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.