A high-ranking Capitol Police officer, who was also a vocal Donald Trump supporter, told those under his command not to wear riot gear on January 6, according to internal documents reviewed by CNN that detail allegations submitted to an officer tip line.
In this case, an unidentified Capitol Police lieutenant emailed the tip line to say the supervising officer in question “may have assisted the insurrection attempts through passive action.”
The lieutenant said the officer had “been rather vocal in the past about his support for Trump, but little was thought of it until the … examples I observed.”
Specifically, the lieutenant detailed how other squads wore Civil Disturbance Unit “hard gear,” but the officer at the center of the complaint told his squad not to wear theirs. The lieutenant believed the decision “resulted in one or more officers being sent to the hospital.”
The tipster also described the high-ranking officer leaning against a wall, taking no action, as other officers tried to hold back the mob.
It’s unclear what investigators concluded in the case or if any disciplinary action was recommended. This spring, the Capitol Police inspector general told Congress that an order to hold back heavy riot-control weapons left the department at a grave disadvantage fighting the mob.
These previously unreported documents showcase how Capitol Police officers flooded the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility following January 6 with concerns about the conduct of fellow officers before and after the Capitol attack.
Other documents reviewed by CNN provide previously undisclosed details in the cases of several officers recommended for disciplinary action, including one officer who was turned in to the FBI by a long-time friend concerned that the officer had disclosed the secret location where members of Congress were whisked on January 6.
All of the documents are part of a months-long internal investigation by Capitol Police and have not been made publicly available. The officers’ names and identifying information have been redacted from the documents.
Last weekend, Capitol Police announced that disciplinary action had been recommended against officers in six cases. The department said the US Attorney’s office concluded there was not enough evidence to charge any of the officers, but several have been slapped with violations ranging from conduct unbecoming to failure to comply with directives and improper remarks.
The Capitol Police has declined to discuss the complaints or provide details about the disciplinary cases.
CNN reviewed more than a dozen case files and found a range of allegations from the rank-and-file, as well as a number of conclusions and disciplinary recommendations from Capitol Police investigators.
In the case involving the FBI tip, the officer turned in by his friend for revealing the secret location for lawmakers is facing discipline from the department, but no criminal charges.
“I don’t want to report a friend of forty years,” the unidentified friend told Capitol Police investigators about his tip to the FBI. “But he says enough concerning statements that I feel like I need to do this. … He’s just fallen into this cult and these beliefs.”
The details of this case were previously reported by The Miami Herald.
The tipster said his Capitol Police officer friend recounted details during their conversations about how members of Congress were transported to a secure location during the events of January 6. It “sent alarm bells off that he would just casually give that info,” the tipster told investigators.
There is no allegation in the report that the officer gave any information to rioters on or around January 6. But the officer’s friend felt compelled to report the incident to the FBI because he’d grown increasingly concerned about the officer’s political beliefs and expressions.
“He often implies that Antifa is behind everything and … he said something similar to, you probably want to get your gun because there is probably going to be civil war. … and that really bugged me.”
The supervising officer was questioned about his alleged reveal of secure location information and responded: “I don’t remember it but … if you say you’ve got a witness. … I don’t think I would have said that,” according to the report. Capitol Police ultimately recommended disciplinary action for improper dissemination of information.
At least 170 email complaints about selfie
Another officer received a recommendation for discipline after investigators discovered he posed for several pictures with pro-Trump supporters who breached the Capitol on January 6.
The internal documents detail how the Office of Professional Responsibility received at least 170 email complaints about the incident after photos of the officer posing appeared in news stories and the video went viral online.
The officer “was seen talking with a group, who didn’t appear to be leaving” and at one point “leaned in to take a ‘selfie’ with a gentleman.”
The new documents also recount a wave of complaints from officers about their co-workers in the wake of January 6. Most were dismissed as unfounded, or not violating the rules of conduct, but the complaints reveal how the Capitol Police force became somewhat splintered following January 6 as officers questioned each other’s political beliefs and motivations.
One tipster called out a USCP officer for “sending me misogynistic and racist memes and messages on Facebook for years. … I can’t imagine that he was compelled to perform his duty when his like-minded rioters attacked today.”
Others flagged social media accounts where their fellow Capitol Police officers posted pro-Trump images and memes on social media.
One officer pointed to a post from another officer depicting Donald Trump in a scene from the popular show “Game of Thrones,” where one of the main characters overthrows a city to claim it as her own.
The tipster wrote of the post: “Donald Trump is positioned in the same manner the dictator was when she gave her victory speech to the army.”