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Capitol Police Inspector General Says Department Needs More Training, Not Prepared for Future Attacks

Capitol Hill AS
The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo)

Investigations into the Jan. 6th riot are escalating on both sides of Capitol Hill. 

Tuesday, the Inspector General of the United States Capitol Police (USCP) told senators that in its current state, the agency would not be able to withstand a similar attack on the Capitol. 

The announcement came as lawmakers target key Trump administration players, looking for ways to implicate them with any connections to inciting the riot. 

USCP Inspector General Michael Bolton has overseen eight reports trying to explain the force's performance on Jan. 6. His consistent conclusion and repeated response to the Senate Rules Committee was that the department needs more training. 

In a statement released after Tuesday's hearing, the USCP said, "The United States Capitol Police agrees with the Inspector General that the Department must continue to improve and expand its intelligence and protective capabilities. This is vital for carrying out our critical mission." 

It continues, "Although there is more work to do, the Department has made immense progress in first addressing the specific failures that led to the January 6 attack, such as improving the way the USCP gathers, analyzes and distributes intelligence, professionalizing major event planning, implementing joint exercises ahead of events, conducting in-person briefings for uniformed officers prior to events, developing a process to get assistance from partnering agencies, ordering additional equipment, holding dozens of training sessions, expanding the Wellness Division, and adding a new external communication plan to improve the speed and accuracy of information for the public and journalists," the statement reads.

Lawmakers are looking for ways to strengthen the U.S. Capitol Police after pro-Trump protestors stormed Congress. 

The violence on Jan. 6th injured nearly 140 officers. One woman was shot and killed by police outside the House Chamber. Four officers also died by suicide in the days and months after the riot. 

Since then, Bolton told senators approximately 200 officers have left the Congressional Police force. 

Bolton testified Tuesday that a lack of training, emergency plans, and intelligence data provided to congressional police contributed to the riot. 

Since that fateful day, Capitol Police have logged more than 700,000 hours of mandatory overtime. And congressional lawmakers have received more than 4,000 threats of violence... double than the prior year. 

Bolton says they are understaffed and not prepared for another attack on the Capitol. 

Meantime, House committee members are hitting walls while investigating key Trump allies. 

Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn and Former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark will both likely plead the Fifth Amendment when questioned about overturning the 2020 election, and who's responsible for the Capitol riots. 

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows surprised investigators by announcing he will refuse to cooperate with investigators. He was expected to comply after Trump's former Chief Counselor, Steve Bannon surrendered to the FBI on two counts of congressional contempt. His criminal trial is set for July. 

"It is our duty to honor those officers who've given their lives, but also ensure the safety of those visiting and working at the capitol," Bolton said. 

As the investigation continues, House GOP member Marjorie Taylor Green compared the treatment of those arrested in the riot, to that of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. 

The investigation will roll over into the New Year, where the Senate Rules Committee will question the Capitol Police Chief next. 

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