IG Report: Congress Restricted The Capitol Police’s Use of Material And Tactics Before Capitol Riot

A new report from Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton has sent congressional leaders scrambling after finding that Capitol police were told that they could not use critical riot materials and tactics in preparation for the Jan. 6th protests.  The finding challenges the narrative put forward in the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump. It also raises questions of whether congressional leaders (who repeatedly condemned Trump for the death and injuries of officers) share responsibility for the loss of control of Congress to the rioters.

The report, “Review of the Events Surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, Takeover of the U.S. Capitol,” raises additional questions over the responsibility of figures in Congress for the lack of sufficient forces and materials to deal with the protest. Previously, it was disclosed that offers of National Guard support were not accepted prior to the protests. The D.C. government under Mayor Muriel Bowser used only a small number of guardsmen in traffic positions.

The report magnifies suspicions over why House leadership refused to hold hearings with key witnesses before the second Trump impeachment. It also raises whether, after the controversial clearing of Lafayette Park in the prior summer, leaders in Congress hamstrung their own security force.

Ultimately, over 140 law enforcement officers were injured during the riot, and Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick later died. Two other officers later died by suicide.

Bolton and his staff reportedly found in its 104-page report that, three days before the riot, officials were warned in an intelligence assessment that “Congress itself is the target” in the planned protests. Congress was further warned that “Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.”

That would seem more than sufficient reason to call for National Guard support and assemble the full force and resources available to the Capitol Police.  According to the Inspector General, that is not what happened. Instead, the plan stated that there were “no specific known threats related to the joint session of Congress.” More importantly, the Capitol Police’s Civil Disturbance Unit was ordered by supervisors not to deploy the department’s highest level resources and tactics in addressing any problems.  This including the use of “heavier, less-lethal weapons,” including stun grenades. The report states categorically that they “were not used that day because of orders from leadership.” Instead, 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot by a Capitol police officer inside the Capitol despite being unarmed and standing in a hallway.

That explains a lot.  On the day of the riot, many of us familiar with the Capitol expressed disbelief over the lack of serious perimeter protections and the relative ease of protesters in breaching the Capitol.

This is precisely the type of information that should have been revealed in the weeks after the riot. Indeed, as previously discussed in repeated columns, the House Democratic leadership refused to hold a single hearing with key witnesses on what occurred before the riot. After using a “snap impeachment,” weeks went by without calling such witnesses before the Trump impeachment trial. Such evidence could challenge the narrative and raised questions over decisions made by Congress that left the Capitol vulnerable to such an attack.

The report also raises over the Lafayette Park effect. In the prior summer, White House officials feared that the compound could be breached by violent protesters who had injured dozens of officers and engaged in arson and attacks around the White House during that weekend. They decided to clear the area to install fencing (which Congress only ordered after the Jan. 6th riot). They also deployed the National Guard and the “heavier, less lethal weapons” that the Inspector General found were denied to the Capitol Police.

To this day, the media and many members continue to repeat false accounts of the Lafayette Park. Many still have stories posted that claim that Lafayette Park was cleared for Trump to hold a photo op in front of a church. I discussed those accounts in testimony before Congress and in columns on the clearing of the Lafayette Park area. NPR still has a story on its website entitled “Peaceful Protesters Tear-Gassed To Clear Way For Trump Church Photo-Op.”

A wide array of witnesses and documents detailed how the plan to clear the area was put into motion over 24 hours before the actual operation — and long before any discussion of a photo op.  The plan was approved by then Attorney General Bill Barr but was delayed because the officers were waiting for both fencing material and back-up personnel.

Yet, the narrative remained that this was a peaceful protest that was met with tear gas and stun grenades. While I criticized the use of force in the operation, calling the protest entirely peaceful is only possible by focusing on the time just before the clearing. As discussed in my testimony, some 150 officers were injured during the protests and half of those were injured around the White House. The Justice Department claimed 750 injured officers during the various protests.  The attacks around the complex were so great that the President was moved into the bunker.

Nevertheless, Lafayette Park became the rallying cry against the use of National Guard personnel and resources like tear gas and pepper balls. After Lafayette Park, Mayor Bowser declared “if you are like me, you saw something that you hoped you would never see in the United States of America.”  Democratic leaders and the media denounced the use of the guard and tear gas as akin to military rule.  The New York Times even apologized for publishing a column of Sen. Tom Cotton encouraging the use of National Guard (and effectively fired the editor who approved the column).

Both the media and members are heavily invested in the Lafayette Park narrative. It would be embarrassing to report that the Congress should have ordered the same expansion of a fenced perimeter and guard deployment before the protests — let alone the use of non-lethal devices like pepper balls.

The question is whether that narrative influenced the restrictions placed on the Capitol Police. It was only after losing control of Congress that a full deployment of fencing, riot resources, and the National Guard was allowed. It then remained up for months at a huge daily cost. It was the ultimate example of locking the barn door after the horse had bolted. But in Washington, it is not really about horse or the barn. It is about who gets the blame.

