Intelligence Agencies Knew of Plans to ‘Storm’ Capital Jan. 6, says Senate Report

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A new report by two Senate committees outlines large-scale failures by top federal intelligence agencies that contributed to the deadly assault, reports the New York Times. The 127-page joint report, a product of more than three months of hearings and interviews and reviews of thousands of pages of documents, presents a damning portrait of the preparations and response at multiple levels. Law enforcement officials did not take threats of violence seriously, it found, and the Capitol police lacked the capacity to respond effectively when those threats materialized. In response to the report, the Capitol Police said that its leaders agreed that the force needed improvement, including changing the way it collects and shares intelligence, but insisted that law enforcement officials had no way of knowing that a pro-Trump rally would turn into a mass assault.

The committee staff solicited more than 50 statements from Capitol Police officers that spoke of rioters who gave Nazi salutes and hurled racist slurs at them. On Jan. 6, its officers were not authorized to wear protective gear at the beginning of their shifts or to use their most powerful nonlethal weapons—such as grenade launchers and sting ball grenades—to push back crowds, because they lacked the training to do so. The committees recommended 20 improvements, like beefing up police training and equipment and forming a single intelligence bureau in the Capitol Police to better share information. The committee secured only limited cooperation from key agencies, including the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the House sergeant-at-arms. Other agencies failed to meet deadlines to hand over documents. While the report asserts that Trump made statements regarding a stolen election and promoted the gathering in Washington, it does not chart his actions or motivations, state that his election claims were false or explore the implications of a president and leading politicians in his party stoking outrage among millions of supporters.

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