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Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty

The U.S. Capitol Police department's failure to act on intelligence indicting possible violence on Jan. 6 "betrayed" the force's mission and was "inexcusable," the USCP union said in a statement on Wednesday.

Driving the news: Acting USCP chief Yogananda Pittman told Congress on Tuesday that the department "failed to meet its own high standards" during the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, referring to the event as a "terrorist attack," and said they did not take the necessary steps to address the "strong potential for violence."

  • Pittman wrote in prepared remarks: "Let me be clear: the Department should have been more prepared for this attack. By January 4th, the Department knew that the January 6th event would not be like any of the previous protests held in 2020."
  • She added, "We knew that militia groups and white supremacist organizations would be attending. We also knew that some of these participants were intending to bring firearms and other weapons to the event. We knew that there was a strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target."

USCP union chair Gus Papathanasiou wrote in a statement that Pittman and other police leadership did not thoroughly relay these threats to officers working that day.

  • "The disclosure that the entire executive team (former Chief Sund, now Acting Chief Pittman, and Assistant Chief Thomas) knew what was coming but did not better prepare us for potential violence, including the possible use of firearms against us, is unconscionable," Papathanasiou wrote in a statement.

What to watch: Papathanasiou argued USCP leadership should be held accountable, stating, "They have a lot to atone for."

Go deeper

Poll: Mayors acknowledge police violence as a problem but are resistant to major reforms

Thousands participated in a protest against racism and police brutality in August 2020 in Washington D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Roughly 60% of U.S. mayors acknowledge police violence is a "problem in their communities," but 80% believe their police departments "do a good job" attracting "well-suited" officers, according to results of the 2020 Menino Survey of Mayors published Wednesday.

Why it matters: Protests against police brutality have swept the nation since last May, when white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, a Black man, after kneeling on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The Black Lives Matter movement has since escalated calls to defund the police.

DOJ seizes 36 U.S. website domains for Iranian government disinformation

Iran's President-Elect Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference at Shahid Beheshti conference hall in Tehran on Monday. Photo: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

American officials seized 36 news website domains linked to Iran's government for spreading disinformation as part of a propaganda campaign, the Department of Justice said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The action comes at a time of heightened tension between the two countries, with Iran's hardline President-elect Ebrahim Raisi on Monday ruling out negotiating over missiles or meeting with President Biden as the two nations hold talks on returning Tehran to the 2015 nuclear deal.

NYT: Khashoggi's killers had paramilitary training in U.S.

A vigil for journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, following his killing in 2018 in Turkey. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Several Saudis who took part in the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi had paramilitary training in the U.S. under a State Department contract a year before his 2018 death, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Why it matters: While there's no evidence the department knew that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sanctioned Saudi officials to detain, kidnap and torture dissidents in 2017, the approval of such training underscores how "intensely intertwined" the U.S. has become with a nation known for human rights abuses, per the NYT.