Republican Sen. Ron Johnson is pressuring Capitol law enforcement officials to answer questions about Jan. 6 and why Capitol Police were not prepared to stop people from entering the building.
In a letter to Acting Chief of U.S. Capitol Police Yogananda Pittman, Johnson explained that his team’s review of the video footage from the Capitol riot raised some questions about how law enforcement chose to handle the situation.
First, Johnson explained that more than 300 people appeared to enter the building through the upper west terrace door after it was left ajar by a group exiting the building under the supervision of a Capitol Police officer. Just one minute later, Johnson said the footage shows that the officer, “who was in the vicinity of this door one minute earlier, walked into another hallway away from this door and out of the view of the security camera” while people poured in.
“At 2:35 p.m., five police officers who were not wearing riot gear or carrying any protective equipment, such as shields, arrived at this doorway,” Johnson said, noting that these officers were “blocking people from continuing to enter the building at this location.” “About a minute later, four unauthorized individuals, including two people wearing helmets, pushed past the officers’ line and a surge of people entered the building walking past the officers. These police officers did not appear to take any further action to stop or block people entering the building until a few minutes later.”
Minutes later, the officers formed another line and then engaged in discussion with the group near the door. This conversation was not recorded because the security system did not pick up audio, but Johnson said no one in the group appeared “aggressive or violent.” The officers, however, eventually began to “slowly retreat from the doorway, allowing a surge of people to, once again, enter the building.”
“Security footage then showed an increase of law enforcement officers outside of the building directly in front of this doorway. At 2:47 p.m., law enforcement closed these doors. Over the span of this 14-minute period, it appeared that approximately
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