Washington (Trends Wide) — A whistleblower who identified himself as a former high-ranking US Capitol Police official criticized the department’s leadership before, during and after the deadly January 6 insurrection in a new letter to Congress.
The 16-page letter, obtained by Trends Wide and first reported by Politico, claims that two Capitol Police officers, Deputy Director Yogananda Pittman and Acting Deputy Director Sean Gallagher, did not share vital intelligence with other police leaders and did not act to helping officers once the violence started on January 6, but they haven’t seen any consequences in the months since. The letter, dated September 28, is addressed to the leaders of the United States House and Senate.
The complainant said he is a high-ranking ex-police officer with more than 30 years of service in the department who was working there at the time of the attack.
Some of the allegations in the letter reflect criticisms contained in reports from the Senate Judiciary Committee and the inspector general. But the letter especially targets the department’s leadership, accusing some congressional leaders of having “intentionally failed” to tell the truth about the department’s failures.
The alleged failures of Pittman and Gallagher, the former department official wrote, have been “sidelined, insignificantly investigated, categorically underestimated, and without accountability. Indeed, as many have noted, they have been restored to exactly the same positions as if they weren’t responsible for the biggest intelligence failure in the history of the United States Capitol Police, it’s staggering. “
The former department official alleges that the couple did not share intelligence information with the department that would have “changed the paradigm of that day” and that during the attack, “they did not try to help or assist as agents and officials were literally fighting for each other, for their lives and for Congress. “
“What I observed was that most of them were sitting there, staring in shock at the television screens that showed real-time images of the police and officials fighting for Congress and their lives,” said the former department official, who said that they were at the command center during part of the attack, he wrote.
A law enforcement source defended Pittman and Gallagher to Trends Wide, saying they didn’t stop acting but instead focused on successfully ensuring the protection of lawmakers, who were all evacuated unharmed.
Still, the letter underscored the ways in which the Capitol Police Department continues to deal with the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection more than nine months after the attack. The sheer shock of the event, and the criticism from the department that followed, has prompted the department to make some quick changes, such as rank-and-file cops now receiving daily intelligence alerts on their cell phones.
The Capitol Police executive team, which includes Pittman and Gallagher, said in a statement to Trends Wide that “a lot has changed since January 6” and while “there is more work to be done, many of the problems described in the letter have been addressed. “
“The leaders of the Capitol Police, under new Chief Tom Manger, are committed to learning from past mistakes and protecting our brave police officers, who fought valiantly on January 6, so that we can continue to carry out the critical mission of the Department, “the statement said.
“The men and women of this Department are committed to that critical mission. Our goal is to work as a team, move forward, and advance the work that keeps the US Capitol and the people who work here safe.”
Both Pittman and Gallagher were among the top leaders of the force who received a vote of no confidence from department members a month after the attack.
A vote of no confidence was one of the most adverse actions the union could take to express its discontent with the leaders. The move spelled deep frustration by Capitol Police officers with management and sent the strongest message officers can deliver as a unified group.