Scathing watchdog report reveals Capitol Police had expired ammo and ineffective shields during riot
A scathing report by the US Capitol Police watchdog obtained by CNN reveals that there were even more law enforcement failures prior to January 6 than previously known, including new details about expired ammunition, ineffective shields and a previously unreported warning more than two weeks ahead of the insurrection about a map of the Capitol’s underground tunnels that was posted on a pro-Donald Trump website.
These findings from the USCP Inspector General are included in the second preliminary report about the events surrounding the Capitol riot and suggest there were several longstanding issues that the department “either knew and did not address in time or did not address in a routine manner to prevent,” according to the summary obtained by CNN.
Specifically, the inspector general highlights significant problems in the department’s approach to equipment maintenance, policies for the civil disturbance unit and handling of intelligence prior to the attack. Most notably, the failure of intelligence assessment is evidenced by a warning Capitol Police received from the Department of Homeland Security on December 21, but did not appear to fully utilize.
On that day, “the Department of Homeland Security notified the Department of a blog referencing tunnels on U.S. Capitol grounds used by Members of Congress and research of the website identified four ‘threads/blog topics containing comments of concern,'” the summary states.
“The report identifies the website as https://thedonald.win and includes several pages of comments posted to the website,” it adds.
The report exposes for the first time the startling degree of indifference by United States Capitol Police leadership toward even basic house-keeping items, such as failing to maintain an accurate roster of officers assigned to the Civil Disturbance Unit.
The summary notes the “CDU” roster listed 187 officers, two of which no longer worked at the Capitol Police on January 6. The 187 officers listed is far lower than the 276 officers acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told Congress were active on January 6.
Further, the report points out Capitol Police leadership knew as far back as July 2020 the department needed to make significant changes, but inexplicably failed to do so.
“One thing that is clear from the report is that many of the problems that contributed to the 6th were long-standing issues the department either knew and did not address in time or did not address on a routine manner to prevent,” the summary says.
The summary lists several examples, including a failure by the department to establish standard operating procedures for the Civil Disturbance Unit, highlighting a casual attitude toward the unit ultimately tasked with stopping the insurrection.
Even equipment maintenance appeared to be a low priority. The summary shows the CDU shields were not stored in the correct temperature rendering them ineffective and the ammunition in the armory was expired.
In another example, the inspector general wrote a department official told investigators officers receive training every three years as required by the manufacturer of a weapon carried by officers, however, the department did not have any formal directive ordering them to conduct the training.
On the day of the insurrection, CDU didn’t use all of its less-lethal options, such as a 40mm grenade launcher, 37mm grenade launcher, and Sting Ball grenades because of “orders from leadership.”
In the end, the unit was “operating at a decreased level of readiness,” due to the numerous failures, the report states.
All members of the intelligence division had top secret security clearances in their roles, “which could have resulted in the Department mishandling classified information,” and didn’t have a training program for all employees in the division.
The summary says in the fall of 2020, the intelligence arm of Capitol Police was adjusted after it became clear the unit was “not meeting the demands of the Department.”
The USCP Inspector General is expected to testify on Capitol Hill next week about the report and his findings.
This story is breaking and will be updated.