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Senate report details sweeping failures around Jan. 6 attack, does not address Trump's role

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Posted at 2:51 AM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 08:12:40-04

A Senate investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has found broad government, military and law enforcement missteps before the attack.

The bipartisan review found a breakdown within multiple intelligence agencies and a lack of training and preparation for Capitol Police officers who were quickly overwhelmed by the rioters.

The Senate report released Tuesday is the first bipartisan look at the insurrection.

It recommends giving the Capitol Police chief more authority, giving better equipment to law enforcement and streamlining intelligence gathering.

However, the report does not delve into the root causes of the attack — including the role played by former President Donald Trump. CNN reports that in order for the investigation to be published in a bipartisan matter, it needed to be carefully crafted to avoid discussing Trump's role in the riots.

According to the report, officials charged with securing the Capitol saw online threats of a breach of the Capitol as early as December 2020. While the Capitol Police's intelligence division wrote up reports on those online threats, Tuesday's report indicates that the data never reached the department's top leaders.

In a statement on Tuesday, the U.S. Capitol police said that it "agrees improvements are needed specific to intelligence analysis and dissemination." However, it denied receiving intelligence indicating that the Jan. 6 "Save America" rally would turn into a violent attack.

"What the intelligence didn’t reveal, as Acting Chief Pittman has noted, was the large-scale demonstration would become a large-scale attack on the Capitol Building as there was no specific, credible intelligence about such an attack," the Capitol Police said in a statement.

The conclusions of the Senate committee were published just over a week after the Senate rejected a bill that would have established a bipartisan, Sept. 11-style commission that would have been staffed by officials outside of Congress to investigate the causes of the riots. The bill faltered when 35 Republican Senators voted to block the commission. Just six Republicans crossed the aisle to vote to keep the bill open for discussion.

So far, about 400 people are facing charges for their roles in the Jan. 6 riot.