July 25, 2021

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Capitol Police official tells Congress he saw no FBI intelligence before Jan. 6 siege – NBC News

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The acting assistant chief of the Capitol Police told Congress on Tuesday that he was not aware of any intelligence from the FBI in advance of Jan. 6, raising questions about an assertion by a top FBI official that threat information was shared with local police in advance of the Capitol riot.

Steven D’Antuono, the head of the FBI’s Washington, D.C., field office, said Tuesday that the FBI had shared some information about threats of violence with local police before the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, including a report by the FBI’s field office in Norfolk, Virginia, that extremists were threatening a “war.”

The report mentioned people sharing a map of tunnels at the Capitol complex and coordinating travel to Washington, according to The Washington Post, which first reported on the F.B.I. document.

But a readout of a closed-door briefing of Republican House members Tuesday, obtained by NBC News, quotes acting U.S. Capitol Police Assistant Chief Sean Gallagher as saying he never saw any such information.

“In response to a question, Assistant Chief Gallagher also informed members that he was not aware of intelligence from the FBI in advance of January 6,” the document says.

Separately, Steven Sund, who resigned as Capitol Police chief, told The Washington Post on Tuesday that he never received nor was made aware of the Norfolk field office intelligence, insisting he and others would have taken the warning seriously had it been shared.

“I did not have that information, nor was that information taken into consideration in our security planning,” Sund was quoted as saying.

The FBI’s Washington field office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Nor did a spokeswoman for the Capitol Police.

The remarks by the current and former senior members of the Capitol Police underscore the lack of clarity about what intelligence various levels of government had, and what was shared, before one of the worst incidents of political extremist violence in U.S. history.

NBC News reported Sunday that according to law enforcement sources briefed on the matter, the FBI and the NYPD shared some threat information with the Capitol Police in the days before the riot.

But NBC News also reported Tuesday that the FBI did not issue a comprehensive intelligence bulletin sharing everything its intelligence analysts had gathered about extremist postings on social media threatening violence. That didn’t happen because some FBI officials were concerned that issuing such a bulletin would run afoul of First Amendment protections for political speech — a view not everyone within the FBI agreed with, sources familiar with the matter said.

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