Note: House Legislative Branch Subcommittee Chairman Tim Ryan, of Ohio, and Ranking Member Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, on Monday called on the United States Capitol Police Board to release the upcoming USCP Inspector General report, and any interim report, that will examine the events that transpired during the January 6th Capitol Complex breach to determine missteps by Capitol Police from a planning, policy, and intelligence gathering perspective. In the letter to the USCP Board, Ryan and Herrera Beutler also request that USCP conduct regular press conferences updating the public on any threats posed to Congress and efforts to improve security around the Capitol Complex. The full text of the letter follows:
Dear Members of the Capitol Police Board,
We first want to express our gratitude for your work to keep Members, staff, and visitors on and around the Capitol campus safe. Since the January 6th attack, your teams have worked tirelessly to maintain peace, safety, and order in the Capitol Complex. Thank you.
However, we write today to express frustration with your unwillingness to release information to the public or answer media questions regarding the events of January 6th, the current security posture of the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) and plans to secure the Capitol Complex in the mid and long-term future.
The entire world bore witness as a secure perimeter was breached at the U.S. Capitol on the afternoon of January 6th. A vulnerability at the heart of our nation’s democracy was suddenly laid bare for all Americans to see. Restoring security at our nation’s Capital in a sustainable manner therefore requires more than just increased equipment and personnel; it means publicly acknowledging the critical deficiencies that existed, discussing transparency and accountability goals with relevant stakeholders, and sharing plans for how it will be made safe for citizens to once again visit their Capitol and engage in the nation’s business.
As you know, the USCP Inspector General (IG) is conducting a review of the events that transpired on January 6th to determine what went wrong from a planning, policy, and intelligence gathering perspective, and to make recommendations on how to fix those problems within the department. This report will be a vital step to help better protect the Capitol Complex. We urge you to make the final IG report, and any interim reports completed prior to the final report, available to the public.
Additionally, neither the USCP leadership, nor the Capitol Police Board, have conducted any public press briefings in the months after the insurrection, and we have not heard of any commitment from you all to hold any in the future. We ask that you hold regular press conferences updating the public on any threats to Congress. We also request that you share progress being made to strengthen USCP to protect the Capitol Complex, Members, staff, and the visiting public. We fully anticipate that sensitive details would remain confidential but expect USCP to share as much information as possible.
In the wake of the January 6th attack that shook the confidence of so many Americans, taking a more open and transparent approach isn’t just the right thing to do, it will be the most effective as we seek to restore citizens’ confidence that the heart of America’s government is secure.
We stand ready to work with you to enact necessary reforms and look forward to your prompt response.