There’s plenty that smells suspicious about the recent takeover of the U.S. Capitol building by supporters of President Trump—not least of all the evident lackluster response by law enforcement to repel the insurrectionists during the dangerous breach of the institution.
Now several Democratic members of Congress—including well-known straight shooter Rep. Maxine Waters of California—are voicing their concerns about how exactly a violent mob was able to enter the hallowed halls of American democracy so easily.
In an interview on Sirius XM’s The Joe Madison Show, Auntie Maxine explained that she had spoken to the U.S. Capitol Chief Steven Sund ahead of Congress’ scheduled Electoral College vote certification on January 6 to gauge his department’s plans for defending against the threats of protest violence that Trump supporters had been promising. The congresswoman said Sund reassured her that Capitol police was well-prepared.
“I felt that I was not totally satisfied, but he was the police chief assuring me constantly that they were on top of it, that they were in control, that they knew what they were doing,” said Waters. “It turns out he had nothing under control, nothing under control and we were overrun. The Capitol of the United States of America, one of the most supposedly secured buildings in the country was breached.”
Sund has since tendered his resignation from the force, but Waters remained adamant that a thorough investigation into why exactly police dropped the ball is needed.
“We’ve got to get to the bottom of this. We’ve got to find out exactly what took place, who was involved. There’s got to be prosecutions. There’s got to be accountability,” she said. “Whether it was because it was poor planning or whether it was because there was certain kinds of infiltration we don’t know.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) has also flagged that the rioters were able to go directly to where he usually works in the Capitol, though that location would be hard to find without prior knowledge.
“If you don’t know where it is, you ain’t going to find it by accident,” Clyburn said on the Joe Madison Show. “The one place where my name is on the door: that office is right on Statuary Hall. They didn’t touch that door. But they went into that other place where I do most of my work. They showed up there, harassing my staff. How did they know to go there?”
Clyburn went further, telling CBS that somebody on the inside was “complicit.”
And Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has voiced her own suspicions about how the insurrectionists were able to get inside the Capitol and so close congressional officials—armed with guns, zip-ties and other dangerous paraphernalia.
“The lack of security at the Capitol is not an accident. It is very clear to me that there were breaches of our law-enforcement agencies,” Jayapal told The Cut on Friday. “The fact that there were no barriers, that they were essentially allowed in. And again, the discrepancy of what would have happened if these had been peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters … Believe me, they would not have been anywhere near that building.”
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called for a thorough investigation into the “shocking failures in the Capitol’s security posture” following Wednesday’s attack. According to a Government Executive report, leaders from both parties have since announced two separate congressional probes into the shoddy response to the white supremacist riot.
The U.S. Capitol Police, which had a budget of $460 million in 2020, is also conducting a review of its security planning and procedures related to the events on January 6.
One thing is for sure: we haven’t yet gotten the bottom of this Capitol insurrection story.