What we know — and still don't — as Congress starts its Jan. 6 investigation

Pentagon and Homeland Safety officers want their flip …

Senate leaders from each events at all times supposed for the inquiry to press on with extra hearings, and they got here away with apparent investigative leads on Tuesday.

Virtually instantly after the joint oversight listening to started, senators have been calling for testimony from senior officers on the Pentagon, FBI and Division of Homeland Safety, a few of whom have been straight implicated by the 4 witnesses: former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, former Home Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger and performing D.C. police chief Robert Contee. Though that group largely handed the buck to different federal companies and departments, the present and former officers gave lawmakers new traces of inquiry to pursue.

Particularly, the witnesses described intelligence breakdowns as effectively as bureaucratic delays from the Protection Division that left them unprepared to defend the Capitol from the violent mob.


Sund and Contee described a convention name throughout which high Pentagon leaders stated they apprehensive in regards to the “optics” of sending armed troops to the Capitol, even as the police chiefs stated their respective forces have been determined for backup.

Sund stated it took no less than two hours for his or her request to be run up the chain of command on the Pentagon. Contee informed senators he was “actually shocked” on the response from the Protection Division.

As well as, all 4 witnesses agreed that the intelligence they got forward of time didn’t level to the kinds of violence and outright lawlessness that officers confronted on Jan. 6.

… and they will get it quickly

These revelations prompted the Democratic chairs of the 2 committees spearheading the probe — Gary Peters of Michigan and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota — to instantly search testimony from the officers in query. Although they declined to call particular people, Peters and Klobuchar stated they plan to convene one other listening to subsequent week, and that it will function Pentagon, Homeland Safety and FBI officers.

“There have been clearly errors made on many sides, nevertheless it’s additionally on their entrance, what occurred with the Nationwide Guard,” stated Klobuchar, who chairs the Guidelines Committee. “And whereas they need to have been arrange forward of time — that’s true given a few of the intelligence out by Jan. 3 — why, that day, was there a delay?”

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, the highest Republican on the Guidelines Committee, went as far as to posit that the Capitol Police’s complete construction is “virtually completely unworkable in occasions of disaster,” and that the logistical hurdles “really obtained in the best way” of coordinating with federal entities outdoors of the Capitol.

Still, Blunt stated he desires to query the FBI subsequent week about doable intelligence failures that prevented Capitol safety officers from adequately making ready for the occasions of Jan. 6.

One massive discrepancy, and a number of mysteries, stay

Senators largely failed to obtain new info out of their witnesses past what they divulged in prolonged and at occasions contradictory opening statements. Probably the most obvious discrepancy: that Sund claimed he spoke to Irving at 1:09 p.m on Jan. 6 and requested Nationwide Guard assist, whereas Irving insisted he was on the Home flooring on the time and obtained no name — from Sund or anybody else.

Irving seems to be no less than partially right: C-SPAN video reveals he was on the ground on the exact second the clock struck 1:09 p.m. However senators by no means raised that reality, and they have been typically so rushed to squeeze in a number of strains of questions that they left important info unaddressed.

As well as, not a single member requested a few of the most burning questions of the whole inquiry:

— What was the reason for Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick’s demise?
— What is the standing of any evaluate of lawmakers’ relationships to a few of the rioters, together with allegations that some might have been given excursions of the constructing on Jan. 5?
— What is the idea for the Capitol Police’s ongoing investigations of 35 officers for his or her conduct on Jan. 6?

Remarkably, the reason for Sicknick’s demise has remained a thriller even as it’s turn into a logo of the extraordinary violence of the Trump-inspired riot for the previous 48 days. And lawmakers handed on an opportunity to nudge extra particulars out of the notoriously secretive Capitol Police.


March 4 fears get quick shrift

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) concluded her questioning with a request for details about potential violence on March 4 — the Structure’s authentic inauguration day — which authorities have warned might function one other tried assault by those that refuse to simply accept the election outcomes. What, she requested, was being executed by authorities in Washington to arrange?

However as legislation enforcement officers began to reply, Rosen’s time expired. Klobuchar ushered the listening to to the subsequent scheduled senator, Mark Warner, leaving Rosen’s query unanswered.

Johnson’s alone in his principle

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) used a part of his time throughout Tuesday’s listening to to learn a discredited conspiracy principle into the document. Quoting generously from a conservative commentary piece that attributed the Jan. 6 rebel to overaggressive police and a band of provocateurs posing as Trump supporters, Johnson confirmed that he’s on an island amongst his Senate colleagues pushing that notion.

All 4 of the safety officers had rejected his perspective earlier than Johnson even spoke. However none of them needed to: The overwhelming document of violence that prosecutors have begun compiling in court docket has already proven Johnson’s suggestion to be false. Investigators have been piecing collectively proof to point out that vital components of the Jan. 6 rebel have been pre-planned and coordinated amongst extremist teams that thought-about themselves aligned with Trump.

And all 4 witnesses have been clear that they thought-about the Jan. 6 occasion to be an rebel aided by white supremacists.

Honoré’s about to face friction

Republicans have been sharply crucial in current days of retired Lt. Gen Russel Honoré, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s choose to conduct an interim evaluate of Capitol safety following the rebel.

Previous tweets and commentary from Honoré present he was harshly crucial of Sund, the sergeants-at-arms and of the cops themselves, calling them complicit within the violence by advantage of their actions. Honoré had additionally attacked Republicans who led the cost to problem the certification of the 2020 election outcomes, together with suggesting that Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) must be pushed out of D.C. for contesting the certification.

Underneath questioning from Hawley and later from Sen. Invoice Hagerty (R-Tenn.), the witnesses repudiated Honoré’s feedback.

Sund known as Honoré’s feedback “extremely disrespectful to the hardworking girls and males” of the Capitol Police.

The alternate underscores that Honoré is prone to take additional political warmth as he prepares to render judgment about future plans for Capitol safety.

Trump’s a non-entity to this point

One title that didn’t come up a lot in the course of the listening to? Trump. Although the Home impeached Trump for inciting the rebel, a transfer adopted by acquittal in a Senate trial, the impeachment itself was solely sparingly talked about and his function minimally mentioned.

Trump got here up when Sund emphasised that solely the ex-president, who managed D.C.’s Nationwide Guard forces, had the final word authority to deploy these troops when the Capitol was at risk. However there was little effort to probe the previous president’s actions, and no witness indicated that they had any information of whether or not the president himself was weighing in on safety points as they pleaded for help.

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