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Capitol miscalculated threat from pro-Trump rally, DC police chief says

Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF

The Washington, D.C. police chief believes the Capitol Police miscalculated what President Donald Trump supporters, who are generally pro-law enforcement, would do before a group stormed the Capitol Wednesday, the DCist reported Friday.

Acting Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee III said that unlike the Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) prepared for the pro-Trump rallies by discussing mutual aid efforts with other agencies prior to Wednesday’s events and making sure they had resources on hand to respond to any unrest, the DCist reported.

“I believe that there was a miscalculation on what [Capitol Police] were actually going to be dealing with on their part,” Contee said on The Politics Hour.

“A lot of these supporters of our president that were out are normally law enforcement supporters, that kind of thing, perhaps there was a miscalculation. I mean, that would be my guess, that there was a miscalculation in terms of what they would or would not do,” Contee added.

Contee attributed the difference in the MPD’s response to not having jurisdiction on the Capitol grounds unless invited, the DCist reported. He added that the MPD did not have specific intelligence of a potential breach of the Capitol Building.

“There was no specific intelligence where someone says, ‘Hey, I’m going to place a bomb or I’m going to do this,’” Contee said on the Politics Hour. “You know, there was no specific intelligence.”

Some Trump supporters discussed targeting the Capitol Building on a public online forum before the events took place, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported. One user said it was the group’s “primary objective” to “Encircle congress” and “make sure they can’t leave.”

Another user suggested bringing “belts and whips” to the rally in order to “storm the Capitol,” the DCNF reported.

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