Four prominent Democrats announced Saturday that they plan to launch a joint investigation into intelligence and planning failures that may have led to an attack on the United States Capitol that took place on January 6th.
The four committee chairs — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), House Oversight Committee Chairman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). and House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) — will also be looking into whether members of the GOP assisted the Capitol rioters.
As The Daily Wire reported last week, New Jersey Democrat Rep. Mikie Sherrill and others claimed that “Republican Congressional colleagues led people through the United States Capitol last Tuesday on what appeared to be a ‘reconnaissance’ mission ahead of Wednesday’s attack.” Sherrill led a group of lawmakers in demanding that the Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement agencies look into the possibility that rioters had inside help.
“I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him, those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 for reconnaissance for the next day,” Sherrill said in a Facebook Live event. “Those members of Congress who incited the violent crowd. Those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy, I’m going see that they’re held accountable.”
Neither Sherrill nor any of the other 29 signatories referred to any Republican by name, nor did they provide specific evidence of their claims. Previous reports have suggested that several Republican lawmakers communicated with organizers of the January 6th rally, but those reports have yet to be substantiated.
“The committee chairs said in a letter released Saturday that emerging evidence shows federal intelligence officials and law enforcement agencies received information about the likelihood of violence targeting Congress, but a breakdown in the information-sharing process left the Capitol vulnerable, despite widely anticipated efforts to disrupt the lawmakers’ session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory,” according to Politico.
“They’re also asking specific questions, including on the evidence each intelligence agency gathered ahead of Jan. 6 and what they did with it; if there was evidence of any foreign efforts to either assist the insurrection, spread misinformation about it or exploit the aftermath; if any current or former officials with security clearances participated in the insurrection; and what policy responses the intelligence agencies have implemented to apprehend rioters and disrupt potential future actions,” the outlet continued.
The Committees will conduct robust oversight to understand what warning signs may have been missed, determine whether there were systemic failures, and consider how to best address countering domestic violent extremism, including remedying any gaps in legislation or policy,” the letter itself noted.
On Friday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) suggested that, if lawmakers are found to have aided and abetted the Capitol rioters, they could face criminal charges.
“We must trust each other, respect the people who sent us here. We must also have the truth, and that will be looked into,” she said. “If, in fact, it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection — if they aided and abetted the crime — there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress, in terms of prosecution for that,” she told media, referring specifically to Sherrill’s allegations.