Watchdog to probe DOJ response to Capitol riot

More than a week after a mob of pro-Trump supporters rampaged through the Capitol - investigators are trying to determine what led to such a colosal security failure.

The U.S. Justice Department's internal watchdog on Friday said it would review how the FBI and other law enforcement agencies prepared and responded to the storming of the U.S. Capitol by President Donald Trump's supporters, that’s according to Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

The inquiry will be coordinated with other federal agencies whose law enforcement arms were also involved in responding to the Jan. 6 assault, including the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security and Department of the Interior.

The Capitol Police have come under scrutiny for being ill-prepared to deal with the throngs of Trump supporters who stormed the building last week.

In some videos posted on social media, police also appeared to be overly-friendly with rioters, with one even taking a selfie with people as they illegally entered the building.

Some of the court filings have offered a window into questionable behavior or a lack of preparedness by law enforcement.

In one case, suspects told the FBI they were greeted with a welcome and a hug by a police officer upon entering the Capitol.

In another case, prosecutors wrote that one officer was left to single-handedly confront a group of 25 rioters on the Senate floor. The officer asked to borrow a bullhorn from one of them so he could ask the crowd to leave.

The review by the DOJ comes after Reuters and other media outlets reported that the FBI office in Norfolk, Virginia circulated a bulletin a day before the events at the Capitol warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and "war."

A law enforcement source who spoke anonymously to Reuters said the bulletin was widely circulated among law enforcement agencies, but it was considered to be "raw open source" material, meaning it was not validated by the FBI or other government investigators.

All of this comes as the nation's capital and cities across the country ramp up security ahead of U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Officials have warned of plans for armed protests in Washington and all 50 states, with some saying the threat could remain well beyond the inauguration

Video Transcript

- More than a week after a mob of pro-Trump supporters rampaged through the Capitol, investigators are trying to determine what led to such a colossal security failure. The US Justice Department's internal watchdog on Friday said it would review how the FBI and other law enforcement agencies prepared and responded to the storming of the US Capitol by President Donald Trump supporters. That's according to inspector General Michael Horowitz.

The inquiry will be coordinated with other federal agencies whose law enforcement arms were also involved in responding to the January 6 assault, including the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of the Interior. The Capitol Police have come under scrutiny for being ill-prepared to deal with the throngs of Trump supporters who stormed the building last week.

In some videos posted on social media, police also appear to be overly friendly with rioters, with one even taking a selfie with people as they illegally entered the building. Some of the court filings have offered a window into questionable behavior or a lack of preparedness by law enforcement. In one case, suspects told the FBI they were greeted with a welcome and a hug by a police officer upon entering the Capitol. In another case, prosecutors wrote that one officer was left to single-handedly confront a group of 25 rioters on the Senate floor. The officer asked to borrow a bullhorn from one of them so he could ask the crowd to leave.

The review by the DOJ comes after Reuters and other media outlets reported that the FBI office in Norfolk, Virginia circulated a bulletin a day before the events at the Capitol warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and war. A law enforcement source who spoke anonymously to Reuters said the bulletin was widely circulated among law enforcement agencies, but it was considered to be raw open source material, meaning it was not validated by the FBI or other government investigators.

All of this comes as the nation's capital and cities across the country ramp up security ahead of US President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. Officials have warned of plans for armed protests in Washington and all 50 states, with some saying the threat could remain well beyond the inauguration.