Dec 7, 2021
Senate Hearing Oversight Capitol Police After January 6 Attack: Transcript
Inspector General Michael Bolton testified at a Senate hearing about Capitol Police’s efforts to improve their procedures after the January 6 attack. Read the transcript of the December 7 hearing here.
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Senator Klobuchar: (00:00)
… which of course included mistakes at the top of the Capitol Police, mistakes of leadership within this building, and then mistakes on the side of the Defense Department and other agencies. And so we are greatly appreciative of what Mr. Michael Bolton, the inspector general for the Capitol Police, has done. I want to thank you for being here, Inspector Bolton, welcome your wife, who’s also with us today. We will try not to ask her questions if you can’t answer them. And I think you know the significance of this moment. We are here just over 11 months after the violent insurrection at the Capitol. Why? Because this committee has responsibility of oversight of the police.
Senator Klobuchar: (00:53)
As we approach this year’s end, we will hear more today about the measures that have already been taken to improve the Capitol Police Department’s preparedness and operations, as well as the work that still needs to be done. You, inspector general, put together a comprehensive list. I remember Senator Blunt and I reviewing it as we prepared our own recommendations, a comprehensive list of over a hundred recommendations. We consolidated some of those, came up with some of our own, that as I noted, were outside of the police department, as well. And I think January 6th is a pretty good date to get the vast number of these things done, which we will be telling the Sergeant At Arms of both bodies, as well as the Capitol Police chief.
Senator Klobuchar: (01:43)
But we know progress has been made, and in the new year, we will continue this discussion, as our first hearing will be with the new Capitol Police chief. And then we can get much more focused on the details of our own recommendations. So in June, the week before you testified, Mr. Bolton, before this committee, we issued our bipartisan report with the Homeland Security Committee, as I noted, focused on the security, planning, and response failures of that day, that unprecedented horrific day. Our report laid out key findings and recommendations. And importantly, as I noted, progress has been made in putting many of those recommendations in place.
Senator Klobuchar: (02:31)
We recommended that the Capitol Police produce a department-wide operational plan for all large scale events at the Capitol, and now those plans are standard procedure and have been used several times since then. The department has also worked to improve its handling of intelligence, including by making sure that information is shared with rank and file officers, another of our recommendations. We said that Congress should provide sufficient funding to support Capitol Police training and equipment requirements, as well as needed staffing levels.
Senator Klobuchar: (03:06)
And in July, President Biden signed our emergency funding legislation into law, which passed both houses of this Congress, to deliver resources to do just that, significant resources in the supplemental budget that many of us on this committee worked with Senator Leahy, who is a member of this committee, as well as Senator Shelby, to make sure that these resources were included. We didn’t want to wait till year end. We wanted to get it done immediately. That legislation also provided funding for mental health support for officers, something I’ve strongly supported.
Senator Klobuchar: (03:43)
Another recommendation was for the Capitol Police board to appoint a new police chief, which it did in July, with the selection of Chief Manger. For the past several months, Chief Manger has worked to make needed changes and implement recommendations both from our report, as well as from your inspector general report, Mr. Bolton. At our last hearing with you, you updated us on the review of Capitol Police policies and practices since the insurrection, including on the four reports you issued at that time. Since then, you have finished three more reports, detailing issues that impacted the department’s response to the events of January 6th, and you are finishing a final report, outlining your findings and progress to address them.
Senator Klobuchar: (04:31)
Significantly, you have issued a total of 104 recommendations, of which 30 have now been implemented, in an effort to ensure that the department is equipped to fulfill its mission. And it’s not as though work is not being done on the other recommendations. As you know, they are in progress. And as I noted, we will have an ideal moment at the beginning of January to go back through with the chief himself the work that needs to be done, the work that is done. And so this kind of alert to those working on these recommendations, not just, not just with the Capitol Police, but the other agencies as well, that they get their work done.
Senator Klobuchar: (05:12)
This work is crucial to improving the security of the Capitol and also to supporting the brave officers who served heroically in unimaginable circumstances. It was an honor to stand with some of those officers with Senator Blunt and their families as the president signed our bipartisan legislation to honor the heroes who defended our democracy with the Congressional Gold Medal. We owe it to these courageous officers to make sure they have the resources and support and the rules in place to do their jobs.
Senator Klobuchar: (05:50)
Since January 6th, anyone that walks around this Capitol, talks to officers, as I do, asks officers questions, see how they’re doing, you find out, one, that there has been some improvement in morale, which I think is really important. They lost so many of their fellow officers, including those who sadly died by suicide. But we also know from them, there continues to be staff shortages. We have now put the money forward for that, but this police department, like many across the country, is facing staff shortages, and we must fill those jobs.