58 thoughts on “IG Report: Congress Restricted The Capitol Police’s Use of Material And Tactics Before Capitol Riot”

  1. Turley quotes from the report:

    “Congress was further warned that ‘Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.’”

    And Turley adds:

    “That would seem more than sufficient reason to call for National Guard support and assemble the full force and resources available to the Capitol Police.”

    And yet in spite of the obvious threat posed by such a lie, Turley to date has refused to condemn “Stop the Steal” per se which Big Lie Trump and his followers continue to promulgate AND for which his employer Fox News is currently being sued for facilitating this lie by virtue of its hosts collaborating with Giuliani and Powell, among others, to spread it for weeks after the election. Turley would have you believe falsely that Fox and the Republicans acted in good faith in questioning the election results as he did when, in fact, their rhetoric was malicious for which his Fox colleagues may be liable for millions of dollars if found guilty of defamation. Still Turley has not breathed a word about the merits of this historic First Amendment case. His lips are sealed…

  2. The country is in big trouble with demented Biden’s handlers in charge. Gear up for 2022. Do not go back to sleep.

  3. I am extremely interested in reading the actual report. I haven’t seen a link to it anywhere. I would be interested in knowing whether and readers of this blog have seen one. I certainly hope that it is available to the public.

  4. First of all, don’t use the title “President’ when referring to that fat slob election cheater. He didn’t earn and doesn’t deserve the same title as Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK or any of the other men who won their elections without the help of a hostile foreign power. Secondly, there wouldn’t have been a riot in the first place but for the massive ego of Donald J. Trump and his inability to accept the will of the American people, who: 1. didn’t vote for him in 2016; 2. mostly never approved of him–he never even got a 50% approval rating; and 3. didn’t vote for him in 2020, consistent with the predictions of virtually all polls. The fat one went on vainglory “Stop the Steal” tours, and exhorted his disciples to “fight” the will of the American people by storming the Capitol and trying to prevent Congress from accepting the certified vote totals. He continues to promote the Big Lie to this day, and even got some dumb, loser Republican Senators to “object” to certified vote totals. Congress bears no blame in this incident. You do know better, Turley.

    1. Natacha – I was pretty sure you were referring to Biden until I got to the 5th line of your diatribe….wow – standard BS Dem/MSM talking points – do you get out much? Do you read anything other than MSM propaganda? Seems you are here just to try to spread MSM/Dem propaganda to people that are much smarter and better informed than you, and still have some critical thinking and independent thought skills left….sorry to tell you, but it isn’t going to work…unless you start to think for yourself…if that is still possible..

    2. Natacha, What does it feel like to live with such never-ending rage in your heart?

      1. Ask the Capitol insurrectionists. Some of them displayed a lot more rage than Natacha has.

    3. Love how communists believe that only they have the right to be disrespectful and to protest. Your nappyhaired and your drooling, demented hair sniffer are dogs compared to President Trump but he kept saying a word your ilk despises, jobs. You extremophiles create toxins only you can survive in.Go crawl back under your rock yoi were hatched under.

  5. If America had a Supreme Court, it would have declared the entire American welfare state unconstitutional before it came into being and communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) wouldn’t vote because they would have nothing to vote for – no “free stuff” to vote for. The only reason there are election controversies and the only reason so many people vote is because they are anti-American, anti-Constitution parasites who demand unconstitutional “free stuff” from the corrupt politicians they vote for. That is why the American Founders restricted the vote and enjoyed only an 11.6% turnout in the first presidential election of George Washington. The American thesis is freedom through self-reliance. The Constitution does not allow citizens to vote themselves largesse. The Constitution does not allow regulation of free enterprise. Wealth creation and regulation of free enterprise is done in the private sector by the private sector for the legal protection and benefit of the private sector. If the Supreme Court did its duty and immediately “struck down” unconstitutional “free stuff,” there would be no election controversies and Americans would be compelled to engage in self-reliance as they enjoy freedom.

    The American Founders intended for free people to take care of themselves by way of the freedom they were provided.

    There is no future for a nation of parasites.

    1. Well, unfortunately, we seem to be on that trajectory. Self-reliance does not seem to be valued today. What are your thoughts about how we might change the current trajectory?

  6. Dems lie.

    By Dems, I mean the House leadership, the media, and Washington bureaucrats.

    They conspired to create a narrative of insurrection, further dividing the country.

    That the Capitol police chief was scapegoated is immaterial – an acceptable cost.

    That the country suffers is OK.

    Anything for Dem power.

    Mendacity rules.

    And Dem voters are OK with that.

    Lefty posters here like to brag how smart they are.

    Yet they are lied to and manipulated. Either these posters are stupid or they lack a moral core.

