It has been made apparent that the Capitol Police had more warning signs of the attack back on January 6. According to Inspector General Michael Bolton, it has become evident that this riot was different than other protests that followed the 2020 election. These Trump supporters were not going after the counter-protesters as they had been targeting in previous conflicts. During the January 6th riot, members of Congress were the ones being specifically targeted.
Per a report, on January third, an intelligence assessment from the Capitol Police warned that there were threats of violence stemming from Trump supporters who believed the election results were fraudulent. On pro-Trump message boards, security intelligence threats such as a map of the Capitol’s tunneling system were posted.
“Stop the Steal” is prone to recruiting members of the militia, white nationalists, and people who have violent tendencies. These groups have a disregard for law and order and create a hazardous situation for the general public as well as law enforcement.
On January fifth, one day before the riot, the intelligence agency wrote that the protest had no known threats that would impact the Congress joint session. This was a poor assessment of the threat levels. Combined with other errors in the Capitol Police force, this led to a menacing situation. The Civil Disturbance Unit in the intelligence agency is in charge of controlling mass protests, which are common in the Capitol area.
The report also details, Capitol Police supervisors forbid them to use their most powerful techniques and tools to fight back. Bolton believed that “‘heavier, less-lethal weapons,’ including stun grenades, were not used that day because of orders from leadership.”
These could have aided police officers to resist and push the violent rioters back from entering the building. Bolton is scheduled to testify in front of the House Administration committee this Thursday, as well as speak out about his findings.