A New York Times report has let the cat out of the bag: that law enforcement either knew and did nothing about the potential for violence on January 6th, or issued conflicting and inconsistent threat assessments ahead of the events at the U.S. Capitol.
The news will raise questions as to why authorities allowed a predominantly peaceful Trump speech and rally in Washington, D.C. to be infiltrated and overtaken by forces who had planned for violence in advance.
Questions will also be asked about why authorities immediately claimed President Donald Trump had “incited” the riot with his speech at the Ellipse outside the White House when we now know much of the violent behavior was pre-meditated.
The New York Times reported on Friday afternoon:
On Jan. 4, the intelligence division of the U.S. Capitol Police issued a report listing all the groups known to be descending on the city… The documents show how the police and federal law enforcement agencies produced inconsistent and sometimes conflicting assessments of the threat from American citizens marching on the Capitol.
The article called intelligence “muddled,” saying almost every code word for “institutional failures” without using the term itself.
Biden donor and new Capitol Hill Police Chief Yogananda Pittman admitted last week: “We knew that there was a strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target… but we did not do enough.”
And the New York Times also makes clear of another FBI failure on January 6th, making this the bureau’s more recent in a long, recent history of intelligence and operational flubs.
“The FBI was aware of violent online posts before the rally, with the bureau’s field office in Norfolk, Virginia, issuing a report that flagged one anonymous thread that warned of a looming war at the Capitol.”
They also make clear in the report that the groups at fault are entities that Donald Trump has – a number of times – denounced:
Still, the mob that stormed the Capitol was filled with members of groups that the FBI had identified as domestic terrorism threats, like militias, white supremacists and adherents of the QAnon conspiracy.
President Trump is on the record condemning white supremacy, and said in August last year: “I don’t know much about [QAnon].”
The news will raise further questions about why intelligence and law enforcement agencies – and the political leaders they respond to – did nothing in advance of the events.