    1. Democrats are extremophiles that can only survive in toxic environments, so they create them daily.

    2. Monument,
      And Trump was a truth teller. Republicans are the ubermensch and the Democrats are the untermensch. I get it. When does the round up, concentration and elimination begin? Because Democrats cannot ever change, it’s the only solution. You do realize that, don’t you?

    3. Unfortunately, a lot of politicians on the left AND right lie, and Republican, Independent and Democratic voters are OK with that. Yet you’re unwilling to admit that Republicans are as dishonest. Are you either “stupid or they lack a moral core” too?

      1. ALL politicians lie. Joe Biden is one of the worst serial liars. But he has the media protecting him. THAT’s the difference.

  7. What has been missing in all of the Reports is exactly what role, decisions, and influence Pelosi and McConnell played in this disaster.

    The Capitol Police Chief, the two Sargents In Arms have been left to carry the bucket but we know they did not operate in a vacuum and most certainly had to interface with both Pelosi and McConnell.

    We also know that some Doors were opened to the protestors by on duty Capitol Police Officers.

    We also know there was no arson, no assaults on any Member of Congress or Staff, and that most of those inside the Building were in fact peaceful.

    The Democrats including their propaganda arm, the media, have over blown this and flat lied about much of what happened.

    We do not see any retractions or apologies from any of them for that misconduct….be that false reporting and false claims being intentional or just over reacting long before the facts were known.

    That is the problem…..the one side intentionally refuses to do the right thing and stick to the facts.

    Lies, deceit, criminal conduct…..is just a way of life with them so long as it advances their liberal progressive agenda!

    There is blame to be pointed to the Republicans but nowhere at the level or intensity and frequency there is to the Democrats.

    Until facts, those very inconvenient things that so often trip up the Left…..are what are used to frame the narrative and reporting….this national crisis shall continue down the road to that ultimate conclusion neither Left or the Right wish to experience but is surely coming.

    1. Prof Turley’s headline is misleading in that implies that there is probative evidence that Congress, or some members of Congress, ordered withholding of force at the Capitol. None of the media reports of this IG report states that the report makes such statements. Turley conflates information about the prior Lafayette Park violence with that on January 6. Evidence of the involvement of some members of Congress in the January 6 debacle may be forthcoming. But, contrary to Turley’s headline here, I do not see that any such evidence has been presented to date.

      1. Other than the second paragraph (The report, “Review of the Events Surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, Takeover of the U.S. Capitol,” raises additional questions over the responsibility of figures in Congress for the lack of sufficient forces and materials to deal with the protest. Previously, it was disclosed that offers of National Guard support were not accepted prior to the protests. The D.C. government under Mayor Muriel Bowser used only a small number of guardsmen in traffic positions.), and the fence was only approved after Jan 6, not when there were riots, looting, and arson night and day — which posed an actual clear and present danger.

        Yeah, if you ignore those, the headline’s misleading.

        And here I was, hoping to post before the Nitwit Brigade showed up with the drivel and absolute refusal to accept facts and reality. Oh well. Maybe next time.

      2. None of the media reports of this IG report states that the report makes such statements.

        That is Babylon Bee-level work you’ve got going there. We have an IG report telling you what their investigation concluded and you don’t believe it because the same media that has been feeding you disinformation won’t confirm what the IG report says? Damn.

    2. I could be wrong, but I believe that the Senate leader does not have much to do with all that. I thought the Speaker had the say on all of these things

  8. Anything and I mean anything to get rid of cheeto man aka tRump. Why? He called out the swamp creatures and made them look bad by actually caring about the taxpaying American citizens. What an awful thing to care for your citizens. The Democrats platform is abort your baby adopt an illegal… I’d like to know how it is that the taxpayers have to fund the vitriol of the communist left aka Democrats.
    And btw look up John Hopkins SARS2025….

    1. They had to take Trump out. He was the only one they could not blackmail, bribe or bully. He was a fighter who did not seem to care if they liked him or not.

  9. Lane brains are all the same. Went in dumb. Come out dumb too. Riding around DC on a kangaroo.

      1. Doctor Seuss was a DC goose. By saying lame brains are all the same I am saying Dems are same as RepubliCons and House, Senate and White House dorks are all the same.
        It is jibber jabber and those humans in DC are jabbers. That includes the weapon wielding rioters.

        1. Liberty2nd,
          “I am saying Dems are same as RepubliCons”

          In many ways I agree with you. This point is lost, though, in your usual style of writing. It comes across as nonsensical.

        2. I agree. Which is why all the vitriol about President Trump and the swamp. Both sides of the aisle spent billions of our tax dollars going after President Trump in a way most obscene. I’m thinking the politicians hate us having jobs?

      2. Those of us who read the blog have come to recognize certain posters to skip over.

        Liberty2nd is a nonsensical poster and I just move past his posts without reading.

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