An explosive new report from the Washington Post details just how woefully unprepared law enforcement officials were before the Jan. 6 insurrection, despite a trove of warning signs in the weeks leading up to the attack. Donell Harvin, the head of intelligence at D.C.’s homeland security office, was trying to sound the alarm to federal law enforcement agencies, mostly to no avail.
Harvin’s San Francisco counterpart, Mike Sena, shared his sense of urgency when it became clear that Trump loyalists were planning a violent attack on Congress while legislators certified the electoral college vote, confirming that Trump lost and current President Joe Biden won.
Since 9/11, many fusion centers have been implemented in an effort to protect national security, but Sena was not prepared for the hundreds of callers lighting up the call board with warnings of what was to come. The centers were blinking red for the first time, all warning about Jan. 6 at 1 p.m. in the U.S. Capitol. Yet, the FBI ignored the red flags from local officials, FBI informants, social media, former national security officials, researchers, lawmakers, and tipsters.
Officials at the Pentagon were also feeling uneasy about what could potentially unfold. Some were still traumatized at the idea of then-President Trump utilizing the National Guard to keep his job, and others believed that his right-wing extremist fanbase could cause a deadly confrontation similar to the Boston Massacre.
Despite having tracked social media posts warning of the incident, the department’s lack of communication and preparedness became more and more evident when hundreds of Trump supporters encountered and attacked police while donning shields and gas masks.
Trump knew of the unhinged debacle occurring outside as it was going and numerous leaders, lawmakers, and White House aides begged him to intervene. But, instead, he waited for 187 minutes with his eyes glued to the TV before acknowledging the issue at hand.
A week after the insurrection, Maricopa County, Arizona, took part in the Big Lie alleging voter fraud, forcing a chaotic review of ballots spread across other regions and states.
The fear of violence continues today—election officials in at least 17 states allege a massive amount of threats to their personal safety and lives.