A security review ordered by Congress in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 riot by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol recommends a “quick-reaction force” of federal law-enforcement officers or members of the National Guard at the seat of government, according to a report.
Suggested improvements also reportedly include U.S. Capitol Police reforms, an increased National Guard presence and new mobile fencing units that could be quickly erected or taken down during a future crisis, according to a draft copy of the task force’s recommendations reported to have been obtained by Fox News.
The findings reportedly were unveiled by retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who was tapped to lead a security review by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Jan. 15, nine days after the insurrection and one day after then–President Donald Trump’s impeachment for inciting the insurrection.
The reaction force would be staffed day and night to the tune of between $40 million and $130 million per year.
“[W]e recommend establishment of a robust, dedicated QRF, not only for the USCP, but to serve the nation’s capital writ large,” the report from Task Force 1-6 said, according to Fox News.
The report also recommended the hiring of 900 additional Capitol Police officers. The department, which the report described as “understaffed, insufficiently equipped, and inadequately trained,” currently has 200 vacant positions, and officers billed about 720,000 overtime hours in the last fiscal year, Fox News reported.
“Not only is this model unsustainable, it leaves the force with no ability to pull officers from the line to train,” a copy of the report stated.
The task force found that the Capitol Police were too slow to respond to the January crisis but reportedly did not go so far as to point to the political motivation many have suspected.
“The [Capitol Police Board’s] deliberate decision-making process proved too slow and cumbersome to respond to the crisis in January, delaying requests for critical supplemental resources,” the task force concluded, according to the Fox News reading. “Specifically, the USCP Chief should not require CPB approval to request assistance from external agencies or the National Guard in an emergency,” the report read.
Honoré — who led the Hurricane Katrina Joint Task Force — has been accused by Republicans of not conducting his report in a bipartisan manner. He had been quoted as saying that the Capitol Police force contained “Trumpsters,” who “allowed their buddies in” to the Capitol, and suggested the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms were “complicit” in the riot, according to the Fox News report.
Capitol Report (Jan. 6, 2021): A nation asks, ‘Where were the U.S. Capitol Police?’
“Although we are grateful for his service to our country, [Lt. Gen.] Honoré has made many comments critical of U.S. Capitol Police officers and certain Members of Congress — statements that call into question the supposed impartiality of his review,” a group of House Republicans including Trump favorites Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes wrote in a letter to Pelosi on Tuesday.
The news comes a day after the Capitol Police increased security to thwart a potential attack by “an identified militia group,” while the House abruptly decided to wrap up its week’s legislative work a day early for security reasons.
Adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory had claimed that Trump as the “true president” would be sworn in on Thursday, March 4. The date passed without incident.
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