With help from Andrew Desiderio and Burgess Everett.
JAN. 6 REPORT DROPS: A long-awaited bipartisan report from two Senate committees on the Jan. 6 insurrection has finally arrived. While it sheds light on the scope of the intelligence failures by Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, there’s just as much that the report from the Senate Homeland Security and Rules Committees doesn’t answer.
THE TL;DR on what we learned: We already know about many of the intelligence failures leading up to the attack from previous testimony — but what we learned in this report largely involves the Capitol Police’s intelligence lapses and other stumbles by federal law enforcement.
Despite learning about social media posts calling for violence at the Capitol, online sharing of Capitol tunnel maps and plots to breach the building and open calls for violence against members, the Capitol Police’s intelligence division “did not convey the full scope of known information to USCP leadership, rank-and-file officers, or law enforcement partners.”
- Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman told investigators less-lethal munitions like pepperballs and grenade launchers were not used because Capitol Police didn’t have “sufficient personnel” trained to use them.
- Officers did not recall ever hearing then-Chief Steven Sund on the radio “at any point” during the insurrection and only heard Pittman once.
- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, asked in a Jan. 4 conference call with the Cabinet if there was a way to revoke permits for the protesters who had been allowed to assemble on Capitol grounds — and also suggested locking down D.C. on Jan. 6. Both requests were effectively denied.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW: The report was strictly circumscribed in its scope, examining only security, preparation and response to the insurrection. It doesn’t get into larger questions about the origins of the attack, the White House’s actions or groups that participated. Democrats take pains to say that many of those questions are left for other investigations (like the independent Jan. 6 commission recently filibustered by Senate Republicans).
The report is already making waves on Capitol Hill. A top Capitol Police official, Chad Thomas, its second-ranking official charged with most of its uniformed officers, resigned Monday ahead of the report’s release. And it could put more pressure on acting Chief Pittman, who led the department’s intelligence division during the attack.
The Capitol Police said in a statement that it welcomed the report and agreed with the need for improvements but disputed its criticism of their intelligence-gathering. They reiterated the department’s position that there was “no specific, credible intelligence” about an attack on the Capitol before Jan. 6.
More from your Huddle host: https://politi.co/34WgVeX
And the full, nearly 100-page report: https://politi.co/3wXZNkK
Related: “DC Officer Beaten During Capitol Riot Reflects on Injuries, Family and Future” by NBC Washington’s Mark Segraves: https://bit.ly/2TEQnfB
HAPPY TUESDAY! Welcome to Huddle, the play-by-play guide to all things Capitol Hill, on this June 8, where your Huddle host is scratching his head at the Cher tweets (and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s response).
MONDAY’S MOST CLICKED: The AP’s story on Democrats’ agenda being put to the test was the big winner.
HELP IS ON THE WAY — The Senate on Monday night unanimously passed a bill to expand medical care for victims of suspected directed-energy attacks. The bipartisan effort came after POLITICO first reported extensively on the uptick in these types of attacks on U.S. diplomats and spies around the world and on American soil. The bill authorizes funding for medical treatment and gives the CIA director and secretary of state additional flexibility to determine how the money is spent.
But it also requires both agencies to keep lawmakers apprised of how the money is being spent. Lawmakers have lamented that victims have faced significant bureaucratic hurdles to getting the proper medical attention, so it’s no surprise that there are some strings attached.
Marc Polymeropoulos, a former CIA officer who was hit with a suspected directed-energy weapon in Moscow, had this to say about the bill’s passage: “It is an emotional time for many of the victims, who have suffered not only from the moral injury of being rejected by their respective national security institutions, the pain and suffering of their invisible wounds, but also that they paid sometimes thousands of dollars out of pocket for their own health care.”
More from Andrew: https://politi.co/3gnA1js
QUICK CLICKS: “Ohio Republican women are running for Congress and U.S. Senate. Can they catch up to Democrats?” by the Columbus Dispatch’s Haley BeMiller: https://bit.ly/3w1s89D; “Will GOP mapmakers give Austin a Democratic U.S. House district? Some experts say that’s a likely scenario,” by the Austin American-Statesman’s Maria Recio https://bit.ly/3crYZNo; “New Super PAC formed with one goal: Fire Madison Cawthorn,” by the Asheville Citizen Times’ Derek Lacey: https://bit.ly/2T7wqht
BACKSTOP BACKDROP — Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) will talk to Biden on Tuesday about infrastructure, and those discussions seem to be winding down due to a $700 billion gap, give or take. But a handful of members from the bipartisan G20 group of moderate senators are also preparing an infrastructure proposal and will discuss it on Tuesday, according to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).
Romney said they’ve pretty much agreed on a spending level and will propose a list of ways to pay for it – though he conceded that the larger group may want to alter it or even possibly “just throw it out altogether.” He and the other members of their sub-group will present their work on Tuesday, but until then they aren’t giving details like a top-line number. “Not going to reveal that. I’d have to shoot you if I did,” Romney said on Monday. We’re told it’s about $900 billion over five years, including current spending levels.
