Dec 15, 2022

A DHS Agent Warned the Department About January 6, but Nobody Listened

A new investigation prompts more questions surrounding the federal government’s foreknowledge of the Capitol riot.
A DHS Agent Warned the Department About January 6, but Nobody Listened
Photo by Colin Lloyd / Unsplash

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Written by Hudson Crozier

What’s new: Leading up to January 6, 2021, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) analyst spent several days trying to warn the department of threats of violence at the Capitol but was ignored, according to an investigation by Yahoo News.

Why it matters: Investigations surrounding January 6 and the DHS have been marked with a lack of transparency and accountability. The head of the DHS office that failed to respond to the information was later hired as part of the House’s committee to investigate the riot. The Secret Service, which is part of the DHS, also deleted text messages from January 5 and 6 on agents’ phones after Congress requested them.

No action: The agent repeatedly warned of online activity showing credible threats of violence toward lawmakers and discussions about smuggling weapons, breaching the Capitol, and overthrowing the government. The DHS was supposed to send the information to law enforcement in advance but didn’t publish a report until the riot was happening on January 6.

Big picture: The story adds to various reports confirming that federal entities had foreknowledge of the Capitol riot, including the FBI and Capitol Police. Given the federal government’s troubling history surrounding terror plots and the lack of transparency surrounding the violence that day, it further begs the question of why the riot wasn’t prevented.

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