The United States Secret Service warned US Capitol Police about potential violence by former President Donald Trump’s supporters on January 6, according to a report by POLITICO. The Secret Service’s emails accessed by the news website show intelligence lapses on the part of the Capitol Police in assessing and preparing for the threat.
The Capitol Police, however, have argued that there are many threats like the one described in the Secret Service’s warnings but no intelligence suggested a large-scale attack at the level that was seen on January 6. The number of officials in the know about the Secret Service’s warning remains unclear.
The emails were accessed by Citizens of Responsibility and Ethics, a liberal-leaning government watchdog, through a Freedom of Information Act request.
“On January 6th, our democracy was attacked, but we still know little of how it happened and what was done to protect the government,” said Jordan Libowitz, spokesperson for Citizens of Responsibility and Ethics. Libowitz added that the emails provide knowledge on the information the Secret Service had in the lead up to the riot. Libowitz sought a thorough Congressional investigation “to bring the truth to light”.
According to the documents, the Secret Service sent a warning to the Capitol Police about potential violence just a day before the attack. On the same day, more emails circulated among the Secret Service detailing further threats. The emails not only warned of the threats but also detailed motives of people going to the rally on January 6 which subsequently led to an attack on the Capitol.
The report of said warnings become significant because the Capitol Police who assembled to protect the Capitol on January 6 had seemed underprepared. The mob was able to easily overpower them and walk into the Capitol building. Dozens of police officials were injured and one Capitol Police official even died days after the attack after suffering fatal injuries. Another Capitol Police official died by suicide.