clearn.png
Tuesday July 27th, 2021 6:45AM

Takeaways: Senate report on 'absolutely brutal' Jan. 6 siege

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate report examining the security failures surrounding the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol says missed intelligence, poor planning and multiple layers of bureaucracy led to the violent siege. It does not fault former President Donald Trump, who told his supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat just before hundreds of them stormed the building.

In an effort to be bipartisan — and to find quick agreement on security improvements to the Capitol — Senate Democrats wrote the report with their Republican counterparts and largely steered clear of addressing the former president’s role. The investigation by the two panels, the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Rules Committee, makes 20 recommendations for immediate security changes, including legislation to give the Capitol Police chief more authority, better training and equipment for law enforcement and an overhaul of the way intelligence is collected ahead of major events in Congress.

The report also details the violence of the day. Senate investigators collected statements from more than 50 police officers who fought the insurrectionists in brutal hand-to-hand combat. Those officers described injuries, verbal abuse from Trump’s supporters and fear as the police command structure broke down. Some thought they would die.

“It’s our duty to have immediate responses to what happened,” and to do it on a bipartisan basis, said Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

Here are some takeaways from the report:

IGNORED INTELLIGENCE

The Senate investigators revealed that the Capitol Police had intelligence in the weeks before the insurrection that some Trump supporters were openly planning a siege to stop the certification of President Joe Biden's victory. An internal report on Dec. 21 referenced a blog with a map of the Capitol campus and comments threatening armed violence. “Bring guns,” wrote one poster. “It’s now or never.”

Separately, private citizens contacted the department and warned of people organizing on Twitter to storm the Capitol. The FBI emailed a memo around that warned of “war.”

But most of that intelligence never reached senior leaders, and it wasn’t briefed in key security meetings hours before the event. At a Jan. 5 meeting with Capitol Police, Secret Service, FBI and D.C. National Guard, no entity “provided any intelligence indicating that there would be a coordinated violent attack on the United States Capitol by thousands of well-equipped armed insurrectionists,” the report said.

The senators recommended that Capitol Police consolidate its intelligence operations into one bureau to “improve the timely sharing of relevant intelligence up the chain of command" and improve coordination with other agencies.

___

NATIONAL GUARD DELAYS

The committee interviewed multiple officials from the Defense Department and the National Guard in an attempt to make sense of the hourslong delay in deploying the National Guard as the rioters were overwhelming the Capitol Police and breaking into the building. They found that the officials described many of the events of the day differently, continuing a pattern of finger-pointing since the attack.

The investigators found that military officials were “mission planning” and seeking layers of approval as they discussed deploying the Guard, and that better preparation on all sides would have sped the process. They recommend that the Defense Department implement more contingency plans in case a quick reaction is needed again.

As Capitol Police begged for National Guard assistance, military officials “spent the afternoon assessing the situation, determining how best to provide assistance, instructing personnel on the mission, and ensuring personnel were properly equipped,” the report said.

In the end, the senators write, the D.C. National Guard did not arrive at the Capitol until 5:20 p.m., “after both the House and Senate chambers had already been declared secure.”

___

LACK OF POLICE AUTHORITY

The slowed deployment of National Guard troops is also pinned on the Capitol Police Board, an arcane panel of three voting members — the heads of House and Senate security and the Architect of the Capitol — who must approve the Capitol Police chief’s requests. The chief at the time, Steven Sund, never submitted a formal request for the troops ahead of Jan. 6, and the members of the board did not understand their own authority and could not detail the statutory requirements for requesting National Guard assistance.

Klobuchar and Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, the top Republican on the Senate Rules Committee, said they will introduce legislation soon to give the police chief more authority. Change needs to happen “immediately,” Klobuchar said.

___

NEED FOR A COMMISSION

While praising the report, Democrats have said it also shows that a deeper look into the insurrection is necessary. Republican senators last week blocked legislation that would have formed a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the attack, including Trump’s role, his lies about the election being stolen from him and what led the rioters to lay siege to the Capitol.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that such a commission is “crucial,” and he held out the possibility of another vote. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the Senate to try again to advance the legislation, which passed the House with the support of almost three dozen Republicans.

To win bipartisan support, the Senate investigators left almost all political references out of the report — even though Trump's election defeat was very much a part of the attack. The document does not use the word insurrection, even though it was one. It includes Trump’s speech ahead of the siege only as an appendix, with staff saying they did so rather than assert “editorial judgement” on his words. The staff spoke on condition of anonymity to candidly discuss the process.

___

'ABSOLUTELY BRUTAL'

The report includes more than 50 interviews with police, who described how unprepared they were as they were beaten and dragged by the Trump supporters who broke into the building. They described being left with no guidance as the force's incident command system broke down.

