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GAO: DHS Dropped Ball on Security During Jan. 6 Riot at U.S. Capitol

Alex Gakos/Shutterstock.com

By Steve Neavling

The Department of Homeland Security mishandled the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and should have anticipated the violence and increased security ahead of the event, according to the Government Accountability Office. 

The report, titled “Capitol Attack: Special Event Designations Could Have Been Request for January 6, 2021, but Not All DHS Guidance Is Clear,” was issued Monday.

The GAO suggested Homeland Security failed to ensure there was adequate security at the Capitol, despite plenty of evidence of possible violence, including threats on social media. 

“There were indications, such as social media posts, that additional security may have been needed at the Capitol Complex on January 6,” the GAO report states.

According to the report, DHS could have coordinated security or asked Secret Service to handle it. 

“A designation would likely have assured additional security to help respond to the January 6 attack on the Capitol,” the GAO said.

So far, the FBI has arrested about 535 people for participating in the insurrection, which led to the deaths of five people either during or immediately after the riot. About 140 officers also were injured. 


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