Senator Klobuchar: (06:28)
As our country moves forward, we know that there are many issues that merit serious consideration. A major investigation, which I support, is going on, bipartisan investigation in the House of Representatives, looking back at the root causes of what happened, with recommendations. Our job today is to look at the security at the Capitol. And I look forward to discussing your findings, Inspector General Bolton, the progress that has been made at the Capitol Police Department in the past several months, and certainly the work that lies ahead, not only with the Capitol Police Department, but getting answers to the other issues we raised in our report, along with Senator Peters and Senator Portman, with regard to the other agencies and how they work with the Capitol Police. Thank you very much, Mr. Bolton, and we look forward to hearing from you. I’ll turn it over to my friend and colleague, Senator Blunt.
Senator Blunt: (07:23)
Well, thank you, Senator Klobuchar, and thank you, also, for your focus on these issues. I think the fact that we quickly began to look into what had happened and to try to come up with our own recommendations, and as I think you also pointed out, we referenced the IG’s recommendations at the time, and I know there are new recommendations we’re going to hear about today. This is the fourth hearing that this committee’s had regarding the January 6th attack on the Capitol, and the second time we’ve had a chance to have the US Capitol Police inspector general come and be here with us today. I appreciate the opportunity to talk to him as he concludes what is his 11 month investigation. It began also immediately. There were recommendations made immediately and others to be made today.
Senator Blunt: (08:17)
Glad to have Mr. Bolton’s wife, Bridget, here with us today, and I’ll share Senator Klobuchar’s charge view that we will not ask her any questions that you aren’t able to answer. But I know she’s proud of your work. And I know the amount of work you’ve had to put in to cover this territory, to come up with all the recommendations you have over the last 11 months, has meant that your family has had to be an important and patient part of that. And we’re grateful to Bridget for what she’s done to support this work, as well.
Senator Blunt: (08:55)
The impact on the department has been clear, though I think we’re still trying to be sure we fully understand the impact today. The detailed 104 recommendations from your office, made with the help of the department’s Operational Readiness Committee, has made a difference already. As I’ve said before, what you do and what we’ve talked about and what your report makes clear and what Senator Klobuchar just mentioned, the frontline officers were the true heroes that day. They defended the Capitol bravely and without hesitation, particularly those officers at that door on the west side of the Capitol, secured that door for a significant period of time, never even getting the information that there were already people who had breached the building in other ways. My colleagues and I remain incredibly grateful for the dedication of the Capitol Police and what they do to not just protect the Congress, but protect everyone who works here and everyone who visits here. And it’s incredibly important.
Senator Blunt: (10:11)
I’d like to highlight two divisions that were subjects of your most recent flash report. They, according to your report, and something that we all I think had no surprise in, you described their performance as exceptional and excellent, the Dignitary Protection Division and the Hazard Incident Response Division. First, the Dignitary Protection Unit Division successfully evacuated and relocated all of the congressional protectees on January the sixth, even without having the critical intelligence that they would’ve needed in advance to know the kinds of things that might happen that day.
Senator Blunt: (10:58)
Second, the Hazardous Incident Response Division disposed of multiple hazardous devices found on or near the Capitol campus. Later that day, those teams conducted sweeps of the Capitol grounds and buildings, which really allowed us to get back to the important work of the joint session. That division could have created all kinds of a sense, well, we need to have more time, we’re worn out, we’re exhausted. Nobody did that, and that allowed us to get back in the Capitol. I think Senator Klobuchar and Senator Warner and others here were back in the Capitol by eight o’clock or so. And when we left the Capitol at 3:30 that morning, Senator Klobuchar, we were able to do that, knowing that that building had been secured by the Capitol Police, who also understood, I think, the importance of the work we do here.
Senator Blunt: (11:52)
It would’ve been an easy moment to say, well, let’s come back tomorrow, or we need another 48 hours, but the Capitol Police, and particularly the unit that had to do the sweep of the Capitol, also shared and understood the importance of the work we do here. Any comments or questions I have today regarding any deficiencies of the Capitol Police are certainly not meant to disparage or reflect on the rank and file or diminish their actions on the sixth. And frankly, our questions, I think, and certainly mine, are likely to continue to be about the leadership failures that day.
