Capitol Police release the transcription of controversial pre-insurrection remark about anti-Trump protests
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the California Democrat who chairs the House Administration Committee, has alleged that on January 6, the Capitol Police were directed to only pursue left-wing groups in Washington, D.C. But the Capitol Police, according to Politico reporter Kyle Cheney, has "pushed back forcefully" against Lofgren's characterization of that day's events.
Lofgren has said that the directive for Capitol Police was made via radio communication the morning of January 6. But Capitol Police officials, in an unsigned statement, told Politico, "The radio call has been misquoted and is lacking full and necessary context."
According to Capitol Police, the official who made that radio call at 8:24 a.m. eastern time said, "With regards to pedestrian traffic on — on the grounds today — we anticipate a — a large presence for pro-Trump participants. What we're looking for is any anti-Trump counterprotestors."
The Capitol Police statement given to Politico, however, says, "The radio call does not mean USCP was only looking out for anti-Trump counterprotestors. The next radio transmission requests that officers be on the lookout for a pro-Trump protester carrying a possible weapon."
Cheney explains, "The department's statement indicated that the reason officers were told to look out for anti-Trump activists is that previous protests in D.C. featured violent clashes between pro- and anti-Trump demonstrators. A Lofgren aide said that's precisely the point: The department's focus on potential street skirmishes that morning — despite clear indications and persuasive intelligence of right-wing violence aimed at Congress — underscores that the Capitol Police did not understand the gravity of the event that was about to unfold."
The Lofgren aide told Politico, "Despite this and all the rhetoric online and coming from the ellipse, USCP supervisors on the morning of 1/6 were apparently still advising their frontline officers to focus on and prioritize anti-Trump protestors."
On Twitter, Cheney posted:
NEW: The Capitol Police are in pushback mode, suggesting a lawmaker's claim they were focused only on anti-Trump fo… https://t.co/1sOoT6M3Xf— Kyle Cheney (@Kyle Cheney) 1619113832.0
One new nugget here: The radion transmission is NOT being investigated. Rather, it was raised during the review of… https://t.co/LXhREJKVmr— Kyle Cheney (@Kyle Cheney) 1619113965.0
January 6 went down in history as one of the most infamous days in Washington, D.C.'s history. Following then-President Donald Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally that day, a combination of violent far-right extremists — including members of QAnon, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers — stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in the hope of stopping Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Trump has pushed the conspiracy theory that members of the militant left-wing Antifa movement attacked the Capitol that day, but even House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has acknowledged that the Capitol rioters were Trump supporters — not agitators on the left.
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