Intel report repeatedly failed to predict Capital riot – The Mercury News

by Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo

WASHINGTON (AP) – Intelligence reports compiled by US Capitol Police in the days before last year’s uprising imagined only an unlikely or remote risk of violence, even as other assessments warned that A crowd of potentially thousands of pro-Trump protesters could congregate in Washington and create a dangerous situation.

The documents, obtained by The Associated Press, outline the uneven and confounded intelligence that was disseminated to Capitol police officers prior to the January 6 riots, when thousands of Donald Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol complex and killed law enforcement. violently clashed with the officers. Disrupt the authentication of the results of the 2020 presidential election. Intelligence reports in particular show how the police agency seriously underestimated the potential for chaotic violence and disruption, up to the day of the riots.

Paradoxical intelligence leading up to the riot by law enforcement has been at the forefront of Congressional investigations into the preparation and response to January 6, with officials struggling to explain how they could have predicted and planned the deadly riot at the Capitol that day. failed to create. , The shortcomings led to turmoil in the top ranks of the department, including the removal of the chief, although the assistant chief in charge of protective and intelligence operations remained in his position at the time.

According to a harshly critical Senate report released in June, “there was a lack of consensus about the seriousness of the threat posed on January 6, 2021.”

“In the months following the attack on the US Capitol, there is still no consensus among USCP officials regarding the threat analysis of intelligence reports prior to January 6, 2021,” the report said.

The document, known as the “Daily Intelligence Report” and marked “for official use only,” was described in Congressional testimony and Senate reports last year. The AP obtained full versions of the documents for January 4, 5 and 6 of last year on Friday evening. The New York Times highlighted a January 4 report on intelligence deficiencies in a story last year.

On each of the three days, documents revealed, Capitol police ranked the potential for acts of civil disobedience and arrests arising from the “Stop the Steel” protest planned for the Capitol as “highly improbable.” The documents put that event and gatherings planned for January 6 by about 20 other organizers on a scale from “remote” to “nearly certain” in terms of the potential for major disruptions. Documents show that all were rated as “remote,” “highly unlikely” or “impossible.”

A January 6 report about the “Stop the Steal” rally says, “No further information has been received regarding the precise actions planned by this group.”

The Million MAGA march planned by Trump supporters is rated as “impossible” in the document, with officials saying it was “possible” that organizers could demonstrate at the Capitol complex, and although there was talk of counter-protesters, There are “no clear plans by those groups at this time.”

Another event by a group known as the Prime Time Patriots was similarly described as a “highly unlikely” chance for disruption, with the report again stating that “for the precise actions employed by this group.” No further information has been found.”

Those optimistic forecasts are hard to meet with separate intelligence assessments compiled by Capitol Police in late December and early January. Those documents obtained by the AP warned that the crowd could number in the thousands and include members of extremist groups such as the Proud Boys.

For example, a January 3, 2021 memo warned of a “dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike” because of the potential presence of “white supremacists, militia members and others who actively promote violence”. because of.

“Unlike the protests following the last election, the targets of pro-Trump supporters were not necessarily the first opponents, but Congress itself in 6th place,” the report said.

Among the mixed intelligence is a January 5 bulletin prepared by the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office warning about the possibility of a “war” in the Capitol. Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of the document at the time. FBI Director Chris Wray has said that the report was circulated through the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, discussed at a command post in Washington and posted on an Internet portal available to other law enforcement agencies.

Capitol Police officials have repeatedly insisted that they have no specific or credible intelligence that any demonstration at the Capitol would result in a massive attack on the building. Despite investigations into intelligence deficiencies, Yogananda Pitman, the assistant chief of intelligence in charge at the time of the riots, remains in that position.