Senator Blunt: (12:34)
I think the committee should hear, and I’m glad that the chairwoman has decided we will hear in January from Chief Manger. There’s no better time to find out what the Capitol Police have done in what will then have been the past 12 months to be sure that this kind of thing can’t happen again, and if it does happen again, we would be much better prepared for it in ways that would ensure, frankly, that the kind of events that happened that day would not be successfully repeated or even attempted.
Senator Blunt: (13:10)
It’s important that we understand limitations that have prevented the Capitol Police from fully implementing the recommendations that you made and our committee has made, but there better be limits that make sense, whenever we have a chance to talk to the chief about those limits in this committee in January. The chairwoman and I drafted legislation that would provide the police chief with unilateral authority to request emergency assistance from the National Guard. Even this week, Senator Klobuchar, we’re reading stories about some of the testimony that we took eight months ago, in finding out that that testimony is still as highly dubious as it appeared to be the day we took that testimony.
Senator Blunt: (14:04)
We worked with our colleagues with the supplemental bill to provide the department with additional necessary funding for salaries. Many officers were reaching their salary cap. And obviously with officers leaving, the officers that remained were asked to do more and more. We’ve also looked at overtime pay and trauma support, riot control equipment for all officers, and specialized training for those officers that need to be part of specialized units. I think we’re going to work together to see that the officers are better trained, better equipped, and better prepared. We owe that to the frontline officers and their families. They do everything they can every day to protect the members of Congress, the congressional officers, employees, and visitors to the Capitol on a daily basis. And we are grateful for that and glad you’re here today.
Senator Klobuchar: (15:09)
Well, thank you very much, Senator Blunt. And when I think of that day, I think of the two of us, as you noted, at 3:30 in the morning, walking across those hallways, those corridors, with broken glass on every side, with those two young women with the mahogany box with the last of the electoral ballots. And I think that is forever seared in our memories. And so much of this is not just getting to the root causes, which is critical, what’s happening in the House, but it’s making sure it never happens again. And that is going to be about both the improvements we have made and will make with the Capitol Police and the agencies that are affiliated with them, and making sure that there’s better coordination and intelligence sharing and the like.
Senator Klobuchar: (15:57)
I also want to note, we’ve been joined by Senator Warner on this committee, who’s on this committee and also is the chair of the Intelligence Committee. So this will be helpful to have him here, as well as Senator King and Senator Padilla and Senator Capito. We thank them for being with us today.
Senator Klobuchar: (16:13)
I will now introduce our witness, Mr. Michael Bolton, the inspector general for the United States Capitol Police. Mr. Bolton has served in the Capitol Police Office of the Inspector General for 15 years. He was appointed as inspector general in January 2019. Early in his career, he served as special agent in charge of the Treasury Department’s Office of Investigation for four years. He also served for 21 years with the US Secret Service. Mr. Bolton holds a degree in criminal justice from the University of Maryland. I will now swear in our witness.
Senator Klobuchar: (16:49)
Mr. Bolton, will you please stand, raise your right hand? Do you swear that the testimony you will give before the committee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Michael Bolton: (17:01)
Senator Klobuchar: (17:01)
Thank you. You are now recognized for your testimony.
Michael Bolton: (17:08)
Thank you. Good morning, Madam Chair Klobuchar, Ranking Member Blunt, and distinguished members of the committee. Thank you for this opportunity to appear before you, the Committee of Senate Rules and Administration, to discuss our review of events in regards to the Capitol Police Department’s operation, programs, and policies that were in effect during January 6th, 2021. I’d like to extend my appreciation to the committee for holding this hearing and the important work that this committee continues to do to make the Capitol complex safe and secure.
Michael Bolton: (17:39)
I’d also like to take the time and extend and recognize the outstanding efforts and work done by my staff in the Office of the Inspector General. Through their collective efforts and skills, we have produced eight flash reports, outlining areas of improvement for the department, resulting in 104 recommendations. Our last and final flash report is a summary of the status of the recommendations we have made and security improvements that the department has made since January 6th. Although the department has addressed some of our recommendations and have made security improvements throughout the Capitol complex, much work still needs to be addressed in relation to training, intelligence, cultural change, and operational planning. We are currently finalizing our final flash report, which we anticipate issuing within the next few days.
Michael Bolton: (18:28)
Since my last hearing before this committee, we have issued three additional flash reports. These reports include areas in the department such as Communication Coordination Bureau, the Hazardous Incidents Response Division, K-9 unit, and finally, Dignitary Protective Division, and Human Capital. Our fifth flash report was designed to communicate deficiencies within the department’s Command and Coordination Bureau.
