Loading...

Federal Officials Seek Assurances Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Won’t Be Repeated

January 5, 2022 by Tom Ramstack
Federal Officials Seek Assurances Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Won’t Be Repeated
Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

WASHINGTON — Federal officials in Washington on Wednesday discussed security improvements since the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol but made no effort to hide their lingering anger.

The Justice Department announced last week that 725 suspects have been arrested in the year since the riot. The FBI is investigating 350 more.

“If they committed a crime, they should be prosecuted,” said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger.

He testified to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration as it sought assurances the Capitol Police are ready for any similar domestic attacks against federal officials or buildings.

“January 6th exposed critical deficiencies with operational planning, intelligence, staffing and equipment,” Manger said. “I recognize those issues have to be addressed, and that is what we are doing.”

A Senate investigation of lapses that allowed rioters to break into the Capitol resulted in five recommendations for the Capitol Police, namely:

  • More training, equipment and sufficient personnel.
  • Department-wide operational planning for special events.
  • Establishment of a Civil Disturbance Unit as a formal, permanent component of the Capitol Police.
  • Consolidation of all Capitol Police intelligence units into a centralized intelligence bureau with adequately staffed and trained analysts.
  • Updating the Incident Command System Directive to enhance communication and coordination.

While touting the improvements, Manger acknowledged shortcomings.

“The biggest challenge I have is the staffing problem,” he said.

One innovation the Capitol Police adopted was virtual training, which allows officers to train for different situations by computer. He said some of the training can be done in as little as half an hour, whereas previously it might require a full day of hands-on work.

Senators at the hearing said progress with security at the Capitol was a welcome change after the violence that left hundreds of officers injured a year ago.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who chairs the committee, recalled the tense and determined expressions she saw on faces of Capitol Police officers during the riot instigated by tough talk from former President Donald Trump as he alleged election fraud. 

“This wasn’t just about doing your job, this was actually about bread and butter saving our republic,” Klobuchar said.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., spoke compassionately about the officers when he said, “When they leave to come to work at the Capitol, their family has no idea what they’re going to face every day.”

A short distance away in Washington, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland renewed his pledge Wednesday to hold anyone who participated in violence at the Capitol liable through criminal prosecution.

He said “there is no higher priority” for the Justice Department.

“The Justice Department remains committed to holding all Jan. 6 perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law — whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy,” he said. “We will follow the facts wherever they lead.”

Garland’s pledges of strict law enforcement against the insurrectionists are drawing criticisms from some Democrats.

They say Garland’s broad-based prosecutions appear to be punishing some people who were present at the Capitol but were not the ones who plotted or incited the violence, including Trump and his former attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., said during an interview this week with CNN that Garland’s approach to the Capitol rioters “has been extremely weak.”

“I think there should be a lot more of the organizers of Jan. 6 that should be arrested by now,” Gallego said. “This is why we need to have an active attorney general that can separate those that were doing political work from actual work helping the insurrection and/or the coup plotters.”

Tom can be reached at tom@thewellnews.com

In The News

Health

Voting

Law Enforcement

May 20, 2022
by Reece Nations
Justice Department, ATF Assessment Details Alarming Rise in Privately Made Firearms

WASHINGTON — The first in a series of national firearm commerce and trafficking assessments was published this week after Attorney... Read More

WASHINGTON — The first in a series of national firearm commerce and trafficking assessments was published this week after Attorney General Merrick Garland commissioned the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to conduct the study last year. The first volume of the report covers a... Read More

May 17, 2022
by Madeline Hughes
Report Details ICE Surveillance Dragnet

WASHINGTON — Weaving together information from public databases and private data brokers, immigration officials have created a vast surveillance system... Read More

WASHINGTON — Weaving together information from public databases and private data brokers, immigration officials have created a vast surveillance system that can be used on nearly any American, regardless of immigration status, according to a new report from Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology. “[Immigration... Read More

May 6, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Justice Dept. Opens New Office to Crack Down on Polluters

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department announced Thursday it was opening a new Office of Environmental Justice to crack down on... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department announced Thursday it was opening a new Office of Environmental Justice to crack down on industrial polluters. Top priorities of the new program are reducing climate change and protecting low-income or disadvantaged communities, according to the Justice Department announcement. “For far... Read More

May 6, 2022
by Madeline Hughes
Cybercrime Tracking Bill Signed Into Law

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice can now get a handle on the number of cybercrimes happening in the U.S.... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice can now get a handle on the number of cybercrimes happening in the U.S. after President Joe Biden signed a bill into law Thursday granting the department the ability to track crimes that have become increasingly prevalent in recent years.... Read More

May 2, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
FBI Used Electronic Surveillance in 3.4M Warrantless Searches

WASHINGTON — The FBI is enduring a backlash after intelligence agencies’ annual transparency report to Congress last month revealed that... Read More

WASHINGTON — The FBI is enduring a backlash after intelligence agencies’ annual transparency report to Congress last month revealed that it conducted nearly 3.4 million warrantless searches of Americans’ electronic data in the previous year.  The agency collected the information as part of its foreign surveillance... Read More

April 29, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Justice Dept. Sues Trump Campaign Manager Saying He Hid $16M in Taxable Income

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Justice Department is suing Paul Manafort, the former presidential campaign manager of Donald Trump,... Read More

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Justice Department is suing Paul Manafort, the former presidential campaign manager of Donald Trump, after he allegedly hid taxable income he was paid as a consultant for business and political interests in Ukraine. Prosecutors are seeking $2.9 million of the... Read More

News From The Well