A new Senate report released Tuesday revealed some shocking new details about exactly what happened on January 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol building to protest the former President’s re-election loss.
The 128-page report, titled, “Examining the U.S. Capitol Attack: A Review of the Security, Planning, and Response Failures on January 6,” was written and approved by two Senate committees, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on Rules and Admission. The purpose of the report is to identify the issues in the response of the January 6 attack and to understand what prompted the attack, such as the events that led up to it and the motivations behind it. Because it is a bipartisan report, it had to be very carefully crafted and use specific language. They were not allowed to use the word “insurrection” unless it was in a quote, due to Republican demands. There was also no mention of former President Trump and his role in motivating the attackers.
The main takeaway from the report was that Capitol Police had been repeatedly warned about potential violence occurring on that day and didn’t listen to those warnings. However, the blame isn’t entirely on them, as systemic failures didn’t allow them to request help during the attack. “The USCP Chief has no unilateral authority to request assistance from the National Guard,” the report said.
Officials also grossly underestimated the impact that social media and the internet had on the attack, the report showed. People were making plans online and posting hateful content that went largely unregulated. The report stated, “FBI and (Department of Homeland Security) officials stressed the difficulty in discerning constitutionally protected free speech versus actionable, credible threats of violence.”
Senators in the report pointed out the flaws and gave recommendations. They suggested that Capitol Police be better trained to be able to handle attacks like these, as there were failures in their action on the day of the attack. The report concluded by saying, “The Committees’ investigation to-date makes clear that reforms to USCP and the Capitol Police Board are necessary to ensure events like January 6 are never repeated. The failures leading up to and on January 6 were not limited to legislative branch entities.”
While Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have established a commission to further investigate the attack, this report highlighted the severity of the January 6 attack and the things that need to change in order to prevent further events of this nature from happening again.
Read the full Senate report here.