Transcripts of interviews with law enforcement officials released this week by the Jan. 6 committee reveal the panel learned that numerous security concerns had been raised in the days leading up to the attack on the Capitol.
Many of the revelations came in interviews with high-ranking individuals such as former Secret Service and White House official Anthony Ornato; former executive director of the National Capitol Threat Intelligence Center Donell Harvin; former Deputy FBI Director David Bowdich; Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee; former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund; and House Staff Director Jamie Fleet.
But some of the new information came from questions posed to those officials by Jan. 6 committee staffers based on details they had gathered in the course of the 18-month investigation.
Much of that information, mentioned by investigators during the interviews, was not included in the appendix of the committee’s final report that addressed law enforcement and intelligence failures. For the most part, Jan. 6 committee leaders decided against focusing the final report on how law enforcement came to be so underprepared for the attack.
The new revelations add to a growing body of evidence from news reports and court proceedings that illustrate how federal law enforcement officials were in possession of ample information that indicated Jan. 6 was going to be violent. As NBC News first reported last month, staffers were informed that chapters prepared by committee staff — including material focused on law enforcement and intelligence failures — would be cut from the final version.
Among the revelations from the transcripts: One FBI employee wrote in a Dec. 26, 2020, memo about planning for Jan. 6 that was unfolding on a pro-Trump forum called TheDonald.
“They think they will have a large enough group to march into DC armed, and it will outnumber the police so they can’t be stopped,” read the notification in the eGuardian system, which is meant to help federal, state and local law enforcement officials coordinate. “They believe that since the election was stolen, that it’s their constitutional right to over take the government and during this coup no U.S. laws apply. Another group of Proud Boys will be in DC already and are planning on blocking the roads with their cars in order to stop traffic.”