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Lawmaker probing J6 security failures: 'People of interest’ may have withheld critical intel

Rep. Barry Loudermilk also says he has obtained “scripts” used by Democrat J6 committee to stage-manage last year’s hearings

Published: June 4, 2023 6:46am

Updated: June 4, 2023 7:26am

The lawmaker leading the investigation into security failures that occurred at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot says his team has identified “people of interest” who may have played a role in suppressing intelligence that forewarned of violence that fateful day.

In a wide-ranging interview, Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., confirmed earlier reporting by Just the News that the Capitol Police intelligence unit had received days and weeks in advance a significant amount of detailed intelligence that identified specific extremist groups that planned to commit violence on Jan. 6, 2021, and some of the tactics they planned to use.

But those red-flags weren’t passed up the chain, including to then-Chief Steven Sund, so that executives could adjust the security inside and outside the Capitol, he said.

“We do know that the security failure began with an intelligence failure,” Loudermilk said Friday in an interview with the Just the News, No Noise television show. “We have uncovered that there was significant intelligence that was provided to the intelligence division of the Capitol Police, starting in the beginning of December, all the way up through the morning of Jan. 6.

“Some of that intelligence actually laid out what the operational plan of some extreme groups were to enter the Capitol, take over Congress, even kill some Capitol police if they had to,” he also said. “This made it to the Intelligence Division. But it never made it any further. Even the chief of Capitol Police was not made aware of that level of intelligence.”

Loudermilk said his House Administration investigative subcommittee has made substantial progress identifying specific individuals who may have either mishandled or suppressed the intelligence, and have begun asking questions.

“Who was involved in this? Was it one person that just squelched the intelligence? Was it just a massive failure? Was it because of incompetence, or was it somebody who purposely suppressed that intelligence?,” he asked. “There's actually some people of interest that we're talking to, and we're looking into to see where that failure was.”

Loudermilk said getting those answers are key to better protecting the Capitol and honoring the officers who were left unaware of the danger they were to face on Jan. 6.

“The frontline officers, man, they fought valiantly that day," he said. "But they were ill equipped. They were not prepared, and none of them knew what was coming. But there were certain people in the Capitol Police that did."

Just the News reported last year that federal and local law enforcement partners sent Capitol Police significant intelligence warnings of violence days and weeks ahead of the Jan. 6 event, including specific threats by groups like Oath Keepers and Proud Boys and warnings that the tunnel system throughout the Capitol might be targeted. The warnings though did not get sent up the chain of command to Chief Sund.

And just three days after the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, one of the Capitol Police's top intelligence analysts sent a blistering email to supervisors, blowing the whistle on what he said was a failure to heed clear intelligence warning that right-wing rioters planned to storm the Capitol.

"We analysts have been reporting for weeks that Patriot groups are commenting on social media their intentions to storm the U.S. Capitol with overwhelming numbers," Eric Hoar wrote in the Jan. 9, 2021, email to his bosses. "I don't know what was occurring behind the scenes, but I hope that information was briefed with the veracity it deserved, and not just a one-time Event Assessment."

Loudermilk also revealed that he is reviewing the work of the Democrat-led House Jan. 6 investigative committee that wrapped up its work last year, and has found some shocking evidence that much of its public hearings were stage managed.

“We found out in the in the documents that I acquired from the Jan. 6 committee is the written script of every member of the committee. Just like you would have on a teleprompter or if you memorize a script for a movie,” he said. “And so every single aspect of their hearings was scripted for a Hollywood type of emotional appeal to the American people."

He said Republicans now running the House administration committee are taking a different approach to elicit facts, no emotion.

“We just recently had a hearing with the chief of the Capitol Police. There was nothing scripted about it,” he said. “We did have certain questions that we wanted to ask, but each member had their questions. The chief wasn't given a script in advance. …  These hearings from the January 6 Select Committee were Hollywood productions.”

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