On the eve of the first anniversary of the storming of the United States Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, the chief of the Capitol police force told Congress that a “significant portion” of the recommendations related to the agency’s operational, intelligence, training and equipment deficiencies have been addressed.
“In fact, of the more than 100 recommendations issued by the inspector general,” testified Chief Tom Manger, who was hired six months ago, “we have implemented and are addressing over 90 of them.”
Manger was testifying at a Senate Rules and Administration oversight hearing to examine the U.S. Capitol Police in the wake of January 6. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer opened the hearing by thanking the committee for its work to improve security and safety in the last year.
But Schumer (D-NY) also issued a warning: “Make no mistake, the root cause of January 6 is still with us today — It is the Big Lie, pushed by Donald Trump, that is undermining faith in our political system, and making our democracy, our country, less safe.”
Members of Oklahoma’s delegation see the current situation differently.
“We haven’t implemented any new training processes for the law enforcement that are there,” said Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK2) in an interview Tuesday, “we are still vulnerable to the same attack that happened last time.”
Congressman Mullin, who was on the House floor as rioters tried to break into the chamber a year ago, acknowledges that as a member of the minority he's not privy to the details of the changes and improvements that Manger claims have been made, but he feels the Capitol is not safer and says the committee investigating January 6 is "a political sideshow."
"It's a witch hunt," Mullin said. "All they’re doing is giving out subpoenas, going after anybody that was loyal or attached to President Trump --they are not looking at the failures that caused the breach to begin with."
The committee has been working mostly quietly behind the scenes, except for the two public showdowns with Trump allies Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows, both of whom refused to appear for depositions, prompting the committee to recommend each be held in contempt.
President Biden and Vice President Harris will be at the Capitol Thursday morning to help commemorate the anniversary. Former President Trump was planning to hold an event tomorrow in Florida, but canceled it, he says, due to “the total bias and dishonesty" of the media and the House committee investigating the attack.