The author of a damning report on Capitol Police’s handling of the Jan. 6 assault says he hasn’t heard from the select committee looking into the incident.
He said that the police force deserves greater attention from the select committee than it has received so far, and that he would speak with investigators if they contacted him.
The whistleblower has asked that his anonymity be respected by all media outlets.
In early October, it was reported that a former high-ranking Capitol Police official with firsthand knowledge of the department’s response to the attack had written a scathing letter to congressional leaders accusing two of the force’s senior leaders of mishandling intelligence and failing to respond appropriately during the riot. The announcement drew a lot of attention in the media.
The mission of the panel: One of the committee’s objectives, according to the resolution creating it, was to examine “facts and causes relating to the preparedness and response of the United States Capitol Police” as well as other law enforcement agencies in the area.
The committee’s first public hearing was with police officers who had battled rioters, and Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) has stressed the significance of the officers to the inquiry.
The whistleblower submitted the 16-page letter to senior members of both parties in the House and Senate late last month.
His letter leveled scathing charges against Sean Gallagher, the Capitol Police’s acting head of uniformed operations, and Yogananda Pittman, the agency’s deputy chief of police for protection and intelligence operations — who previously served as the agency’s former acting chief.
The whistleblower accuses Gallagher and Pittman of purposefully refusing to assist police under assault on January 6, and claims Pittman misled to Congress about an intelligence report Capitol Police received prior to the incident. The whistleblower was a senior employee on duty on Jan. 6 after a long career in the agency.
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The whistleblower’s criticism extended beyond Capitol Police leaders and into the halls of Congress. Without identifying particular legislators, his letter accuses them of “purposefully failed” to convey the reality about the department’s failings.
“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,” the whistleblower wrote.
In response to the letter, a Capitol Police spokesman issued a reply that starts, “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 department “has implemented, and continues to implement, many of the critical recommendations called for in” a Senate investigation into Jan. 6, a separate study conducted by retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, and numerous investigations by its own inspector general, according to the spokesman.
“The letter from the former employee echoes the thoughtful recommendations in those reports,” the Capitol Police spokesperson continued. “USCP leaders, under new Chief Tom Manger, are 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. The men and women of this Department are committed to that 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.”
“These officials were the only officials that had all the intelligence information for the 6th,” the whistleblower wrote, regarding Gallagher and Pittman.
“The single most important piece of intelligence information … was never shared with any members of USCP leadership,” the whistleblower added, asking: “Why did they approve the operational plan for the 6th if they knew the intelligence?”
According to a senior law enforcement officer, other individuals in the department did receive the information, but it should have been disseminated more broadly. The Capitol Police spokesman denied Pittman lied to Congress and said that the assault had altered the department’s internal and external intelligence-sharing procedures.
According to the whistleblower, the report in issue was not the only critical piece of information that did not reach the appropriate individuals in the department. Gallagher and Pittman also had evidence indicating that organizations granted licenses to conduct rallies near the Capitol on January 6 were all front operations for Stop the Steal, according to the whistleblower.
Stop the Steal was a campaign that promoted the conspiracy idea that sinister forces stole Trump’s election. The leaders of the campaign organized a gathering on the National Mall before to the assault on the Capitol.