US Capitol Police inspector general report confirms police stand-down during January 6 coup attempt

A new 104-page report from the Capitol Police inspector general confirms that leadership across the Capitol Police department facilitated the attack on the Capitol incited by Trump through deliberate inaction and what can only be described as sabotage.

In excerpts from multiple press outlets who viewed sections of the “law enforcement sensitive” report, titled “Review of the Events Surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, Takeover of the U.S. Capitol,” Inspector General Michael Bolton states that police on the frontlines of the assault on the Capitol were forbidden by their leadership from using their most effective crowd-control tactics and equipment despite intelligence clearly indicating that an attack on the Capitol building was planned.

The report is the subject of a House Administration Committee hearing today and may be released to the public in some form. It comes less than a week after an internal Pentagon document was leaked to the press confirming that high-ranking military officials ignored desperate pleas from lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence to deploy National Guard soldiers as the attack was underway.

Bolton noted that the Capitol Police Civil Disturbance Unit, specifically created to handle large aggressive crowds such as that which confronted police on January 6, was prevented from using “heavier less-lethal weapons… because of orders from leadership.”

Speaking on the overall preparedness of the CDU to confront protesters, Bolton wrote that the unit was “operating at a decreased level of readiness as a result of a lack of standards for equipment.” As an example, the report noted that the few riot shields the department distributed that day had been stored improperly, leading to many cracking, while several other shields were apparently locked on a bus and inaccessible throughout the attack.

Every local police force throughout the country is equipped with such weapons. The fact that the Capitol Police, with its annual budget of nearly half a billion dollars and charged with protecting Congress, was forbidden from using such weapons as thousands of Trump supporters and hundreds of fascist militia members and white supremacists were breaking into the Capitol has no innocent explanation.

Trump supporters gesture to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Bolton disputed Congressional testimony from former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund who stated that there was “no intelligence” an attack was likely, noting that the department’s own intelligence unit was warned three days before the attack that supporters of Trump, driven by his fraudulent claims of a stolen election, were targeting Congress and likely to become violent.

The January 3 Capitol Police threat assessment plainly stated that: “Unlike previous post-election protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counter-protesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th.” It added that “Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members and others who actively promote violence may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.”

The report notes that the threat assessment cited social media comments on a pro-Trump website that promoted attacks on members of Congress and included a map of the underground tunnel system.

The Department of Homeland Security forwarded the map along with several comments made on the website which the DHS said promoted “confronting members of Congress and carrying firearms during the protest.” One comment cited in the report read: “Bring guns. It’s now or never,” while another read, “We can’t give them a choice. Overwhelming armed numbers is our only chance.”

No one can take seriously the claim that the Capitol Police could not do in nation’s capital what is routinely done in every American city in response to left-wing protests. In the aftermath of the killing of Daunte Wright, the Democratic political leadership in Minnesota scrambled all available resources to squash the mounting protests, mustering police forces to deploy roadblocks, erect barbed wire fencing and implement unconstitutional “curfews.”

More details will likely emerge in the coming days, but what has already been reported about the Capitol Police inspector general’s investigation makes clear that there was a deliberate demobilization of police in advance of the January 6 insurrection.

As this was taking place, the military itself was standing by and biding its time as events unfolded. The internal Pentagon document, which was released to the press this past weekend, details the series of calls made by lawmakers to Department of Defense officials as the attack was taking place.

In Congressional testimony in early March, D.C. National Guard Commander William Walker testified that he requested the deployment of National Guard troops to the Capitol at 1:49 p.m., as the fascist insurrectionists approached the Capitol building. Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, a hand-picked Trump appointee, did not grant authorization until 5:08 p.m., three hours and 19 minutes later.

In the intervening period, congressmen as well as then Vice President Mike Pence made frantic calls demanding that the Capitol be cleared. This included a 30-minute call between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley at around 4:40 p.m., in which Pelosi and Schumer “accused the National Security apparatus of knowing that protesters planned to conduct an assault on the Capitol,” according to the report.

The military and Defense Department, which included many individuals installed by Trump in the months preceding January 6, did not intervene as events unfolded, giving Trump space to carry out the operation. It finally acted only after it became clear that the operation had failed to achieve its objectives.

In its perspective of March 5, 2021, “One hundred and ninety-nine minutes in January,” the World Socialist Web Site wrote:

Moreover, the events of January 6 were far from a surprise. For months prior to the insurrection, there was an ongoing political crisis during which the president of the United States made clear that he would not accept the peaceful transfer of power. The intelligence agencies and military were well aware of the plans and threats targeting the date of January 6, in particular.

Rather, a decision was made not to act as a definite political strategy was implemented. For more than three hours, the fascistic groups had virtual free rein over the Capitol building. The militarily trained elements within the rioters knew that they were being given time to seek out hostages among the Senators and Representatives.

Subsequent revelations have confirmed this assessment. The claims that the attack was unforeseen or the unexpected result of volatile Trump supporters are belied by the months of planning that went into the attack and the deliberate stand-down of police and military forces.

The attempt to seize power by Trump, which came within minutes of succeeding, serves as a deadly serious warning to the working class of the advanced decay of the democratic forms of rule in the US and worldwide.

The ongoing threat of fascistic violence remains, despite the failure of the January 6 coup, because the Democratic Party and President Biden seek to cover up the danger and conceal the responsibility of the Republican Party. They seek above all bipartisan “unity” with their “Republican colleagues” in carrying out a shared class agenda: defending the interests of American imperialism abroad, and reopening the economy, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, to guarantee the profits and wealth of the financial aristocracy.