6th.
- USCP wasn’t adequately prepared to prevent or respond to the January 6th security threats, which contributed to the breach of the Capitol complex.
- Opaque processes and a lack of emergency authority delayed requests for the National Guard to provide security assistance.
- Intelligence failures, coupled with the USCP Board’s failure to request National Guard assistance prior to January 6th, meant the District of Columbia National Guard (DCNG) wasn’t activated, staged, and prepared to quickly respond to an attack at the Capitol. As the attack unfolded, the Dept. of Defense required time to approve the request and gather, equip, and instruct its personnel on the mission, which resulted in additional delays.
- Ensure USCP has sufficient civilian and sworn personnel, with appropriate training and equipment, in the roles necessary to fulfill its mission.
- Require a department-wide operational plan for special events.
- Establish the Civil Disturbance Unit (CDU) as a formal, permanent component of the USCP and ensure that its dedicated officers are properly trained and equipped at all times.
- Consolidate and elevate all USCP intelligence units into a single Intelligence Bureau led by a civilian director reporting to the assistant chief of police for protective and intelligence operations; ensure the Bureau is adequately staffed and all agents and analysts are properly trained to receive and analyze intelligence information; and develop policies to effectively disseminate intelligence information to leadership and rank-and-file officers.
- Update the Incident Command System Directive to address how incident commanders are to communicate priorities, strategies, tactics, and threat assessment to front-line officers prior to and during an incident and ensure that the Directive is followed.
- Review and evaluate the handling of open-source information, such as social media, containing threats of violence.
- Review and evaluate criteria for issuing and communicating intelligence assessments, bulletins, and other products to consumer agencies, such as the Capitol Police.
- Fully comply with statutory reporting requirements to Congress on domestic terrorism data, including on the threat level and the resources dedicated to countering the threat.
DEPT. OF DEFENSE & NATIONAL GUARD
- Develop standing “concept of operation” scenarios and contingency plans for responding quickly to civil disturbance and terrorism incidents.
- Enhance communications prior to and during an event between DOD and DCNG strategic, operational, and tactical decisionmakers and commanding generals.
- Practice for the mobilization of additional National Guard members from neighboring jurisdictions to provide immediate assistance and report to command and control in the event of an emergency.
- For special events in which a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) is approved, consider proximity and response, among other factors, when deciding where to stage the QRF to ensure the ability to quickly respond to incidents at the Capitol.
- Clarify the approval processes and chain of command within DOD to prevent delays in authorizing the deployment of the DCNG when authorized.
CAPITAL REGION LAW ENFORCEMENT
- Ensure that Mutual Aid Agreements between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies include all partners in the National Capital Region and that those agreements are regularly reviewed and updated.
- Conduct joint training exercises to ensure coordination across federal, state, and local governments concerning security threats in the Washington, D.C. area for requesting, receiving, and utilizing emergency assistance.
HOUSE & SENATE SERGEANTS-AT-ARMS
- Develop protocols for communicating with members of Congress, staff, and other employees during emergencies.
What they’re saying
- Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI) offered the following statement:
“Thanks to the heroic actions of U.S. Capitol Police, D.C. Metropolitan Police, the National Guard and others – rioters on January 6th failed to achieve their goal of preventing the certification of a free and fair presidential election. The events of January 6th were horrific, and our bipartisan investigation identified many unacceptable, widespread breakdowns in security preparations and emergency response related to this attack. Our report offers critical recommendations to address these failures and strengthen security for the Capitol to prevent an attack of this nature from ever happening again.”
- Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-OH) said:
“The January 6 attack on the Capitol was an attack on democracy itself. Today’s joint bipartisan congressional oversight report from the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Rules Committee details the security and intelligence failures in the days leading up to the attack, the lack of preparedness at the Capitol, and the slow response as the attack unfolded. We make specific recommendations to address key failures in the Capitol Police Board structure and processes; ensure Capitol Police has the training and equipment necessary to complete its mission; update how the intelligence agencies assess and issue intelligence bulletins, particularly as it relates to social media; enhance communications between the chain of command at the Department of Defense; and ensure timely and effective cooperation and coordination amongst federal, state, and local law enforcement. We must address these failures and make the necessary reforms to ensure this never happens again.”
- Senate Rules and Administration Committee Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said:
“On January 6th, brave law enforcement officers were left to defend not only those in the Capitol, but our democracy itself – and they performed heroically under unimaginable circumstances. At our first bipartisan hearing, I announced as Chair of the Rules Committee that our purpose was to find solutions and issue timely recommendations so it never happens again. This report lays out necessary reforms including passing a law to change Capitol Police Board procedures and improving intelligence sharing. I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to implement the recommendations in this report that are needed to protect the Capitol and, in turn, our nation.”
- Senate Rules and Administration Committee Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-MO) added:
“Over the past five months, our committees have worked together in a bipartisan way to thoroughly investigate the intelligence and security failures prior to and on January 6, and to develop recommendations to address them. These recommendations are based on an extensive fact-finding effort that included interviews with key decision makers, firsthand accounts from law enforcement personnel, and the review of thousands of documents. Our focus now should be on immediately implementing these recommendations. We owe it to the brave men and women who responded that day to do everything we can to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again, and in every instance ensure that the Capitol Police have the training and equipment that they need.”
