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Press Release

POGO Statement on the Attempted Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol

Our country must address the appalling failures in leadership that led to this dark moment.
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Media Contacts: Danielle Brian, Executive Director at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO); or Caitlin MacNeal, Communications Manager at POGO, [email protected]

(WASHINGTON)—Project On Government Oversight Executive Director Danielle Brian issued the following statement on the acts of domestic terrorism at the U.S. Capitol today:

“What we witnessed today was domestic terrorism on the part of supporters of President Donald Trump that resulted in what very much looks like an attempted insurrection. With images of an angry mob tearing down barriers, breaking windows, and occupying the very chambers in which lawmakers should be working to uphold our Constitution at the U.S. Capitol—all because their preferred candidate did not win re-election—our country seems almost unrecognizable. This is not democracy.

“The faction of elected leaders who legitimized baseless claims that the presidential election was tainted by fraud and moved to challenge the results of a free and fair election created the ugly environment in which this domestic terrorism came to fruition. We warned that these craven political acts could inflict lasting damage on our democracy, and we saw that play out today. Now our country must address the appalling failures in leadership that led to this dark moment, and we at POGO will try to ensure a thorough accounting of what led to this and the events that transpired today.

“I must also address the stark contrast between the images of domestic terrorists breaking past police lines and making it into the U.S. Capitol with the aggressive police response to largely peaceful protesters across the country last year in the wake of George Floyd’s death. While we do not have all the details on the law enforcement response today, it’s hard not to wonder how these terrorists made it into the Capitol knowing how police proactively respond to Black protesters.

“Once security at the Capitol has been restored, we must seek answers on the police response, and we must also address the systemic weaknesses in our democracy and efforts to delegitimize our system of government as a whole that have led us to this point. ”

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Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that investigates and exposes waste, corruption, abuse of power, and when the government fails to serve the public or silences those who report wrongdoing.

We champion reforms to achieve a more effective, ethical, and accountable federal government that safeguards constitutional principles.