- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 4, 2021

Washington’s top security official on Thursday pushed back against claims that the FBI did not share information about the potential for violence ahead of last month’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Christopher Rodriguez, director of Washington’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said the FBI warned local authorities that violence could follow a rally headlined by former President Trump.

“We have good information-sharing relationships with the Washington field office, and we were getting information from them about the potential for violence,” he said in testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee.

“The issue here was not the lack of intelligence for information. The issue here was the inability or unwillingness to act on the information,” he said. 

Mr. Rodriguez said his office immediately tipped off the U.S. Capitol Police and Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department.

“We did convene the Metropolitan Police Department, and my office convened a variety of different phone calls, and briefings with all our federal partners made sure that everyone had the same intelligence,” he continued.

When pressed on which federal agencies he spoke with, Mr. Rodriguez said he was in contact with the FBI, Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security as early as mid-December.

“We had known there would be violence around the election period, and we could see protracted violence through the inauguration period,” he said. 

The FBI has been the target of criticism from lawmakers and the media, who say the bureau did not share intelligence that right-wing extremist groups were planning violence at the Capitol.

An FBI field office flagged an anonymous post on a message board threatening violence but said it was vague and officials were unable to verify it ahead of the rally.

After Mr. Trump and others finished speaking, a violent mob stormed the Capitol to stop Congress from certifying President Biden’s election victory. The mayhem resulted in the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police officer.

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