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Govt. auditor condemns DHS hands-off approach to Capitol riots


Department of Homeland Security should have designated January 6 a ‘special event’ to bolster security because they KNEW about planned protests, Government Accountability Office rules

  • The Government Accountability Office has condemned the Department of Homeland Security over its handling of the Capitol riots
  • It released a report Monday arguing that the DHS should have predicted the violence and increased security ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection 
  • A DHS spokesman said they were not asked for help with security and that the events of the day did not rise to the level of a National Special Security Event
  • The GAO report states that there was ‘enough evidence’ to indicate that additional security may be needed during the Capitol election certification
  • This comes as the DHS is also under fire for its handling of the border crisis 

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has condemned the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over its handling of the Capitol riots.

In a report released Monday, the federal government auditor argues that the department should have predicted the violence and increased security ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol.

‘There were indications, such as social media posts, that additional security may have been needed at the Capitol Complex on January 6,’ the GAO report reads. 

According to Yahoo News, the GAO determined there was ‘enough evidence’ for the DHS to authorize the Secret Service to take charge during the Capitol election certification which descended into deadly chaos, like they have done for major events such as national political conventions or the Kentucky Derby. 

The Government Accountability Office has condemned the Department of Homeland Security for their handling of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol (pictured)

The federal government auditor argues that the department should have predicted the violence and increased security ahead of the riots (pictured)

The federal government auditor argues that the department should have predicted the violence and increased security ahead of the riots (pictured)

 ‘A designation would likely have assured additional security to help respond to the January 6 attack on the Capitol,’ the report states.

The DHS said they were not asked for help with security and that the events of the day, which included a presidential rally near the White House, an unpermitted Capitol and the election confirmation, ‘did not rise’ to the level of a National Special Security Event (NSSE).

But the GAO defended itself in response to the agency’s claim saying: ‘While past Congressional certifications of election results were not designated NSSEs, and DHS officials considered this normal congressional business, the lack of consideration of other factors, such as the large rally at the Ellipse that mobilized to the Capitol, and the climate surrounding the 2020 election demonstrate a gap in the adaptability of how these events are considered.’  

The Jan. 6 insurrection, a riot in which supporters of Donald Trump sought to block Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory, caused $1.5million in damages.

The riot resulted in the death of protester Ashli Babbitt, assaults on 140 officers, and the suicides and deaths of four officers.

More than 550 people face charges arising from the incident. Many of the defendants are facing misdemeanor charges, which carry a maximum sentence of six months in prison but many will not serve any time.

The GAO determined there was 'enough evidence' ahead of the riot for the DHS to authorize the Secret Service to take charge during the Capitol election certification, like they have done for major events such as national political conventions or the Kentucky Derby

The GAO determined there was ‘enough evidence’ ahead of the riot for the DHS to authorize the Secret Service to take charge during the Capitol election certification, like they have done for major events such as national political conventions or the Kentucky Derby

The Jan. 6 insurrection caused $1.5million in damages. The riot resulted in the death of protester Ashli Babbitt, assaults on 140 officers, and the suicides and deaths of four officers. More than 550 people face charges arising from the incident

The Jan. 6 insurrection caused $1.5million in damages. The riot resulted in the death of protester Ashli Babbitt, assaults on 140 officers, and the suicides and deaths of four officers. More than 550 people face charges arising from the incident

Prosecutors are reportedly pursuing $2,000 in restitution for every felony case and $500 for every misdemeanor. 

Before the riot, Trump delivered a speech to supporters repeating claims that the election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud.

The former president was not able to offer any evidence to back those claims up.  

The GAO report concludes the DHS’ developed factors for designating a NSSE event may not be ‘adaptable to the current environment of emerging threats’.

Its report reads: ‘The level of readiness to address the events of January 6, 2021, suggests that the factors may need to be revisited. Not considering the joint session of Congress to certify the election results demonstrates a lack of adaptability in changing threat environments. Being able to be dynamic and responsive to change would enable federal entities to implement better security planning.’ 

This comes as DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (pictured) is under fire over the department's alleged handling of the border crisis

This comes as DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (pictured) is under fire over the department’s alleged handling of the border crisis 

The DHS was led by Chad Wolf at the time of the riots – but the department has continued to face criticism over how its new boss Alejandro Mayorkas has handled the crisis at the US southern border.  

Republican Rep. Andy Biggs announced Friday that he would be filing the articles against Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas because he is ‘a threat to the sovereignty and security of our nation’. 

Biggs asserts that under Mayorkas’ leadership, Homeland Security officials are systemically allowing the coronavirus to spread by ‘systematically releasing COVID-19 positive aliens into our communities’.  

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