Jan 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Some members of Congress fear the Capitol mob attack was an inside job

Rep. Tim Ryan is seen speaking during a hearing on Capitol Hill last May.

Rep. Tim Ryan during a hearing last May. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

An information gap following the Capitol assault has fueled fears among members of Congress that it was an inside job involving the Capitol Police.

Why it matters: The mass resignations by the Capitol Police chief and Senate and House sergeant-at-arms, coupled with few briefings by federal officials like the FBI, have left important questions unanswered and a lone Democratic congressman from Ohio trying to fill in the gaps.

Rep. Tim Ryan, chairman of a House Appropriations subcommittee overseeing the Capitol Police, has held three virtual briefings to update reporters.

  • On Monday, he shared the shocking news that two Capitol Police officers had been suspended and 10–15 were under investigation for their behavior during the riot.
  • "One was the selfie officer, and another was an officer who put a MAGA hat on and started directing people around,” Ryan said.
  • There hasn't been an official briefing or press conference from the Capitol Police since the attack.

A House Democratic aide told Axios that among other things discussed on their weekly caucus call this afternoon, members expressed “lots of anger and frustration about national security failures."

  • Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Friday that something "untoward" had occurred after rioters seemingly went looking for him at an unmarked office separate from his main location in Statuary Hall emblazoned with his name.

The backdrop: Ryan and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) announced last Thursday that the Legislative Branch Appropriations subcommittee, which funds the Capitol Police, is actively investigating what happened.

  • They've been conducting several hearings and calls with law enforcement and military officials while working on a tight timeline to get more answers and implement changes/reforms for the inauguration.

The bottom line: The uncertainty comes as the clock ticks down to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in nine days.

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