House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks to reporters alongside US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) as House Democrats respond to a White House briefing on reports in which Russia paid the Taliban bounty to kill US troops during a message conference after the briefing at the US Capitol in Washington, the United States, June 30, 2020.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
The democratically run House of Representatives has one on Saturday letter to FBI Director Chris Wray and other agency chiefs seeking information about the intelligence and security deficiencies that led to the breach of the US Capitol on January 6 and forced lawmakers to go into hiding.
Four House Committee Chairs signed the letter demanding documents and briefings from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Counter-Terrorism Center, and the Director of National Intelligence on what was known prior to the attack.
“This still-emerging story is about the amazing courage of some US Capitol Police and other officials, dizzying betrayals by violent criminals, and obvious and high-level mistakes – particularly in relation to intelligence and security preparedness,” the committee wrote.
The letter was signed by the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, D-Calif., The Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., The Chairman of the Justice Committee, Jerry Nadler, D-NY. and Chair of the Supervisory Committee Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.
The investigation comes because lawmakers – and especially the Democrats – are demanding more information on how a crowd of President Donald Trump’s supporters broke into the so-called “People’s House,” which has its own police force, and is delaying certification Election victory of President-elect Joe Biden by several hours.
The Inspectors General of the Ministry of Justice, Defense, Homeland Security and Home Affairs have launched reviews of their agency’s actions related to the attack.
In the letter, lawmakers quoted press coverage that the U.S. Capitol Police had been warned that Trump supporters were attempting to forcefully enter the Capitol.
NBC News reported on January 10th that the FBI and the New York Department of Police reported to the Capitol Police information about threats of violence directed against the electoral college vote count.
The Washington Post reported Jan. 12 that an FBI field office in Virginia had warned of the attack that extremists were going to Washington Planning for “war”.
“Security and logistical preparations before January 6th were inconsistent with the prospect of serious and widespread violence. According to media reports surfaced in recent days, federal and other agencies previously owned information – and may have shared it with some Parties shared and other information predicting a serious security threat to the congressional session to confirm the election results, ”wrote the committee chairmen.
“These latter reports, if worked on, could have resulted in more extensive planning of the event and the infusion of far greater security and other resources,” they added.
Capitol Police Officer said they didn’t see any FBI intelligence before the attack.
The committee chairs identify three broad lines of investigation that they will pursue.
The first is what the intelligence community and law enforcement agencies knew before, during, and after the attack. Lawmakers also said they would examine whether foreign powers had a role in exploiting the crisis.
The second point the committees examine is whether current or past holders of national security clearances participated in the uprising.
The committees are also soliciting information on government policies in response to the attack, including measures to prevent those involved in crimes from traveling.
“The committees expect and appreciate your full cooperation on this matter – and, of course, recognize that resources must be appropriately and promptly devoted to efforts to counter ongoing threats to the transfer of power, including the presidential inauguration and related activities “wrote the committee chairman.