On January 6, 2021, a physical security breach of the U.S. Capitol Building occurred during a Joint Session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote.
Here’s a collection of resources about the incident, its aftermath, and current investigations underway.
For any questions or inquiries, please contact Aisha Shafi at [email protected].
“Insurrection at the Capitol: Timeline of How it Happened” (Lauren Leatherby, Arielle Ray, Anjali Singhvi, Christiaan Triebert, Derek Watkins and Haley Willis, New York Times)
The New York Times depicts a visual story using videos and maps to reconstruct the insurrection from start to finish.
“Facebook Used To Help Incite The Capitol Insurrection” (Craig Silverman, Ryan Mac, and Jane Lytvynenko, Buzzfeed News)
“A [Facebook] internal task force found that Facebook failed to take appropriate action against the Stop the Steal movement ahead of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, and hoped the company could ‘do better next time.’”
“The Capitol Rioters Aren’t Like Other Extremists” (Robert A. Pape and Keven Ruby, The Atlantic)
A research team at the Chicago Project on Security and Threats reviewed court documents and media coverage for information on the demographics, socioeconomic traits, and militant-group affiliations of everyone arrested by the FBI, Capitol Police, and Washington, D.C., police for offenses related to the January 6 insurrection. “A closer look at the people suspected of taking part in the Capitol riot suggests a different and potentially far more dangerous problem: a new kind of violent mass movement in which more ‘normal’ Trump supporters—middle-class and, in many cases, middle-aged people without obvious ties to the far right—joined with extremists in an attempt to overturn a presidential election.”
Christopher Wray, Director of FBI, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Insurrection.
“Overall, the FBI assesses that the January 6 siege of the Capitol Complex demonstrates a willingness by some to use violence against the government in furtherance of their political and social goals. This ideologically motivated violence underscores the symbolic nature of the National Capital Region and the willingness of domestic violent extremists to travel to events in this area and violently engage law enforcement and their perceived adversaries. The American people should rest assured that we will continue to work to hold accountable those individuals who participated in the violent breach of the Capitol on January 6, and any others who attempt to use violence and destruction to intimidate, coerce, or influence the American people or affect the conduct of our government.”
Jill Sanborn, Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division at the FBI, testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on the FBI’s role leading up to and in response to the January 6 insurrection.
A letter from Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone sharing his experiences on the day of the insurrection and the physical and psychological trauma resulting from it.
Role of Capitol Police
A Primer on Capitol Police (Demand Progress)
An overview of the functionality of Capitol Police, including operations, activities, shortcomings, transparency, and accountability efforts.
“Complaints about U.S. Capitol Police operations, including accounts of racist misconduct within the department and managerial abuses of power, have recently been elevated in the wake of the January 6th attack on Congress. Hard information is hard to come by as it is nearly impossible to get any official data on employee misconduct from the department.”
Inspector General Michael Bolton’s testimony before the House Administration Committee hearing on the events of January 6, 2021.
- See also: Michael Bolton Cites Problems Within Capitol Police
“The Capitol Police department needs to restructure its civil disturbance unit and overhaul its intelligence operation, glaring problems that hampered the department’s ability to secure the Capitol during the attack on Jan. 6.”
- See also: USCP Failed to Act on Recommendations Provided by Bolton
“The U.S. Capitol Police Department failed to act on several intelligence recommendations from its inspector general in the years leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, a House Administration Committee hearing revealed Thursday.”
Inspectors General Reports
The USCP Office of Inspectors General (OIG) reviewed if Capitol Police had adequate safety and security measures, internal processes, and compliance with policies surrounding the response to the demonstrations and takeover of the U.S. Capitol. The report highlights any deficiencies within the department’s operational planning and intelligence.
The USCP Office of Inspectors General (OIG) reviewed if Capitol Police had adequate safety and security measures, internal processes, and compliance with policies surrounding the response to the demonstrations and takeover of the U.S. Capitol. The report highlights any deficiencies within the department’s civil disturbance unit (CDU) and intelligence operations.
The USCP Office of Inspectors General (OIG) reviewed if Capitol Police had adequate safety and security measures, internal processes, and compliance with policies surrounding the response to the demonstrations and takeover of the U.S. Capitol. The report highlights any deficiencies within the department’s counter-surveillance and threat assessment operations.
