Domestic Terrorism

Aiding or Abetting

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Last week's breach of the capitol building in Washington was clearly a failure of leadership, among other things, but we also saw images and video footage of Capitol Police officers taking selfies with the intruders and even allowing them into the building.

As far as we know, most Capitol Police officers did their duty as best as they could even though their leaders hung them out to dry, but some of them are now under investigation.

At least 50 elected officials and others in public sector jobs are facing internal inquiries or investigations that, in some cases, have resulted in temporary suspensions pending investigations, based on a Reuters examination of public statements, news reports and video footage.

At least two Capitol police officers have been suspended and more than a dozen others are under investigation for alleged dereliction of duty or aiding or abetting rioters.

For some public employees caught on video or social media rioting inside the Capitol, the consequences have been swift, including arrests and job termination. Two off-duty police officers from Virginia faced criminal charges Wednesday after posting a picture of themselves on Jan. 6 in front of the Capitol’s statue of John Stark and bragging about their behavior, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in the District of Columbia.

If somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 Capitol Police officers refused to their duty, that probably doesn't entirely explain why the attackers got so far, but it has to have been a big part of it.

On the other hand, we don't know exactly how some of them allegedly aided the rioters. Did their aid go beyond merely letting them in the door? Did they give them directions once they were inside?

This raises grim questions about the vetting process for Capitol Police officers and increases my own level of concern about the various security details around congressional Democrats. How many of them secretly believe in QAnon? How many of them believe the election was stolen?

I'm not quite as worried about incoming President Joe Biden's security detail because after four years of Trump, Biden has to be one of the best things that has ever happened to the Secret Service.