Probe of deadly January insurrection turns to US Capitol police inspector general

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  • Hundreds of Donald Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on 6 January in an attempt to disrupt Congress' certification of President Joe Biden's election victory.
  • The House of Representatives Administration Committee will hear testimony from Michael Bolton, the US Capitol Police inspector general.
  • Five people including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died in the violence and many more officers suffered injuries.

Congress' probe into security failures that allowed the deadly January assault on the US Capitol by former President Donald Trump's supporters turns on Thursday to the inspector general of the police department charged with securing the seat of American democracy.

The House of Representatives Administration Committee will hear testimony from Michael Bolton, the US Capitol Police inspector general leading the investigation into the department's preparation for and response to the 6 January violence.

Those internal probes recommended that the Capitol Police immediately improve its intelligence operations and beef up the readiness of a unit that handles civil disturbances.

Trump and some of his fellow Republicans have tried to downplay the attack, when hundreds of his supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt Congress' certification of President Joe Biden's election victory.

Five people including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died in the violence and many more officers suffered injuries. Lawmakers were forced to huddle in secure rooms while law enforcement battled the rioters.

Rioters clash with police using big ladder trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors.
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Imag

Nonetheless, some congressional Republicans have sought to downplay the violence. Republican Senator Ron Johnson has expressed doubts that Trump supporters were behind the riot and a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found that only three in 10 Republicans said Trump bears some responsibility for the attack.

READ | US Capitol: Expert report on attack says building needs 'mobile fencing', stronger police force

A summary of Bolton's report to Congress found the Capitol Police Civil Disturbance Unit was operating on 6 January "at a decreased level of readiness" and that the department needed to improve its management of weapons, ammunition and riot shields.

The violence shook lawmakers, aides and the large support workforce.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, speaking on the Senate floor following the attack, said, "I have never lived through or even imagined an experience like the one we have just witnessed in this Capitol."


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