“Throughout the seven hours of the riot on the Capitol grounds, law enforcement officers faced verbal and 'absolutely brutal,' violent physical abuse,” the investigators wrote.

One officer told the investigators that they were “horrified” that no one was on the radio giving orders or helping the officers. The person said that the screams on the radio were “horrific” and that the sights were “unimaginable” as officers begged for aid.

Another officer described the weapons used, including pieces of a fence in front of the inauguration platform that were torn apart and used to assault officers.

That person listed the objects that were thrown at them: “bricks, liquids, pepper spray, bear spray, sticks of various widths, pipes, bats.” Some were armed with guns, the officer said, and others had stun guns. The person said they were sprayed with bear spray “at least 6-8 times while tussling with rioters who were trying to use the bike racks against us as weapons.”

While about 300 of the 1,200 officers on duty that day had training and equipment, “the remaining 900 officers had even less training and equipment to defend themselves and the buildings and individuals they are sworn to protect,” the report says.

___

Associated Press writers Nomaan Merchant and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Democrats push bill aimed at family that owns Purdue Pharma
A congressional committee has heard grievances against the owners of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma as it considered legislation that would keep them from using a corporate bankruptcy as a shield for personal liability
5:43PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Protesters maintain blockade at Minnesota oil pipeline site
Protesters fighting Canadian-based Enbridge Energy's push to replace an aging oil pipeline across northern Minnesota are pressing ahead with their summer drive to stop the project before it can go into service later this year
5:42PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Aaron Rodgers not present as Packers open mandatory minicamp
Aaron Rodgers wasn’t with the Green Bay Packers for their first mandatory minicamp session
5:23PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Deputies who killed man had body cams, couldn't use them
The two sheriff’s deputies who shot and killed a Black man while assigned to a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force had been told they could not use their body-worn cameras
5:02PM ( 49 minutes ago )
US increasingly unlikely to meet Biden's July 4 vax goal
For months, President Joe Biden has laid out goal after goal for taming the coronavirus pandemic and then exceeded his own benchmarks
4:53PM ( 59 minutes ago )
In Mexico, Harris defends against criticism over border
Vice President Kamala Harris has brushed off questions about her decision not to visit the U.S.-Mexico border as part of her work to address the spike in migration to the U.S. She says it's “legitimate” to be concerned about the situation at the border but a simple visit wouldn't address that
4:53PM ( 59 minutes ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
ProPublica: Many of the uber-rich pay next to no income tax
The richest 25 Americans pay less in tax — 15.8% of adjusted gross income — than many ordinary workers do, once you include taxes for Social Security and Medicare, the nonprofit investigative journalism organization ProPublica found
3:17PM ( 2 hours ago )
NRA's gun rights message not slowed by legal, money troubles
The National Rifle Association has been embroiled in a legal and financial battle that liberals have cheered as the potential downfall of the powerful gun rights lobby, opening up a wide path for reform
2:35PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Pfizer expands vaccine tests in kids under 12
Pfizer says it is expanding testing of its COVID-19 vaccine in children younger than 12
1:21PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Stocks end mostly higher; Wendy's becomes latest meme stock
Major indexes closed mostly higher on Wall Street, thanks largely to gains in a handful of Big Tech companies
5:11PM ( 40 minutes ago )
The Latest: US unlikely to meet July 4 vaccination goal
For months, President Joe Biden has laid out goal after goal for taming the coronavirus pandemic and then exceeded his own benchmarks
5:10PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Crews work to reopen Floyd square, activists close it again
Crews returned to a Minneapolis intersection where a memorial to George Floyd was assembled after his death last year and worked to reopen it to traffic by removing debris and makeshift barriers
4:44PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Democrats push bill aimed at family that owns Purdue Pharma
A congressional committee has heard grievances against the owners of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma as it considered legislation that would keep them from using a corporate bankruptcy as a shield for personal liability
5:43PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Protesters maintain blockade at Minnesota oil pipeline site
Protesters fighting Canadian-based Enbridge Energy's push to replace an aging oil pipeline across northern Minnesota are pressing ahead with their summer drive to stop the project before it can go into service later this year
5:42PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Aaron Rodgers not present as Packers open mandatory minicamp
Aaron Rodgers wasn’t with the Green Bay Packers for their first mandatory minicamp session
5:23PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Black pastors in Georgia press for federal voting bills
Black church leaders in Georgia are vowing to keep up their fight to pass federal voting rights legislation even as a key bill in Congress appears doomed
5:21PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Global glitch: Swaths of internet go down after cloud outage
The online world has received a lesson on how vital a small number of behind-the-scenes companies have become to running the internet
5:15PM ( 37 minutes ago )