A former U.S. Capitol Police official has alleged that department leadership failed to heed warning signs and did not adequately prepare security prior to the Capitol Hill riot on January 6.
In a letter sent to leaders of both parties in the House and Senate obtained by Politico, the official claimed that Sean Gallagher, the Capitol Police’s acting chief of uniformed operations, and Yogananda Pittman, assistant chief of police for protective and intelligence operations, received an intelligence report in late December that should have led to increased security measures on January 6. The outlet reported:
The whistleblower accused Pittman of lying to Congress about a key intelligence report the department received in late December. That report noted that a blog called ‘thedonald.win’ posted a map of the Capitol campus, and that commenters on the site called for protesters to carry guns and confront members of Congress.
This past April, Pittman told congressional investigators that Capitol Police senior officials were briefed on the intelligence report; the whistleblower claimed that was a lie.
“These officials were the only officials that had all the intelligence information for the 6th,” the whistleblower wrote.
“The single most important piece of intelligence information … was never shared with any members of USCP leadership,” the whistleblower added. “Why did they approve the operational plan for the 6th if they knew the intelligence?”
According to Politico, “a senior law enforcement official said that other people in the department actually did have the intelligence, but that it clearly should have been distributed more widely.”
In June, a bipartisan report alleged that Pittman failed to share intelligence of a possible attack with senior leadership.
Beyond the Capitol Police, the whistleblower also claimed that Congressional leaders “purposefully failed” to tell the truth about the failures committed on January 6. The whistleblower wrote:
The truth may be valued less than politics by many members of the congressional community to include those that have made decisions about the leadership of the USCP post January 6th, but I believe the truth still matters to real people and certainly the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police.
Though officials in the department disputed this claim, the whistleblower alleged that Pittman and Gallagher essentially did little to nothing as the riot unfolded on January 6. Several sources confirmed to Politico that the whistleblower was present in the Capitol Police’s Command Center during the event, though the time he allegedly spent there ranged from six hours to just under two hours.
“What I observed was them mostly sitting there, blankly looking at the TV screens showing real time footage of officers and officials fighting for the Congress and their lives,” the whistleblower wrote, adding:
It is my allegation that these two with intent and malice opted to not try and assist the officers and officials, blame others for the failures, and chose to try and use this event for their own personal promotions. This was done not after the even[t] but while officers and officials were still fighting the demonstrators.
Two law enforcement officials present in the command center on January 6 contradicted the whistleblower’s claim and told Politico that “Gallagher focused on bringing in support from the National Guard and law enforcement partners, and that Pittman focused on the evacuation and protection of members of Congress and the vice president.”
In response to the letter, a USCP spokesperson told the outlet that the allegations brought forth have already been addressed to avoid the same mishaps in the future.
“The letter from the former employee echoes the thoughtful recommendations in those reports,” the Capitol Police spokesperson continued. “USCP leaders, under new Chief Tom Manger, are committed to learning from prior mistakes and protecting our brave officers, who fought valiantly on January 6, so we can continue to carry out the Department’s critical mission.”