(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Newly released videos of the Jan. 6, 2021, protest-turned-riot includes footage of an FBI agent wandering Capitol Hill—confirming earlier rumors and reports that the bureau had personnel in the building that day.
The footage shows the FBI agent near the Hall of Columns South Door around 3:05 p.m., apparently interacting with Capitol Police and members of an armed tactical team. By this time, law enforcement had cleared most of the protestors out of the building.
The footage appears to be of the “secret commandos with shoot-to-kill authority,” the existence of which was first reported by Newsweek in January 2022. The commandos in a photo for that article seem to be the same ones shown in the newly released footage, which was released Friday by House Speaker Mike Johnson.
According to Newsweek, the Jan. 6 Capitol commandos included members of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, its national “Render Safe” team and its SWAT team from the Baltimore Field Office, along with Special Response Teams from the ATF and the U.S. Marshals Service Special Operations Group.
“On the morning of January 6, most of these forces staged closer to downtown Washington, particularly after intelligence was received indicating a possible threat to FBI headquarters building or the FBI’s Washington Field Office,” Newsweek said of the secret commandos.
“FBI tactical teams arrived on Capitol Hill early in the day to assist in the collection of evidence at sites—including the Republican and Democratic party national headquarters—where explosive devices were found. FBI SWAT teams and snipers were deployed to secure nearby congressional office buildings,” the outlet added.
“Other FBI agents provided selective security around the U.S. Capitol and protection to congressional members and staff.”
Along with discrediting the notion that Jan. 6 posed a true danger to the legislators inside the Capitol, the presence of highly armed FBI personnel also raises grave questions about what national security officials knew about the event beforehand, and why they weren’t better prepared on the front lines.
Newsweek acknowledged these questions in its January 2022 article, pointing out that then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen deployed the commandos unilaterally.
“There was no formal request from the U.S. Capitol Police, the Secret Service, or the Metropolitan Police Department—in fact, no external request from any agency. The leadership in Justice and the FBI anticipated the worst and decided to act independently, the special operations forces lurking behind the scenes,” Newsweek said.
“The lingering question is: What was it that the Justice Department saw that provoked it to see January 6 as an extraordinary event, something that the other agencies evidently missed.”
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.