The United States Capitol Police Office of Inspector General released a preliminary report regarding the department’s “deficiencies” in the buildup to the Jan. 6 riot that left five dead and wounded nearly 140 officers.
A source familiar with the report informed CNN that Inspector General Michael Bolton found that the department failed at sending intelligence the agency had in possession as early as Dec. 30, which suggested the Jan. 6 protest may have been “inclined to become violent.” The Washington Examiner reached out to the Office of Inspector General but did not immediately receive a response.
Bolton also found the department did not prepare a detailed plan for directing all aspects of the Capitol Police force.
“UCSP did not prepare a comprehensive, Department-wide plan for demonstrations planned for January 6, 2021,” Bolton wrote, according to the source familiar with the report, which is one of several fast-tracked reports about the insurrection.
Bolton also grilled the department for a general failure to pass along information from others, notably the FBI Norfolk memo that warned of potential violence and “war” at the Capitol. The memo was disseminated one day before the riot, and the watchdog report noted it was done internally.
Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who stepped down following the incident, testified that the memo never reached the department’s top ranks. Acting Police Chief Yogananda Pittman also contended with Sund’s testimony.
Capitol Police responded to the Office of Inspector General watchdog findings in a statement sent to the Washington Examiner and defended the “significant improvements” the department made for its security posture.
“Despite its challenges, the Department strongly believes that, short of excessive use of deadly force, nothing within its arsenal on January 6 would have stopped the violent insurrectionists,” the Capitol Police statement read.
Capitol Police acknowledged it “had internal challenges including communication issues and inadequate training” that “it is correcting.”
“The Department is proud of its officers, including the late Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, who helped carry out USCP’s vital mission to protect Congress and the Democratic Process,” the statement added.
House defense appropriations subcommittee Chairman Tim Ryan issued a statement Wednesday, saying he had read the report and added that he could possibly seek a committee hearing on the matter.
He and a bipartisan group of lawmakers signed a letter Wednesday asking officials to host regular press conferences on any threats to the U.S. Capitol.
Ryan, along with ranking subcommittee member Jaime Herrera Beutler, called on the Office of Inspector General to release the March 1 watchdog report to the public, writing that they “express frustration” with the Capitol Police Board’s “unwillingness to release information to the public or answer media questions regarding the events of January 6.”
The events on Jan. 6 led to heightened defenses surrounding the U.S. Capitol in the months since the incident. A fence was placed around the complex with tighter security, though Capitol Police said on March 22 that the outer ring of the fencing would be completely removed at the end of March.