January 6 Committee’s executive summary whitewashes role of intelligence agencies, police, military in Trump coup attempt

On Monday, the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol released an executive summary of the final report resulting from its investigation into former President Donald Trump’s failed coup.

Image of a tweet by Donald Trump is displayed at a June 2022 hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. [AP Photo/Andrew Harnik]

The 154-page document outlines many aspects of the ex-president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The report details the efforts of Trump and his Republican allies to pressure state election officials, Department of Justice attorneys and Vice President Mike Pence following Trump’s loss to Joe Biden. The committee also revealed, through the testimony of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, that as early as January 2, 2021 Trump was making plans to march with his armed right-wing mob to the Capitol on January 6 to halt the certification.

For the first time in US history, a bipartisan congressional body is recommending that a former president and some of his co-conspirators be prosecuted for committing multiple felonies. These include engaging in a conspiracy to obstruct the congressional certification of the 2020 presidential election and inciting an insurrection against the government.

At the same time, the summary omits or whitewashes central aspects of the coup attempt centered on the role of the police, the military and intelligence agencies in facilitating the attack on Congress.

Like the 9/11 commission, the January 6 Select Committee is advancing the narrative that any intelligence “failures” prior to the attack or “delays” on the part of the police and the military in responding to the assault were the result of incompetence or miscommunication, not evidence that these agencies, in whole or part, like the vast majority of the Republican Party and a faction on the Supreme Court, supported Trump’s coup.

As the World Socialist Web Site noted in this week’s Perspective column, “The January 6 Committee’s referrals against Trump and the intensifying crisis of American democracy”:

The last three of the 17 specific findings in the committee’s executive summary are largely devoted to covering up and providing alibis for the role of the police, the military and the intelligence agencies, including Trump’s loyalists in the Pentagon, in facilitating the coup attempt.

Point 13 states:

The intelligence community and law enforcement agencies did successfully detect the planning for potential violence on January 6th, including planning specifically by the Proud Boys and Oath Keeper militia groups who ultimately led the attack on the Capitol. As January 6th approached, the intelligence specifically identified the potential for violence at the U.S. Capitol. This intelligence was shared within the executive branch, including with the Secret Service and the President’s National Security Council.

This was not a difficult thing to do. Besides the fact that the coup was planned online on public message boards, there is the additional fact that leaders of both fascist militia organizations—former Proud Boys Chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio and former Oath Keepers Vice President Greg McWhirter—are admitted government informants.

The summary includes multiple pages of warnings received by the US Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Capitol Police, the Department of Homeland Security, and other state agencies detailing what would become the first attempted coup in US history.

It notes that on “December 26, 2020, the Secret Service received a tip about the Proud Boys detailing plans to have ‘a large enough group to march into DC armed [that] will outnumber the police so they can’t be stopped.’”

“Their plan is to literally kill people,” the informant stated. “Please please take this tip seriously...”

Nevertheless, the committee hastens to exonerate the intelligence and police agencies of any culpability in the de facto stand-down of security forces in the face of the pro-Trump insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol.

Point 15 states:

Neither the intelligence community nor law enforcement obtained intelligence in advance of January 6th on the full extent of the ongoing planning by President Trump, John Eastman, Rudolph Giuliani and their associates to overturn the certified election results. Such agencies apparently did not (and potentially could not) anticipate the provocation President Trump would offer the crowd in his Ellipse speech, that President Trump would “spontaneously” instruct the crowd to march to the Capitol, that President Trump would exacerbate the violent riot by sending his 2:24 p.m. tweet condemning Vice President Pence, or the full scale of the violence and lawlessness that would ensue...

Point 16 proceeds to alibi for the failure of the Capitol Police to deploy an enlarged contingent to protect Congress, sitting in joint session, from the mob.

Point 17 exonerates the Pentagon leadership—hand-picked by Trump and installed after his loss to Biden in the November election—for failing to authorize deployment of D.C. National Guard troops to the Capitol for more than three hours, attributing this to “miscommunication” and asserting that the committee “found no evidence that the Department of Defense intentionally delayed deployment of the National Guard.”

The committee’s claims that the intelligence agencies did not have information from well-placed sources about plans for a violent assault sufficient to trigger increased protection for Congress were further demolished on Wednesday by an NBC News report that featured statements from a “confidential source” who reported to the FBI.

According to NBC News, the source emailed his handler on the afternoon of December 19, 2020 warning that Trump’s late-night tweet summoning his followers to Washington on January 6 for a “wild protest” was being viewed as “a call to arms” by militia groups.

The informant wrote: “Trump tweeted what people on the right are considering a call to arms in DC on Jan 6.” The same source emailed information he culled from multiple right-wing online message boards detailing the violent rhetoric being used and the violent plans being formulated in real time.

According to NBC, the source included messages from “boogaloo” and other extremists comparing Trump’s call to action to a declaration of civil war. The source’s report included messages calling for “traitors” to be hung and for those coming to Washington on January 6 to be “locked and loaded.”

NBC reported that the source’s information has been used by prosecutors in January 6 cases and that the person has “documents” verifying his “work with the bureau.”

The source told NBC he was baffled that the January 6 Committee’s summary did not assign any blame to the police and intelligence agencies for allowing the Capitol to be sacked.

“My first response was, like, what the f---?” the source told NBC after reading the executive summary. Referring to the FBI, he added, “The bureau saw this coming.” He was upset that the role of the intelligence agencies in Trump’s coup “would be relegated to a footnote or glossed over.”

The source explained that in the weeks prior to January 6 he worked closely with his handler and “put together hundreds of pages of reports over the two weeks preceding Jan. 6.”

“This went to an agent directly,” the source added. “To me,” he concluded, “there’s no excuse to say, ‘We didn’t see this coming.’”

NBC confirmed with a separate source on the January 6 Committee that its final report will not include this informant’s warnings.