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Capitol Police IG casts doubt on department’s Jan. 6 timeline

Readout shows officers did not engage Proud Boys ahead of attack

Thousands of Trump supporters gather on the National Mall on Jan. 6 as Congress prepares to certify the Electoral College votes.
Thousands of Trump supporters gather on the National Mall on Jan. 6 as Congress prepares to certify the Electoral College votes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Capitol Police inspector general’s review of what happened on Jan. 6? It could take a while.

That was the upshot from Monday’s House Administration hearing, in which Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton told the committee he could not vouch for the department’s internal timelines on the day the Capitol was attacked by supporters of President Donald Trump, seeking to disrupt the Electoral College victory certification for Joe Biden.

Bolton could not answer why the Capitol Police’s timeline of the Jan. 6 insurrection showed that officers were assigned to monitor a few counterdemonstrators and not a group of approximately 200 members of the pro-Trump Proud Boys group. That led him to question the veracity of the force’s work product.

“Why did the department decide to monitor the three to four counterdemonstrators but apparently, according to this timeline, not to monitor the Proud Boys?” House Administration Chairperson Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., asked Bolton. 

Bolton said he questions the accuracy of the department’s timeline and is moving up his review of command and radio traffic up to June rather than later in the summer.

“We’re calling into question the accuracy, first, of the timeline,” Bolton said. “We had a lot of questions ourselves.”

The Capitol Police’s accounting of events that day shows that at 10:59 a.m. “Approximately 200 Proud Boys gather near Garfield Circle move toward Senate Egg,” a shorthand reference to the green space on the Senate side of the East Front of the Capitol closest to the Supreme Court.

Lofgren noted that there is no further reference to the Proud Boys — an extremist group that played a substantial role in the violent riot — in the timeline. 

However, the Capitol Police’s timeline shows that 25 minutes later, at 11:24 a.m., “USCP personnel monitors 3-4 counter demonstrators setting up ‘props’ on 3rd Street and Pennsylvania Southeast.”

Officers have said they were told to look out for counterdemonstrators, a directive that is not aligned with the intelligence the department received.

After the Jan. 6 attack, Bolton realigned his entire staff toward reviewing what happened that day, putting on hold other reviews. His office has released partial recommendations along the way, including to revamp the department’s intelligence-gathering operations.

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