DOJ official says he expects they will charge “hundreds” of rioters in the coming weeks
Rep. Brad Schneider, a Democrat from Illinois, was among the members forced to take shelter as rioters took over the Capitol on Wednesday.
He told CNN he is extremely frustrated by the lack of information coming from Capitol Police as to what went wrong and what changes will be made as a result of the insurrection.
“I am frustrated, extremely frustrated that we have not had those briefings, not just us but to the American people. What happened, where it broke down, what we know, what we’re learning from that, you get more briefings, from a local robbery than we’ve gotten on this,” Schneider said.
“I have been a part of conversations and reports within the Democratic caucus. We have not had a full briefing. We can’t have a classified briefing, at least I’m not, I don’t have the technology to be a part of a classified briefing, so I haven’t been a part of that,” he added.
Schneider expressed admiration for the rank and file Capitol Police officers, who he believed did the best they could under difficult circumstances, but he was quick to point out it was a position they did not need to be in.
“What happened on Wednesday, was preventable. It was predictable first. There was reports, you just have to look at social media I saw a report today that the FBI was concerned about effectively quote unquote a war in the Capitol. It was preventable. There were steps that I believe that Capitol Police, others could have taken to keep the crowd away, and have fallback positions, so that even if they broke the first barrier, they could have stopped him at the secondary or even the third, and it should have been just managed much better. We’re hearing more and more reports about slow response, poor communications,” he said.
Schneider is not alone in his concern. Many members believe they are not getting nearly the level of information they need from Capitol Police and, according to a high level Democratic aide, the frustration is growing.
“For every suspicious package on the Hill I will get 10 emails in real time. Then when it comes to this biggest security breach in recent time, we hear very little,” the aide said.
Specifically, the complaint is that there is little real time information being shared from Capitol Police and this staff member doesn’t feel there is a level of coordination when it comes to updates and alerts – it’s basically radio silence. Aside from a briefing that was hastily arranged Monday night, there has been no chief of staff briefing from Capitol Police for the members.
Schneider also expressed concern that some Capitol Police officers may have been involved or helped the rioters. He said that radicalization in the ranks of the military and law enforcement has been a problem for some time and one that needs to be addressed.
“I have heard about that and yes, I’ve been concerned about the radicalization within our law enforcement and even our military for a long time,” said Schneider. He pointed to legislation he has introduced in the past to address the issue.
“We need to understand the risk, and then develop the plans and implement those plans to address and eliminate that risk. My hope is that in this new Congress, we’ll be able to do that,” he added.