The chief investigative counsel for the House Jan. 6 committee determined that mistakes by federal law enforcement authorities had a substantial part in the Jan. 6 riot, and that if those agencies had effectively acted on the intel they had before hand, the violence might have been avoided.
Former prosecutor Tim Heaphy presented his findings to NBC News in an interview, which the Dem-controlled committee “kept out of its final report and televised hearings.”
Heaphy stated that while former Pres. Trump was “the primary cause” of the events on that day, “what transpired at the Capitol was also influenced by law enforcement agency failures to operationalize the considerable intel that was available before Jan. 6.”
“Law enforcement officials had a very direct involvement in contributing to the security lapses that led to the violence,” he added. “There was a lot of advance knowledge about carrying weapons, about police enforcement, about the Capitol’s vulnerability. The prior intelligence was rather precise, and it was sufficient, in our opinion, for law enforcement agencies to have done a better job.”
According to the report, the highly politicized January 6 committee not only opted to downplay his findings, but even went so far as to “contradict” them at times.
Heaphy stated in the report that investigators made the following conclusions:
- The Capitol Police did not provide enough support to defend the facility, but DHS and the FBI, the government agencies entrusted with gathering intelligence on domestic extremists, did not do enough to raise the alarm about the threats.
- Because of misguided concerns about free speech violations, the FBI and DHS were too careful in utilizing so-called “open source” intel collected from social media.
- DHS and the FBI made a critical mistake by failing to issue a Joint Intel Bulletin about the types of threats they were detecting, which could have forced a more effective defense of the Capitol.
- There was misunderstanding about which government agency was in command, which hampered the reaction once the Capitol was stormed.
Heaphy stated that mistakes were made, resulting in law enforcement failing to act on information that violence may erupt that day, tips that were sent weeks in advance.
“Even if individual tips do not give enough detailed and trustworthy information to initiate an investigation, take a step back. If there are over 50 such tips, aggregate intel implies, ‘Hey, maybe we have a bit of a problem,'” Heaphy stated.