Criticism of the whistleblower has gone beyond the Capitol Police leadership to Congress. Without naming specific lawmakers, his letter accuses congressional leaders of “deliberately failing” to tell the truth about the department’s failures.
POLITICO has obtained the letter detailing the allegations, which is circulating among Capitol Hill police officers, and is posting parts of it here. To protect the identity of the whistleblower, POLITICO does not publish the letter in its entirety.
“Truth may be valued less than politics by many members of the Congressional community, including those who made decisions about the leadership of the USCP after January 6, but I believe the truth still matters to people. real people and certainly the men and women of the United States Capitol Police, ”the whistleblower wrote.
A spokesperson for the Capitol Police sent a statement in response to the letter that begins: “A lot has changed since January 6. While there is still work to be done, many of the issues described in the letter have been resolved.
The spokesperson added that the department “has implemented and continues to implement many of the critical recommendations called for in” a January 6 Senate investigation, a separate review led by retired Lt. Gen. Russel. Honoré, and several investigations by his own Inspector General.
“The letter from the former employee echoes the thoughtful recommendations of these reports,” continued the spokesperson for the Capitol Police. “The leaders of the USCP, under the leadership of new chief Tom Manger, are committed to learning from past mistakes and to protecting our courageous officers, who fought valiantly on January 6, so that we can continue to lead. carry out the critical mission of the department. The men and women of this department are committed to this crucial mission. Our goal is to work as a team, to move forward, and to advance the work that keeps the United States Capitol and the people who work here safe. “
The letter was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Republican staff on the House Administration Committee also received a copy.
The whistleblower accused Pittman of lying to Congress about a key intelligence report the department received in late December. This report noted that a blog called “thedonald.win” posted a map of the Capitol campus, and commenters on the site called on protesters to bear arms and confront members of Congress on January 6.
Pittman told Congressional investigators in April that a cohort of senior department officials were also aware of the intelligence before the attack. The whistleblower however claimed in his letter that other officials did not receive the intelligence report and that Pittman lied when she said they did.
“These officials were the only ones with all the intelligence information for the 6th,” the whistleblower wrote, regarding Gallagher and Pittman.
“The most important intelligence information… has never been shared with any member of the USCP leadership,” the whistleblower added, asking, “Why did they approve the operational plan for the 6 if they knew the information? “
A senior law enforcement official said others in the department did in fact have information, but it clearly should have been released more widely. The Capitol Police spokesperson disputed the allegation that Pittman lied to Congress and noted that the department had changed its internal and external intelligence-sharing practices as a result of the attack.
However, the report in question was not the only key piece of information that did not reach the right people in the department, according to the whistleblower. Gallagher and Pittman also had information showing that the groups that had been given permissions to hold events around the Capitol on January 6 were all front operations for Stop the Steal, the whistleblower wrote.
Stop the Steal was a movement promoting the conspiracy theory that infamous forces stole the election from Trump. Organizers of the movement staged a rally on the National Mall that preceded the attack on the Capitol.
It was “game-changing information,” added the whistleblower, but operational commanders – that is, law enforcement officers on the ground overseeing police activity – did not have never heard of it.
In the whistleblower’s opinion, Gallagher and Pittman had all the information they needed to justify the demand for National Guard reinforcements, the closing of the doors of the Capitol and the use of harsher but less than lethal weapons on the morning of the January 6. But they didn’t. Don’t share this information with the right people, wrote the whistleblower, and instead approved a woefully inadequate security plan.
The whistleblower also said he spent hours during the attack on the Capitol Police command center with Pittman and Gallagher, saying they had done little to stop the violence. The presence of the whistleblower in the command center on January 6 was confirmed by two other law enforcement officials and a third person who was there during the attack.
These three people gave different accounts of the length of the whistleblower’s presence. One of the people said he had been there for six hours, another said he had been there for “several” hours and a third said he had been there for less than two hours.
“What I observed was that most of them were sitting there staring silently at television screens showing real-time footage of officers and officials fighting for Congress and their lives.” , wrote the whistleblower.
“It is my claim that these two with intent and malice chose not to try to help officers and officials, blame others for failures and chose to try to use this event for their own. own personal promotions, ”he added. “This was not done after the same[t] but while the officers and officials were still fighting the demonstrators.
They watched “mostly with hands on knees,” he added, and “did not try to help or assist as officers and officials were literally fighting for each other, their lives. and Congress “.
The two law enforcement officials who confirmed Pittman and Gallagher’s presence in the command center took issue with the claim they passively watched the attacks. These officials said Gallagher focused on supporting the National Guard and law enforcement partners, and Pittman focused on evacuating and protecting members of Congress and the vice president. .
The whistleblower, however, wrote that officials and officers resigned from the department en masse because Pittman and Gallagher were not held accountable for what happened that day.
“This concerted effort to protect the two members of the Department arguably most responsible for the tragic events of January 6 is repugnant,” the whistleblower wrote.
And the whistleblower lambasted the Congressional leadership for letting Gallagher and Pittman retain their senior roles in the police department even as a new chief took over from Capitol Hill police.
“[I]It is extremely embarrassing for the leadership and staff of Congress that they have chosen the two most responsible people from the 6th to lead the department after the 6th, ”he wrote in his conclusion. “Especially since an entity selected them without any investigation. To hold them accountable, this same group would have to admit that they were wrong.