U.S

DOJ's Capitol riot response and preparation to be reviewed by IG

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is probing how the department and its law enforcement agencies prepared for and responded to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, officials announced Friday.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the office’s review will “examine the role and activity of Department of Justice and its components in preparing for and responding to the events.”

“The DOJ OIG review will include examining information relevant to the January 6 events that was available to DOJ and its components in advance of January 6; the extent to which such information was shared by DOJ and its components with the U.S. Capitol Police and other federal, state, and local agencies; and the role of DOJ personnel in responding to the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6,” Horowitz said.

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The review is one of multiple probes launched by inspectors general, including probes into the departments of Homeland Security and Defense and the Interior Department, which oversees the Park Police.

The initiation of the review signals early concern within the watchdog community that the preparations for, and response to, the breach of the Capitol was lacking.

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U.S. Capitol Police said that they had prepared for only First Amendment activity at the Capitol on the day that lawmakers had assembled to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Trump, even though the president himself had encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell.”

The review is likely to also include an assessment of intelligence that the Justice Department – and particularly the FBI – had collected before and after the riot. It comes days after the FBI conceded that one of its field offices compiled an internal bulletin that warned of potential violence aimed at Congress, as was first reported by The Washington Post.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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