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Tyler Merbler via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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Of course these need to be fixed immediately. There also needs to be a full investigation of the insurrection including any facilitators in the White House or Congress. This was a terrorist action seeking to harm the United States and should be dealt with completely.
Start with getting Pelosi OUT....
There was not a Jan 6th riot. Go after Antifa and BLM. Review the full video.. Billions in damage from BLM and Antifa. Drag queens on Nickelodeon, CRT in schools. I think most Americans are saying to you "Bite Me".
That would make sense. We don’t neEd another riot.
But, what about holding those who are complicit in the Big Lie accountable for stirring citizens up? All of the other fixes are just bandaids on the REAL problem of misinformation and disinformation. Until those furthering falsehoods are held to account, none of these other things will matter much. We are watching our democracy slowly slip away.
Never let this happen again! Imprison everyone who supported and/or participated!
First fix the cause of it all……………….. holding EVERYONE involved ACCOUNTABLE!
I think that the committee’s security recommendations should be enacted, but there needs to be more investigation into the politicians who helped the national terrorists attempt the coup. Senators like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz openly supported the insurrection and many more have downplayed the severity of the events that took place that day. These politicians, in addition to Trump who spent the day watching his TV and refusing to call off his supporters, need to be investigated and prosecuted for their crimes. More action needs to be taken before another attack takes place, ex-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn openly supported the military coup in Myanmar and suggested that something similar occur in the United States. Do more investigations and punish those who are still a threat to the country.
Fixing the security breakdowns are important and should be fixed but that alone is only treating the symptoms instead of treating the disease. The Senate reports omitted the word insurrection and avoided addressing any of the causes or other key questions. Why were the Capitol security forces directed before hand to treat the crowd with kid gloves as agitated concerned citizens instead of as a potential mob? Why was there no one available or with delegated authority for hours to deploy the National Guard. Why, shortly before the insurrection was the policy changed to only send National Guard units unarmed? Why didn’t Trump even attempt to call up support when the Capitol building was first breeched or even after we saw legislators barricaded in chambers? Why did he not respond to calls from senior Republican legislators? Where was the DNI who normally would warn of anticipated threats to our government and it’s institutions and assure security forces would be ready? … … … No, these reports are helpful bandaids but do not address the causes - and endorse an alternate reality cooked-up for political expediency.
Fixing the security breakdowns are important and should be fixed but that alone is only treating the symptoms instead of treating the disease. The Senate reports omitted the word insurrection and avoided addressing any of the causes or other key questions. Why were the Capitol security forces directed before hand to treat the crowd with kid gloves as agitated concerned citizens instead of as a potential mob? Why was there no one available or with delegated authority for hours to deploy the National Guard. Why, shortly before the insurrection was the policy changed to only send National Guard units unarmed? Why didn’t the trump even attempt to call up support when the Capitol building was first breeched or even after we saw legislators barricaded in chambers? Why did he not respond to calls from senior Republican legislators? Where was the DNI who normally would warn of anticipated threats to our government and it’s institutions and assure security forces would be ready? … … … No, these reports are helpful bandaids but do not address the causes - and endorse an alternate reality cooked-up for political expediency.
It is very important to address the security issues but it is not enough...Trump & his supporters/enablers in Congress need to be held accountable for their roles in this heinous attack on democracy. It deeply saddens and worries me that Congress would not work across the aisle on the proposal of a bipartisan investigation of the January 6, 2022 insurrection. It smells bad.
You missed step one! Fire every single person in the IC, the DHS, the FBI and any other organization of very expensive people that failed to do their job! That is where you start! That's my tax dollar at work and I feel robbed!
We need to find out what happened and hold ALL accountable. The dems need to get off their asses and quit trying to be bipartisan! Take off the gloves and get moving!
Other than the murder of an unarmed female AF vet, by Cap. police, nothing of significance happened Jan 6
It's not good enough and no mention of the cause of the shitshow that occurred on Jan 6th. God forbid it happens again because you don't wait for approval to stop this kind of thing in its tracks!
The greatest security failure of the January 6 breach was voting a tyrant into the office of the President of the United States. And, that is what needed to be investigated and what needs to be fixed. But, that is not what has been done. This is disgraceful! Trump and many others are complacent in this disaster!
So the problem was that we didn't know how severe the issue is and would be? Because WE ALL KNEW that its going to be BAD. Another white washed incident. The problem was that the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump urged his supporters that were heavily armed to march to the capital and stop the votes from being counted. We saw this on television as it played out and this report is focusing that not enough information on how severe this would be was shared with other entitites?
Bipartisan is important The departments responsible for reporting their findings is VERY important Start listening to constituents instead of party committee members and heads of PACs
Fix the failures! Investigate independently the causes and hold ALL involved accountable.
It needs fixing up