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Ruppersberger: More Questions than Answers Remain Following First Appropriations Committee Briefing on January 6 Security Failures

Jan 26, 2021
Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger today joined his colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee for their first briefing on the January 6th security failures across the U.S. Capitol. The committee heard from the heads and acting heads of multiple agencies involved in the response, including the U.S. Capitol Police, House Sergeant at Arms, the U.S. Army, D.C. National Guard, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, Secret Service and FBI. Members were allotted three minutes each to ask questions during this initial hearing.

“Today, in our first gathering of the 117th Congress, my fellow appropriators and I began the important task of getting to the bottom of the security failures inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6. After hearing from many witnesses, it is clear that domestic terrorists were able to breach the Capitol not due to a lack of intelligence, but a failure to act on it.

Some of the answers to our questions today were disturbing and many more questions still remain. Of note:

  • Major General William Walker, commander of the D.C. National Guard, testified that Pentagon officials removed his authority to deploy troops independently, as he had during other events. Who at the Pentagon restricted his authority and why?
  • The last security assessment conducted by the United States Capitol Police took place on January 3rd, a full three days before the siege.
  • United States Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman testified that a board comprised of the House and Senate Sergeant at Arms, as well as the Architect of the Capitol, denied a request made by USCP on January 4 for supplemental National Guard troops. They then took more than an one hour to approve the subsequent request during the January 6th riot.

The Committee will continue its investigation until we get answers to these questions and more. We will not stop until those responsible are held accountable – only then can we work on a path forward to ensure this never happens again.

I want to thank the brave law enforcement officers who did their jobs to the best of their ability January 6th, as well as the work of the FBI and prosecutors in bringing the insurrectionists to justice in the days since. Their testimony was encouraging and the steady stream of tips from the American public have been patriotic reminders that democracy still prevails.”