“The United States Capitol Police welcomes the USCP Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) review and its recommendations. The Department understands and supports the evaluation of the events of January 6 and implementing changes to improve its operational readiness and the physical security infrastructure of the Capitol Complex.”
“The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated a Joint Oversight Project (JOP) examining the events that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. This Flash Report serves as an independent assessment on the effectiveness and integrity of the AOC’s emergency preparedness training, internal policies, procedures and practices prior to the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.”
Oversight Letters and Reports from Congress
Representatives Tim Ryan and Jaime Herrera Beutler wrote to the Capitol Police Board “to express frustration with your unwillingness to release information to the public or answer media questions regarding the events of January 6th, the current security posture of the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) and plans to secure the Capitol Complex in the mid and long term future.”
“This report addresses the security, planning, and response failures of the entities directly responsible for Capitol security—USCP and the Capitol Police Board, which is comprised of the House and Senate Sergeants at Arms and the Architect of the Capitol as voting members, and the USCP Chief as a non-voting member—along with critical breakdowns involving several federal agencies, particularly the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), and Department of Defense (“DOD”). The Committees also made a series of recommendations for the Capitol Police Board, USCP, federal intelligence agencies, DOD, and other Capital region law enforcement agencies to address the intelligence and security failures.”
Testimony from Rebecca Jones, Project On Government Oversight, recommending expanding legislative branch inspector general access and transparency.
“A list of defendants charged in federal court in the District of Columbia related to crimes committed at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C, on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.”
- See also: Capitol riot arrests: See who's been charged across the U.S.
USA TODAY gathered a detailed list of 445 cases charged for crimes committed during the January 6 insurrection. This resource provides pictures of each defendant.
“The following report surveys the legally significant practices of past U.S. congressional commissions. In particular, we’ve focused on how Congress designed commission membership and what kinds of powers Congress granted to the commissions they created. We also focused on how the commissions conducted their investigations and how they shaped their final outcomes and findings.”
Letter to Zoe Lofgren from minority members of the House Administration Committee requesting to conduct a series of oversight hearings concerning the United States Capitol Police Board (CPB).
“In the aftermath of the events of January 6 in and around the Capitol, there have been calls for accountability for those who participated, as well as leaders who may have helped instigate it. The breach of the Capitol resulted in numerous injuries, multiple deaths, and significant property damage. It also delayed the Congress’s constitutional duty of certifying electoral votes for President-Elect Joseph Biden and caused Capitol Police and other law enforcement personnel to evacuate the Vice President and Members of Congress from the House and Senate floors to safer locations. Some observers, historians, and other commentators are wondering whether the Disqualification Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment might provide a mechanism to disqualify from holding office individuals who participated in or encouraged the siege, including former and sitting government officials.”
“The Program on Extremism has launched a project to create a central database of court records related to the events of January 6, 2021. This page will be updated as additional individuals are charged with criminal activities and new records are introduced into the criminal justice system. You can view today's numbers, browse the cases, and download our database below.”
R Street U.S. Capitol Police Webinar: https://youtu.be/GJkPd6bJQ7Q
Compilation of hearings, testimonies, and statements related to the January 6th attack from the Committee on House Administration.
House Appropriations Committee Hearing: https://appropriations.house.gov/events/hearings/us-capitol-police-and-house-sergeant-at-arms-security-failures-hearing
House Committee on House Administration Hearing: https://cha.house.gov/committee-activity/hearings/oversight-united-states-capitol-police-and-preparations-and-response
Joint Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Hearing: https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/examining-the-january-6-attack-on-the-us-capitol
Joint Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Hearing Part 2: https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/examining-the-january-6-attack-on-the-us-capitol-part-ii
House Oversight and Reform Hearing: https://oversight.house.gov/legislation/hearings/the-capitol-insurrection-unexplained-delays-and-unanswered-questions
House Administration Committee Activity Related To The Attack On January 6th: https://cha.house.gov/committee-activity-related-attack-january-6th
House Administration Hearing: Reforming The Capitol Police And Improving Accountability For The Capitol Police Board https://cha.house.gov/committee-activity/hearings/reforming-capitol-police-and-improving-accountability-capitol-police
Last Updated 6/14/21
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