Senator Ron Johnson Seeks Answers About Capitol Breach

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Senator Ron Johnson

Johnson Presses Capitol Police, Architect of the Capitol, for Information Regarding Capitol Breach

Capitol Police and the Architect of the Capitol raising questions about the security considerations for the Jan. 6, 2021 joint session of Congress.

Monday’s letters follow the Jan. 21, 2021 letters (Below) to the acting and former sergeants at arms, the Feb. 24, 2021 letter (Below) to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Rules and Homeland Security and Governmental Relations committees, and the Feb. 26, 2021 letter (Below) to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The questions raised by Senator Johnson include:

  • Please describe the security of the Capitol building at the beginning of the joint session, including:
    • The number of law enforcement officers that manned the east and west fronts of the Capitol, the Capitol entrances, and the interior of the Capitol building, were fully outfitted with riot gear, were partially outfitted with riot gear, and had no protective or riot gear.
  • How many firearms were seen or confiscated from individuals inside or on the Capitol grounds on January 6?
  • What groups were involved in planning or coordinating the breach of the Capitol?
    • How many members of those groups were involved in the breach?
  • Is the USCP fully complying with requests for records from the USCP Office of Inspector General?

PDFs of the letters can be found here (USCP) and here (Architect of the Capitol).

2021-03-01-RHJ-to-Acting-USCP-Chief-Final

2021-03-01-RHJ-to-Architect-of-the-Capitol-Final

Senator Johnson Continues to Seek Answers About Capitol Breach, Sends Senate Leaders Unanswered Questions to be Addressed

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) sent a letter Wednesday to Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Senate Committee on Rules and Administration Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) highlighting unanswered questions that must be addressed regarding the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol breach. These questions are in addition to the Jan. 21, 2021 letters Sen. Johnson sent to the acting and former Senate and House sergeants at arms.

The Jan. 21, 2021 letters to the acting and former Senate and House sergeants at arms are available here and below.

A copy of the Feb. 24, 2021 letter is available here and below:

February 24, 2021

The Honorable Gary C. Peters                                               
Chairman                                                                                            
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

The Honorable Rob Portman
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

The Honorable Amy Klobuchar
Chairwoman
Senate Committee on Rules and Administration

The Honorable Roy Blunt
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Rules and Administration

Dear Chairs Peters and Klobuchar and Ranking Members Portman and Blunt:

As the committees continue to examine the January 6, 2021 Capitol breach, it is important that we completely reconstruct what happened from all perspectives and vantage points.  All security-related questions as well as details about the breach and violent actions must be addressed and fully explained. On January 21, 2021 I wrote to the acting and former Senate and House sergeant at arms to obtain information on the security planning and level of security provided for the January 6 Joint Session of Congress. I was disappointed that neither of the former sergeant at arms seemed to be aware of my oversight letters, but I will continue to seek answers to the questions raised in those letters. 

I appreciate the hearing that the committees held yesterday. Unfortunately, time limitations prevented many questions from being asked that I believe are fundamental to the investigation.

To assist you in your efforts to lead the committees’ examination of what happened on January 6, I am enclosing the unanswered questions—that are in addition to the questions in my January 21 letters—that I believe must be addressed:

     1. How many law enforcement officers:

         a. manned the perimeter at the Capiol;
b. manned the Capitol’s entrances;
c. manned the interior of the Capitol building;
d. were fully outfitted with riot gear;
e. partially outfitted with riot gear; and
 f. had no protective or riot gear?

    2. The committees should obtain a full description of the violent confrontations that occurred at the Capitol on January 6 including, but not limited to:

         a. Where and when did violent confrontations occur?
b. How long did each confrontation last?
c. Approximately how many individuals engaged in violent acts.
d. At what time did the last violent confrontation end?

     3. How many firearms were seen and/or confiscated from individuals inside the Capitol building or on the Capitol grounds
on January 6?

     4. How many gunshots were fired at the Capitol on January 6:

a. by law enforcement?
b. by rioters? 

    5. When did the U.S. Capitol Police begin to clear the Capitol building on January 6?

         a. Reports indicate that the sergeant at arms said that the Capitol was secure at 5:34 p.m. on January 6.[1]
Was this the same time that the Capitol was completely cleared?  If not, when did that occur?

    6. What did law enforcement reestablish the security perimeter at the Capitol?

    7. What groups were involved in planning or coordinating the breach of the Capitol?

        a. How many members of each group were involved in the breach
b. How many members of each group have been arrested or charged?

    8. On January 6, approximately how many individuals

         a. attended President Trump’s speech at the Ellipse;
b. marched to the Capitol; and
c. breached the Capitol building?

   9.  What was the cause of death of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick? 

   10. What Capitol property was damaged on January 6 and what is the cost estimate for repair or replacement?
I appreciate your attention and your ongoing work on this matter and I looking forward to continuing to assist
the committees’ efforts.

Sincerely,
Ron Johnson
U.S. Senator

2021-02-24-RHJ-letter-to-HSGAC_Rules-Chairs-and-RMs-Final

Johnson: American People Deserve Answers About Capitol Security Breach

Friday, January 22, 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ron Johnson sent letters to the current and former Sergeants at Arms of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate seeking information about the security planning done prior to the Electoral College certification on January 6, 2021. The letters were sent to Acting Senate Sergeant at Arms Jennifer Hemingway, Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett, former Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger, and former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving. Stenger and Irving have been replaced in the aftermath of the Capitol breach.

“The breach of the Capitol on January 6, 2021 was totally unacceptable,” Sen. Johnson said. “My sincere condolences to the loved ones of those who died. The American public has the right to know exactly what happened, what actions were and were not taken, and what planning and discussions occurred prior to the breach. An independent investigation must occur, but until it does, I have sent letters to the four former and now-acting sergeants at arms of the House and Senate, asking relevant questions that need to be answered. I am asking for their full and prompt cooperation so we can learn what went wrong and how to prevent a similar tragedy in the future.”

Text of the letters can be found below:

Hemingway
Blodgett
Stenger
Irving

Jan. 21, 2021 – Letter from Sen. Ron Johnson to Acting and Former Senate Sergeant At Arms Hemingway PDF

2021-01-21-Letter-from-RHJ-to-Acting-Senate-SAA-Hemingway

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