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Capitol police whistleblower alleges leadership failures on January 6 in letter to Congress

‘They did not try to help or assist as officers were literally fighting for their lives’

Helen Elfer
Monday 11 October 2021 20:12 BST
Trump impeachment witness Fiona Hill calls 6 January riot 'dress rehearsal' for future attacks
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A former high-ranking US Capitol Police official has accused leading figures in the force of serious failings at the time of the January 6 insurrection, in a letter to Congress.

The letter, dated September 28, says Capitol Police officials assistant chief Yogananda Pittman and acting assistant chief Sean Gallagher did not share vital intelligence with other leaders and did not help officers once the violence started on January 6. It says there have been no consequences for their alleged inaction since then.

The whistleblower has identified themselves as a former high-ranking officer with more than 30 years of service and says they worked at the police department at the time of the attack.

The former official described the named leaders’ response to the crisis on January 6 in damning terms. “What I observed was them mostly sitting there, blankly looking at the TV screens showing real time footage of the officers and officials fighting for the Congress and their lives.” the letter said.

Some of the allegations in the letter echo criticism contained in reports from the Senate Judiciary Committee and the inspector general, reports CNN . But the letter goes further in placing blame with department leadership and accusing congressional leaders of having "purposefully failed" to acknowledge the department’s failures.

The whistleblower wrote that the actions of Ms Pittman and Mr Gallagher have been “marginalized, negligibly investigated, categorically underreported and without accountability. In fact, as pointed out by many they have been restored to their exact same positions as if they were not responsible for the single greatest intelligence failure in the history of the US Capitol Police is astounding.”

The letter alleges that the pair didn’t share information that would have “changed the paradigm of that day” and that during the attack, “they did not try to help or assist as officers and officials were literally fighting for each other, their lives and the Congress.”

A law enforcement source told CNN that Ms Pittman and Mr Gallagher did not fail to act, but were concentrating their efforts on successfully protecting and evacuating lawmakers.

Both Ms Pittman and Mr Gallagher received a vote of no confidence from members of the department a month after the attack, expressing USCP officers’ frustration with their leadership.

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