MANCHIN ANGST — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is sparking outright fury from liberals — with some Black Democrats invoking Jim Crow laws and Mitch McConnell as they blast the West Virginian’s resistance to a sweeping elections bill. Manchin’s fellow Senate Democrats are being far more conciliatory.
As Burgess and Marianne report, because of the Senate’s 50-50 split, even its most progressive members might not want to poke the bear publicly yet — they’ll still need Manchin’s vote. But angst is quietly rising within the Democratic caucus about his approach.
“Of course I’m frustrated. Who isn’t frustrated?” said one Senate Democrat who requested anonymity to speak freely. “Do you want to see the patches where I pulled my hair out?”
More from Burgess and Marianne: https://politi.co/3cpKidM
Related reads: “Schumer recommending 2 voting rights lawyers to be judges,” by the AP’s Michael Balsamo: https://bit.ly/3g04m8F; “What’s in the massive Democratic bill Joe Manchin just tanked,” by Zach Montellaro https://politi.co/3gbRNG8; “How Joe Manchin Survives as a Democrat in West Virginia,” by the New York Times’ Nate Cohn: https://nyti.ms/2T6Xrl8
FIRST IN HUDDLE — Economic Security Project Action, a left-leaning group, is launching a new campaign targeting Capito with billboards and digital ads throughout West Virginia for what they say is her attempt to “gut” the Child Tax Credit in their negotiations over the infrastructure package.
“The Child Tax Credit is a lifeline for millions of families in West Virginia and across the nation, and Senator Capito is leading Republicans in trying to pull the rug out from under West Virginia families at the very moment they need the support the most,” Natalie Foster, the group’s co-founder said in a statement.
STRANGE — Newsmax, the conservative news outlet, recently rejected Rep. Matt Gaetz’s request for a job, according to Reuters. The outlet notes that his overtures to the network began “around the time that news broke Gaetz was the subject of a federal investigation into possible sex trafficking of a minor.”
“Newsmax has had no plans to hire Rep. Gaetz,” said Brian Peterson, a Newsmax spokesperson told Reuters.
More from Reuters’ Mark Hosenball: https://reut.rs/3psPEds
NATURE IS HEALING — Two-thirds of Republican lawmakers’ town halls are being held in person, whereas Democrats are mostly opting for virtual ones, according to new data from Legistorm. Of the 73 town hall Republicans have held since May, 49 took place in person. Democrats held 108 in the same timeframe but only 11% were in person.
More from Legistorm: https://bit.ly/3z9qyER
NATURE HEALS MORE — After several delayed starts, Cups, the beloved eatery and coffee shop in Russell Senate Office Building, is finally set to make a return. Per NBC’s Garrett Haake, it’ll reopen next Monday at 7 a.m. For your info, the @HillEats account is keeping a handy tracker on the reopening of Capitol Hill eateries.
Lia Albini is joining Civic Nation as its Chief Communications Officer. Alibini was previously Deputy Communications Director for Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)… Miriam Cash is now deputy comms director for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). She previously was press secretary for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)… Morgan Butler is now engagement and outreach manager for public policy at Twitter. She most recently was digital director for House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)… Former Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) is joining Utah State University’s Center for Growth and Opportunity as national outreach director.
TODAY IN CONGRESS
The House has a pro forma session at 10:00 a.m.
The Senate is in at 10:00 a.m.
AROUND THE HILL
9:30 a.m. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S.-China competition. Former Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger testifies.
10 a.m. House Veterans’ Affairs Committee virtual hearing on Biden’s fiscal 2022 budget request. Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs Denis McDonough testifies.
10 a.m. House Ways and Means Committee virtual hearing on Biden’s fiscal 2022 budget request for the HHS. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra testifies.
10 a.m. Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Biden’s fiscal 2022 budget request for the Department of State. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies.
10 a.m. Senate Finance Committee hearing on Biden’s fiscal 2022 budget request for the IRS. IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig testifies.
10 a.m. Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on critical infrastructure and the Colonial Pipeline attack. Colonial Pipeline President Joseph Blount testifies.
10 a.m. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on pending nominations, including the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to be Director of the Bureau of Land Management.
11 a.m. Senate Budget Committee hearing on Biden’s fiscal 2022 budget request. Acting OMB Director Shalanda Young testifies.
Noon. POLITICO live hosts a virtual discussion on the role of a circular economy in fighting climate change. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), among others, participates.
2 p.m. House Energy and Commerce Consumer Protection Subcommittee virtual hearing on the Department of Commerce’s fiscal 2022 budget. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo testifies.
2:15 p.m. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Biden’s fiscal 2022 budget request for the Department of State. Blinken testifies.
MONDAY’S WINNER: Steve Yang was the first person to correctly guess that Postmaster General James Farley ran against Franklin Roosevelt in 1940. Roosevelt beat Farley by a huge margin at the Democratic Convention.
TODAY’S QUESTION: From Steve: Who is the last “Watergate Baby” to remain in Congress and what, if any, offices does this Congressperson currently hold?
The first person to correctly guess gets a mention in the next edition of Huddle. Send your answer to [email protected].
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Follow Nicholas on Twitter: @nicholaswu12