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Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton retires

Bolton undertook a robust investigation into the department's handling of Jan. 6

U.S. Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton will retire.
U.S. Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton will retire. (CQ Roll Call)

Michael Bolton — the Capitol Police inspector general who provided a critical assessment of department deficiencies related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot and recommended fixes for those shortcomings — has retired.

“I appreciate his many years of service to our country. Both with the Secret Service, as well as with the USCP,” Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said in a statement Tuesday.

Ronald Gregory became acting inspector general on April 24 upon Bolton’s retirement.

Shortly after the 2021 Capitol attack, Bolton’s office suspended all other projects to focus on completing an investigation into the department’s preparedness and response to the pro-Trump insurrection. His team has made more than 100 recommendations, including urging the force to transition from a reactive police department to a proactive, protective one.

Intelligence failures within the Capitol Police were a major weak point highlighted by Bolton. 

“USCP failed to disseminate relevant information obtained from outside sources regarding planned events for January 6, 2021,” Bolton found. Officers recounted a severe lack of information sharing ahead of Jan. 6.

Bolton, in his review, noted there were inconsistencies in the way Capitol Police officials viewed the intelligence in the lead-up to the Capitol attack. Bolton identified intelligence-related problems with the department’s organizational structure, training, professional standards, internal controls and ability to effectively collect, process and share intelligence. Bolton recommended the department implement formal guidance to ensure unified operational reporting in all intelligence and event planning documents. 

The inspector general exposed that Capitol Police teams were lacking in weapons certifications. Members of the specialized Containment Emergency Response Team failed to comply with weapons certifications, and the First Responders Unit was not mandated to be certified on the M4, a style of rifle team members can carry, Bolton found.

Bolton’s oversight work has shed light on the fact that — in 2018 and 2019 — the department spent over $90,000 in taxpayer money to train its CERT team with Northern Red Inc., a company that displays symbols often associated with the white supremacist movement.

Bolton became inspector general in 2019, and has served as assistant inspector general for investigations, a role he assumed in 2006. He is the third inspector general in the office’s history, an oversight entity created by Congress in 2005.

Prior to the Capitol Police, Bolton worked as special agent in charge for the Office of Investigations at the Treasury Department where he worked on procurement fraud cases and investigations of government officials. He also worked 21 years for the Secret Service.

Bolton graduated from the University of Maryland with a criminal justice degree.

Gregory has worked in Capitol Police’s inspector general office as assistant inspector general for investigations since 2019. Before joining the department, he spent 30 years as a special agent in the Secret Service, a career he began in the Newark Field Office in New Jersey where he conducted investigations into forgery, counterfeit currency, protective intelligence and fraud. He graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in journalism and earned a masters degree in management from Johns Hopkins University.

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