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Lawmakers Question U.S. Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton About Jan. 6

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Three months after an angry mob attacked the Capitol...

(SOUNDBITE OF RIOT AMBIENCE)

KELLY: ...Some of the lawmakers under siege that day tried to get to the bottom of what went wrong.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

U.S. Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton briefed members of Congress on his sweeping investigation of the events of January 6. His 104-page report detailed a litany of concerns. It has been obtained by NPR but is not yet fully public.

KELLY: It said that on the day of the insurrection, some officers were provided with dilapidated equipment like riot shields that shattered on impact.

CHANG: It said officers were directed not to use some crowd control measures like sting balls or stun grenades.

KELLY: It also found that Capitol Police mishandled intelligence.

CHANG: Democratic Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon pressed the inspector general on that point.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARY GAY SCANLON: As a layperson leading into January 6, I was aware from seeing the social media of Trump supporters in my region that they were organizing in large numbers to come to D.C. in response to the former president's summons and that they planned violence.

CHANG: She asked Bolton why the Capitol Police didn't know.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MICHAEL BOLTON: We are customers of intelligence. We don't - we're not deactive (ph). But certainly, we can have trained analysts, a more comprehensive intelligence bureau, to assist us to gather that intelligence.

KELLY: A formal intelligence training program is more - is one of more than a dozen recommendations laid out in the report, though Republican Congressman Bryan Steil pointed out that in the past, the Capitol Police have ignored guidance from Congress.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRYAN STEIL: In 2019, did your office recommend that the United States Capitol Police consider requiring new sworn recruits to obtain a security clearance?

BOLTON: That's correct. Yes, sir.

STEIL: And so the follow-up question, of course - did the department implement that recommendation?

BOLTON: No, sir, they did not. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who hosts All Things Considered along with Ari Shapiro, Audie Cornish, and Mary Louise Kelly. She landed in public radio after practicing law for a few years.
Mary Louise Kelly is a co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine.
Amy Isackson

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