NBC Nightly News’ Lester Holt introduced a segment Tuesday that detailed federal law enforcement agencies’ failures in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. In the segment, NBC News echoed the criticisms and concerns that conservatives have expressed since the attack occurred.
“Now to our NBC News exclusive. The January 6 Committee’s final report was more than 800 pages. But some material did not make the cut, including much of its findings on the failures of federal law enforcement leading up to the attack,” Holt said.
“The images of the attack on the Capitol stunned America and the world. And tonight, in an exclusive interview, the chief investigator for the January 6 Committee says the government could have prevented it,” NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian reported.
Tim Heaphy, former lead investigator for the Jan. 6 Committee, told NBC that if intelligence agencies acted on the information they had they could have prevented the Capitol riot from occurring.
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“I think it would have been a lot different had law enforcement taken a more assertive, protective posture. The intel in advance was pretty specific, and it was enough in our view for law enforcement to have done a better job operationalizing a secure perimeter, Heaphy said.
“Law enforcement had a very direct role in contributing to really the failures, the security failures that led to the violence,” he continued.
Dilanian reported that “people familiar with the committee’s work told NBC News members downplayed that finding because they wanted to keep the focus on former President Trump”. He noted that members of the committee dispute that account.
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“Heaphy says the committee found the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies did not act on the intelligence they had,” NBC reported.
Law enforcement agencies’ actions surrounding Jan 6. have long been criticized by some within the conservative movement. When questioned by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, whether FBI agents participated in the Capitol riot, senior FBI official Jill Sanborn refused to answer.
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The Jan. 6 riots have been used by Democrats as a weapon against Republicans since it occurred. Various investigations into Trump’s rhetoric and actions leading up to the attack are under way.
The former President launched his third consecutive White House bid in November and seeks to reclaim the presidency despite whatever political damage he has incurred since leaving office.