Michael Bolton: (18:54)
Additionally, to gain a perspective on department-wide command and control challenges on January 6th, we contacted 86 officers and completed interviews with 36 of them who agreed to be interviewed. We also reviewed 49 after action reports US Capitol Police officers and employees completed. Based on our interviews with the Capitol Police officers and review of after action reports, we identified department-wide command and control deficiencies related to information sharing, chain of command direction, communication, preparedness, training, leadership development, emergency response procedures, and law enforcement coordination.
Michael Bolton: (19:35)
Our sixth flash report was designed to communicate deficiencies with the department’s Hazardous Incident Response Division and K-9 unit, deficiencies that included the lack of adequate department guidance for both units. The department did not always comply with guidance related to K-9 operations or training, and did not always ensure K-9 policies and procedures were up to date. A lack of K-9 related training or operational experience required for officials and formal guidance for emergency procedures, as well as inadequate hazardous device response guidance, could have hampered the efficiency of the K-9 unit on January 6th.
Michael Bolton: (20:14)
Our seventh flash report was designed to communicate any deficiencies with the department’s Dignitary Protective Division and Human Capital. The Dignitary Protective Division contributed towards, greatly contributed towards, the department’s mission through proper training and successfully evacuating individuals under its protection during January 6th. However, the Dignitary Protective Division incurred authorization issues with staging evacuation vehicles on January 6th. In addition, the training program lacked a dedicated training staff, facilities issues, and weapons system training integration. USCP could not provide documentation supporting that it implemented those recommendations.
Michael Bolton: (20:56)
Our eighth and final flash report is a summary of the status of our 104 recommendations and any security improvements made by the department since January 6th. Although the department has made several changes to include updating policies and procedures, additional training for CDU units, the civil disturbance units, and the hiring of a subject matter expert in the planning and coordination of large events or high profile demonstrations, the department still has more work to achieve the goal of making the Capitol complex safe and secure. Out of the 200 security enhancements that the department has provided to the OIG, only 61 of those items have supporting documentation to support those enhancements to have occurred.
Michael Bolton: (21:40)
Some of the other security enhancements the department has instituted has been additional intelligence briefings provided to the rank and file, as well as to department leadership. The department still lacks an overall training infrastructure to meet the needs of the department. The level of intelligence gathering and expertise needed, and an overall cultural change needed to move the department into a protective agency as a…
Michael Bolton: (22:03)
Cultural change needed to move the department into a protective agency, as opposed to a traditional police department. In conclusion, the department is comprised of extraordinary men and women who are dedicated to protecting democracy, putting their own lives in harms way in order for Congress to exercise their constitutional duties in a safe and open manner. It is our duty to honor those officers who have given their lives, but also ensuring the safety of all those working and visiting the capital complex by making hard changes within the department. Finally, I would like to thank not only this committee, but also the committee on house administration and the select committee to investigate the January 6th attack for the continuing support of my office and the work they have done in protecting democracy so that events such as January 6th never happen again. Thank you for this opportunity to appear before you today. I’ll be very happy to answer any questions the committee may have.
Senator Klobuchar: (22:57)
Thank you very much, Mr. Bolton. We’ll never the words of one officer on January 6th picked up on the radio, “Does anybody have a plan?” in the middle of the insurrection. In your report on command and control issues, you found that there was no plan. The department did not have adequate procedures for coordinated emergency responses. Officers were not briefed in intelligence, and there was a lack of direction about what to do about the attack. You recommended that officers be given briefings at roll calls on potential hazards. Can you elaborate on what was lacking in this area on January 6th, how that’s changed?
Michael Bolton: (23:42)
That has changed in a couple of different ways. First, they have hired from the outside, this subject matter expert for operational planning. As evident as you probably saw the difference in September 18th demonstrations that we had up here just recently. The second, they have started attending, intelligence division analysts are attending roll calls to providing briefings to the officers, and as well as to the command staff, whether it be the sergeants and above, lieutenants and inspectors. So they are now receiving daily briefings and receiving the appropriate threat assessments. In addition, every officer has been provided a government cell phone to be provided for any alerts on campus and or recall messages that may be needed.
Senator Klobuchar: (24:31)
Okay. You recommended, you mentioned this in your testimony, that the department establish comprehensive lockdown procedures for the capital complex to account for various potential hazards. How would these plans prove safety and emergency situations? And have you received any response from the department as to how they’re going to implement them?
Michael Bolton: (24:52)
They are in a process of implementing. They’re updating their policies and procedures. In addition, they have started conducting training, making sure that not only do the officers on post, but also as well as the officials around, have knowledge of the lockdown procedures. You need to have that coordinated effort if we indeed need to have another lockdown, everybody knows how to do those procedures in a quick and timely manner so that we can lock this building down quickly.
