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House Jan. 6 Panel Says Law Enforcement 'Not To Blame' For Riot

The final report of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol riot identified failures of communication and intelligence-sharing by law enforcement agencies in the days leading up the event. Still, the committee said these agencies, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, couldn’t have anticipated a sitting president “inciting” a violent mob, the Wall Street Journal reports. “Whatever weaknesses existed in the policies, procedures, or institutions, they were not to blame for what happened on that day,” the report said. That conclusion contrasted with a report Republican House members released this week concluding that changes to the Capitol Police force’s intelligence protocols in the weeks before Jan. 6 “caused confusion and rendered a key ... component ineffective” during the violence and chaos.

The Select Committee’s report notes, among other lapses, that the FBI on Jan. 5 received a warning that Trump supporters were preparing to stash weapons in Virginia in the event that “protesters believed police were not doing their job.” The bureau’s Norfolk office also had information warning of a “war” on Jan. 6. Yet Capitol Police leadership received neither tip until after the attack, the report says. A supervisor in that agency’s intelligence unit, however, warned that Congress would be a target on Jan. 6, noting “a sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent.” The report calls for federal agencies with intelligence and security responsibilities to “move forward on whole-of-government strategies to combat the threat” from extremist groups and “review their intelligence sharing protocols” to identify and share intelligence on threats. The committee earlier voted to refer former President Trump to the Justice Department on at least four criminal charges, including insurrection and obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress.


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