Washington (CNN) – A US Capitol police officer instructed “ all outside units ” on the morning of January 6 to check only anti-Trump agitators “ who want to start a fight, ” “ not just any ‘pro-Trump’ in the crowd, ” said the newspaper. findings of a recently disclosed internal investigation.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren described the radio broadcast, the existence of which was not previously known, during a hearing by the House Administration Committee on security breaches surrounding the January 6 attack.
On that broadcast, the officer said, “Watch all units in the field, we’re not looking for a pro-Trump in the crowd. We’re just looking for an anti-pro-Trump to start a fight, ”said California Democrat Lofgren.
Lofgren, who chairs the committee, said he quoted a report of the radio conversation found by the Office of the Division of Professional Responsibility during its ongoing review of allegations related to the officers’ conduct on Jan. 6. He has not identified the agent.
A Capitol Police spokesman told CNN that the described radio communication took place around 8 a.m. on the day of the riot. The spokesperson added that the communication was intended to guide agents to seek clashes between pro-Trump protesters and counter-protesters as well. The official who made the comment is not being investigated, the spokesman said.
Neither Capitol Police nor Congress released the broadcast’s audio, despite requests to do so.
Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton said he had not yet read the internal reports of the investigation, which CNN reported last month involved allegations against 36 agents, but planned to do so as soon as it was released. was completed.
An aide to the committee told CNN that Praise’s manner of interrogation underscores the point that, based on the information available at the time, Capitol police had sufficient reason to expect violence from pro-Trump protesters who opposed him. were targeted. Capitol and lawmakers, but “ despite this and all the rhetoric online … Capitol Police regulators apparently still advised their frontline agents on the morning of Jan. 6 to focus and prioritize anti-Trump protesters.
Going forward, Bolton will “be able to review the radio broadcasts, and he plans to review the findings in general and the command and control communications, knowing that there is now a specific allegation about those communications, he said this. specifically, ”said the assistant.
Praise’s description of the radio broadcast in question provides a rare insight into the type of Capitol Police behavior being considered as part of the ongoing investigation.
A spokesman for the department told CNN in February that six US Capitol Police officers had been banned from paying for their actions during the January 6 riot. Of the 36 agents investigated since January 6, 23 cases have been closed. Thirteen of the cases are still under investigation, a department spokesman told CNN last month.
One of the suspended agents took a selfie with someone who was part of the crowd taking over the Capitol, Representative Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Ohio, said at the time. Another wore a “Make America Great Again” hat and started guiding people around the building, Ryan added.
Acting Chief of Capitol Police, Yogananda Pittman, said in January that the department “has been actively reviewing videos and other open source material from some Capitol Police agents and officials who appear to be violating the department’s rules and policies.”
CNN’s Whitney Wild contributed to this report.