House Republicans on Wednesday released a report focused on security failures at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, highlighting well-documented breakdowns in intelligence sharing, Capitol security and coordination between various law enforcement agencies that responded that day.
Their primary recommendation centers around reforming the US Capitol Police Board and bolstering congressional oversight of the Capitol Police force – two issues that were identified by lawmakers of both parties in the wake of the January 6 attack.
But the GOP report is silent on other efforts to disrupt the transfer of presidential power after the 2020 election and selective in its criticism of political leaders and their culpability in the security breakdowns on January 6. The report resurfaces largely unfounded allegations to cast blame on Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while glossing over former President Donald Trump’s own role.
Republicans cast the report as a rebuttal to the House select committee’s investigation into January 6 as they are set to take control of the chamber and endeavor to take back the narrative. Republican lawmakers have said the security failures are paramount and that the select committee overstepped its mandate in its 17-month probe.
The Democratic-led select committee had planned to release its final report on Wednesday but has delayed the rollout until Thursday. An executive summary released on Monday lays blame for the insurrection squarely on Trump.
The GOP report comes from the five Republicans who House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy initially appointed to serve on the select committee before deciding members of his party would not participate.
It includes a timeline of events that occurred on January 6, making no mention of the fact that Trump waited hours before calling on the rioters to leave the US Capitol that day and omitting incendiary remarks he made at the rally preceding the attack.
Instead, the report paints Trump as only encouraging his supporters at the White House Ellipse to march to the US Capitol and demonstrate “peacefully,” noticeably omitting other parts of the speech, including when he encouraged rally goers to “fight like hell.”
Similarly, the timeline includes a tweet Trump sent after the Capitol had been breached, saying: “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
Missing from the report is Trump’s tweet in which he eventually told the rioters to leave the Capitol – several hours after the deadly riot began.
The House select committee has revealed testimony from several former White House officials saying Trump repeatedly refused to call off the rioters despite being asked to do so by a number of his closest advisers.
The GOP report also doesn’t address Trump’s claim that he issued a directive prior to January 6 to deploy thousands of National Guard troops to the Capitol that day.
Trump’s former Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, in an interview with the select committee, denied Trump gave him formal orders authorizing the deployment of National Guard troops to the Capitol on January 6.