Capitol Police whistleblower sends scathing letter to Congress reproving two department leaders

The whistleblower alleges significant leadership failure and Congressional incompetence or malice that prevented the truth from being disseminated
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Capitol riot
Capitol riot
(Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

A former top-ranking member of the Capitol Police force has sent a letter to Congress accusing two of the force's senior leaders of mishandling intelligence and failing to properly respond during the January 6 Capitol breach.

The 16-page letter was sent in late September by a member of the Capitol Police who resigned from his post months after the attack. The whistleblower's identity remains private, though the letter delivers fiery accusations leveled against the force's acting chief of uniformed operations, Sean Gallagher, and the assistant chief of police for protective and intelligence operations, Yogananda Pittman, who served as the force's acting chief in the wake of the January 6 incident.

As reported by Politico, the letter accuses Gallagher and Pittman of deliberately opting not to assist officers under attack during the Capitol breach, and adds that Pittman deceived Congress on the matter of an intelligence report received by the Capitol Police prior to the January 6 riot. 

The letter goes on to level blame against members of Congress – though none are names specifically – for having "purposefully failed" to let the truth of the department's failure on that day be known. 

"The truth may be valued less than politics by many members of the congressional community to include those that have made decisions about the leadership of the USCP post January 6th, but I believe the truth still matters to real people and certainly the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police," reads the letter, which is being circulated among Capitol Police officers. 

In the view of the whistleblower, Gallagher and Pittman had enough intelligence prior to the breach to justify putting National Guard reinforcements in place at the closed Capitol the morning of January 6, and allowing officers to use tough but non-lethal weapons on individuals trying to breach the complex. 

The whistleblower, whose presence at the USCP command center on January 6 was confirmed by several law enforcement officials, says Pittman and Gallagher were not desperate to stop the violence once it had begun. "What I observed was them mostly sitting there, blankly looking at the TV screens showing real time footage of officers and officials fighting for the Congress and their lives," reads the letter.

It continues, "It is my allegation that these two with intent and malice opted to not try and assist the officers and officials, blame others for the failures, and chose to try and use this event for their own personal promotions. his was done not after the even[t] but while officers and officials were still fighting the demonstrators."

"[I]t is immensely embarrassing to the congressional leadership and staff that they selected the two individuals most responsible for the 6th to lead the Department after the 6th. Especially since some entity selected them without any investigation. To hold them accountable would require this same group to admit they were wrong."

The force responded to the accusations in the letter with a statement that begins, "A lot has changed since January 6. Although there is more work to do, many of the problems described in the letter have been addressed."

The USCP now has a new Chief, Tom Manger, who the department says is "committed to learning from prior mistakes and protecting our brave officers, who fought valiantly on January 6, so we can continue to carry out the Department’s critical mission ... Our goal is to work as a team, to move forward, and advance the work that keeps the U.S. Capitol and the people who work here safe."

The letter was sent to the leadership offices of both parties in both chambers of Congress.