The Department of Defense is blaming a “lack of planning” and a lack of coordination with Capitol Police for its slow response to Wednesday’s riot and attack on the United States Capitol, according to The Washington Post.
The nation is still reeling from the attack, which took place Wednesday, following a pro-Trump rally near the U.S. Capitol building. Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building, overwhelming Capitol Police, according to a number of officers’ accounts, and rampaged through the building. Five people died in the melee, including one Capitol Police officer.
Lawmakers have already said they will investigate how the pro-Trump rioters were able to gain access to what is supposed to one of the most secure buildings in the country, and the Defense Department, which had reportedly assembled a “strike force” to assist Capitol Police if necessary, was so slow to send reinforcements when the Capitol was under attack.
“A small quick-reaction force assembled by the Defense Department to assist if needed during protests in Washington on Wednesday did not immediately respond when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol because of a lack of planning with Capitol Police over how it might be deployed,” The Washington Post reported Sunday.
“The timeline states that the quick-reaction force was a few miles away at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and authorized for use by acting defense secretary Christopher Miller ‘if additional support is requested by civil authorities,’” the outlet continued. “But a senior defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the Defense Department and Capitol Police hadn’t reached an agreement or settled on a concept ahead of time.”
As The Daily Wire reported last week, Washington, D.C., officials largely “discouraged” federal involvement in anything more than crowd control and traffic management. Washington, D.C.’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, even sent a letter to that effect to Defense officials, demanding that Federal law enforcement agencies “notify the city and its police department if federal authorities are deployed” and allow the Capitol Police to oversee any operations.
“To be clear, the District of Columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to, and consultation with, MPD if such plans are underway,” Bowser said in her letter. “The District of Columbia Government has not requested personnel from any other federal law enforcement agencies. To avoid confusion, we ask that any request for additional assistance be coordinated using the same process and procedures.”
Now, it seems, neither D.C. nor the federal government had a coordination plan.
“Capitol Police and D.C. police were reportedly overrun as the mob of protesters moved in on the Capitol building,” The Daily Wire reported. “Both the Capitol Police and Metro police chiefs said Thursday that the mob was armed; 60 cops were injured, 15 seriously.” One officer later died from his injuries.
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Author: Emily Zanotti