Multiple sources say that U.S. Capitol Police rejected the FBI and National Guard assistance in the days and hours that lead to Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Three days before a mob of protestors breached the Capitol, the Pentagon send an offer to the U.S. Capitol Police, asking them if they needed the National Guard manpower. However, according to senior defense officials and two other people familiar with the matter, the Capitol Police declined the offer.
Then as tons of people descended onto the Capitol on Wednesday, the Capitol Police again rejected an offer of support of the FBI from the Justice Department leaders.
Three days before the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol, the Pentagon asked the U.S Capitol Police if it needed National Guard manpower.
And then as the mob descended, DOJ leaders reached out to offer up FBI agents.
The police turned them down both times https://t.co/pATVRPtIgk
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) January 7, 2021
Notwithstanding numerous warnings of possible insurrection and plenty of time to prepare, the Capitol Police only prepared for the free speech demonstration that happened earlier on that day.
This move and decisions by the U.S. Capitol Police resulted in a disaster on Wednesday in the U.S. Capitol.
Then, it took hours after the breach before the National Guard troops finally arrived to assist in clearing the streets and securing the Capitol. As a result of this, four protesters died, and one Capitol Police officer died after suffering severe injuries in the attack.
The loss of control and lack of security raised serious questions to the law enforcement agency with a high operating budget and experience in high-security events that protect lawmakers. This also raised concerns over security at the Capitol for future events. Including among them is the inauguration of Joe Biden in less than two weeks from now.
They had hours of warning. No intel that this was the plan. Why weren’t the national guard deployed around Capitol in force to preempt.
— Aaron David Miller (@aarondmiller2) January 6, 2021
According to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, as the rioting was on its way to the Capitol, it became clear to him that the Capitol Police were outnumbered. However, he stated that there was no contingency planning prepared in advance for what the Capitol police could do if a problem arose. This is because the U.S. Capitol Police force declined previous offers for help by the Defense Department.
Meanwhile, due to pressure from Pelosi and Schumer, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund was forced to resign. Sergeant of Arms of the Senate, Michael Stenger, also sent his resignation letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after asking him to resign. The longtime Sergeant of Arms of the House, Paul Irving, also followed their step and resigned from his post.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also made a statement about what happened and said that “There was a failure of leadership at the top.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seeking the resignation of Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund a day after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol. Pelosi says the House sergeant-at-arms, another key security official, has already resigned. https://t.co/lNpISZWTQV
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 7, 2021
On regular occasions, the Capitol building is open to the public, and lawmakers take pride in how they are available to their constituents. However, since March, the building has been closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Up to date, it is not clear as to how many officers were on duty when the breach happened on Wednesday. According to reports, the complex of 16 acres is only secured by a total of 2,300 officers who have 435 House of Representatives to protect 100 U.S. Senators and their staffs. In comparison, the city of Minneapolis deploys 840 uniformed police officers to police a 6,000-acre area.
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