Just prior to the end of the last term of Congress, the Democrat-dominated House committee tasked to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021 issued a final report that squarely pinned virtually all of the blame for what happened on former President Donald Trump and his supporters.
The committee’s report declined to include, however, how federal law enforcement and security agencies were well aware of the potential likelihood for violence and unrest but failed to act on gathered intelligence to prevent the protest from turning into a riot, Hot Air reported.
That stark assessment came from none other than former federal prosecutor Tim Heaphy, who served as the chief investigator for the House Jan. 6 Committee and is now speaking out about how the violence and unrest at the Capitol could have been prevented if advance warnings had been heeded and preemptive security measures had been put in place.
“There was a lot of advance intelligence”
In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Heaphy said he agreed, at least in part, with the ultimate conclusion of the Jan. 6 committee’s final report that former President Trump “was the proximate cause. But for his words, and deeds, it wouldn’t have happened.”
“That said, what happened at the Capitol was also affected by law enforcement failures to operationalize the ample intelligence that was present before Jan. 6, about the threats of violence,” he continued. “Law enforcement had a very direct role in contributing to the security failures that led to the violence.”
Heaphy went on to assert that the Capitol riot was not, per NBC, “an intelligence failure,” but rather was “a failure to act on intelligence” that clearly showed the potential for unrest and violence in opposition to Congress certifying the disputed results of the 2020 election.
“There was a lot of advance intelligence about law enforcement, about carrying weapons, about the vulnerability of the Capitol,” the chief investigator said. “The intel in advance was pretty specific, and it was enough, in our view, for law enforcement to have done a better job.”
Committee deliberately left out findings on lax security measures
Unfortunately, the findings of Heaphy and his team of investigators were almost completely excluded or downplayed in the body of the committee’s final report, with just a stripped-down version devoid of analysis and details being added almost as an afterthought in an appendix to the report.
Tellingly, committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) even seemed to completely absolve all law enforcement agencies of any blame in his forward for the report, as he wrote, “Whatever weaknesses existed in the policies, procedures, or institutions, they were not to blame for what happened on that day.”
The reason for all of that, according to unnamed sources “familiar with the inner workings” of the committee, per NBC, was the desire to keep the report focused solely on the alleged culpability of Trump and his supporters and to deny them any useful talking points to avoid the full brunt of responsibility.
Plenty of blame to go around
As for Heaphy and his investigators, according to NBC News, they found that there was plenty of blame to go around for both former President Trump and his mob of supporters as well as the various federal law enforcement agencies that didn’t do near enough to protect the Capitol and prevent the riot despite ample advanced warning of the possibility of violence and unrest.
His team determined that the Capitol Police, along with other federal agencies, failed to deploy sufficient forces to defend the Capitol grounds, and that DHS and FBI exercised too much caution in both exploiting and sharing the reams of intelligence it had gathered of the impending threat.
The FBI and DHS were also faulted for failing to issue a Joint Intelligence Bulletin ahead of the riot, as was the fact that no single agency was clearly in charge during the incident, as being partially to blame for the lax and uncoordinated response to defend the Capitol building.
To be sure, the individuals who actually engaged in violence on the fateful day of the riot should be held fully accountable for their actions, but as should be clear from Heaphy, things never would have even gone that far if federal law enforcement agencies had acted appropriately on the “ample intelligence” it had gathered and taken adequate security measures to prevent the planned protest from spiraling out of control.