“They had the information. They did not act on it. And a question that I have, and one that I think we need to get to the bottom of, is who made the decision not to act?”
House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro told CNN that she was left in shock following a Tuesday (January 26) briefing from law enforcement agencies about their failed preparations for January 6.
DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut, said that lawmakers who attended the briefing were “shaking their heads in disbelief” as leadership in the US Capitol Police Department explained what went wrong the day of the attack.
“People said today that there was ample evidence, that the intelligence agencies had ample evidence, that an angry mob was going to descend on Washington with Congress’ meeting to certify the election as the intended target,” DeLauro said.
Rep. Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, told the outlet, “It was only by pure dumb luck that elected officials, staffers and more Capitol policemen were not killed.”
Cartwright believes the explanation of why more wasn’t done ahead of the attack is “that people were more worried about optics more than they were worried about security.”
In a prepared statement shared during the briefing, Pittman revealed that Capitol police knew two days before the attack that militia groups were traveling to Washington, D.C., and that some members of the groups would be armed.
Instead of being able to immediately send in reinforcement, as local National Guard commanders are typically able to, Walker said during the briefing, they imposed requirements to have high-level approval, which effectively took his authority away.
“All military commanders normally have immediate response authority to protect property, life, and in my case, federal functions – federal property and life,” Walker said. “But in this instance I did not have that authority.”
Members of the Committee, including Republican Rep. Kay Granger of Texas, said “many questions remain.” The joint investigation by the DOJ and FBI is already underway and leadership in those agencies have promised a wide scope to hold those involved accountable.
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