A Capitol Police official radioed units outside of the building on the morning of Jan. 6 and told them only to scout for anti-Trump troublemakers — not pro-Trump protesters, according to the findings of an internal investigation revealed at a public hearing by Rep. Zoe Lofgren.
Lofgren (D-Calif.) revealed the finding while she questioned Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton, who appeared before the House Administration Committee Wednesday to testify about security failures that precipitated the Jan. 6 attack. Lofgren, who chairs the panel, described the findings as she asked him whether he had read the internal investigation reports.
The department’s Office of Professional Responsibility found that a radio transmission to "all outside units’ attention" that they should not be "looking for any pro-Trump in the crowd," according to Lofgren. She added they were "only looking for any anti-Trump."
Bolton said he had yet to review the reports of investigations into the conduct of about three dozen officers on Jan. 6, many of which are ongoing.
A committee aide declined to disclose additional details from the investigation but emphasized that Lofgren’s panel "is recently in receipt of new documents and emails related to the Jan. 6 insurrection, including materials which brought to light these issues the Chair asked the (inspector general) about today. The committee is continuing to review those documents and emails and intends to review the relevant recorded audio when it is available."
It’s the first insight into the basis for any of the ongoing investigations into Capitol Police officials. Lofgren didn’t identify the officer. The Capitol Police have acknowledged the ongoing investigations — including the fact that six officers were suspended for their particular actions — but have provided no updates since they began months ago.
Many Democratic lawmakers expressed alarm after the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that some of the Capitol Police officers appeared to either wave the crowd through or pose for selfies with them. The reality has been more complex. About 138 Capitol Police and DC police officers were assaulted on Jan. 6, some receiving severe injuries. One died hours later of apparent strokes and two took their own lives in the days and weeks after the attack.
Footage from the riot shows at times savage hand-to-hand combat in which outnumbered police were attacked and beaten, pepper sprayed and bludgeoned with poles, batons and even a hockey stick and a skateboard. Inside the building, rioters often confronted police, and in other cases police were reduced to bystanders as the crowd patrolled Capitol hallways. Outside the House and Senate chambers, however, it was a different story, as police beat back fierce crowds attempting to breach the rooms where lawmakers were being evacuated.