Senator Klobuchar: (25:21)
The emergency supplemental funding legislation signed into law in July included significant new funding for the officers access to equipment. We noted the need for funding for equipment in our joint report after finding that 75% of the officers, 900 of 1200 on duty that day, were forced to defend the capital in their regular uniforms. Do you agree that this funding should help the department improve officers access to protective equipment? What steps have been taken to address this issue?
Michael Bolton: (25:54)
The department has just recently purchased new equipment to include either replacement of those shields that we had talked about in the previous flash reports, where they weren’t properly stored. They are now storing them properly. They have the additional munitions now up to date, so now they have improved now that they have also conducted joint training for the CDU units, the civil service units. So they are can conducting the joint training and getting the training and getting the equipment needed.
Senator Klobuchar: (26:25)
In our last hearing, you noted, in response to questions, that the department was suffering from low morale. Do you still see that as a major challenge facing the department? And do you have any comments on the department’s effort to recruit new officers? Obviously all the overtime, the repeated, day, after day, after day of working would take a toll on anyone. And this is of course coming after having been through that insurrection, not properly trained, not properly equipped, not properly led. And that’s what we’re dealing with here. And we know what a problem it’s been.
Michael Bolton: (27:02)
When you talk about morale, that’s a difficult thing to pinpoint as far as getting a definitive feel for morale. That is something anecdotal that you may get from time to time with the thing. But I would say that their morale has generally increased or gotten better because they are seeing some changes. The officers of the rank and file are starting to see that things are starting to turn around a little bit. The department is actively recruiting those. They have been filling the classes with [inaudible 00:27:35]. In fact, they just had one just recently just before Thanksgiving that they sent down to the federal law enforcement training center. So they are starting to see some improvement, but I think the officers are in that wait and see mode. They want to see what else are we going to do? And they do recognize it does take time, but also they are watching leadership and watching the community at large. How are we going to move forward?
Senator Klobuchar: (28:02)
As you know, there’s been a massive change in leadership, both at the Sergeant arms levels for both the house and the Senate, as well as a new police chief. Do you think that the selection of a permanent chief has impacted the department’s ability to make needed changes? What issues, when this committee has the chief before us at the beginning of next year, what things should we be pushing for, in your opinion, and what maybe keeps you up at night that hasn’t gotten done yet?
Michael Bolton: (28:32)
Besides having two kids, a lot of key things keep me up at night. Certainly having a permanent chief, that is one step move forward, because it’s very difficult when you start and try and make changes when you’re having somebody in an acting capacity, those are important to fulfill. The areas that I have with some concerns still is two majors. Training, a training infrastructure, proper one in intelligence. One, intelligence is still considered division as opposed to being a bureau level. They have yet to hire a permanent director to head up to intelligence. I’d like to see that certainly position be filled with an individual who has the necessary skills and abilities to elevate that intelligence into the bureau level.
Michael Bolton: (29:19)
Now training, which we will be conducting, we’ve actually started. Our next job is not a flash report. It’s our normal type job that we have with our annual plan. We are looking at training services bureau from top to bottom. And we anticipate that report will be issued sometime in February, that we want to see training become the flagship of this department. Much like when we view Quantico’s and the secret service’s rally training center, and you look at their org chart compared to ours, we’re nowhere near close. And we need to have a training services bureau infrastructure that is going to handle all the training.
Senator Klobuchar: (30:02)
Okay, thanks. I’ll let Senator Warner talk about intelligence sharing. My last question, just defense department, relationships with the defense department, which obviously there was much help of our national guard here at the capital. Now that out has been drawn down. But as we look forward to how we have better coordinated efforts, if ever necessary in the future, any recommendations on that? That was a major problem as well.
Michael Bolton: (30:31)
I think a lot of that is going to be continuously have the training, integrated training, whether it be the national guard, metropolitan police department. And that kind of goes right back to the training services bureau’s the one that should be handling that and making those relationships stronger within the realm of training. So it needs to be a continuum. That’s what also worries me is that yes, we’re getting, like the civil [inaudible 00:31:00] unit is getting trained now.
Senator Klobuchar: (31:01)
Michael Bolton: (31:02)
Is it going to be continuous?
Senator Klobuchar: (31:03)
Yeah. And I’ll ask you about this later. I’ll let my colleagues go. But part of this was having the defense department on the ready, and the soldiers on the ready to help us out. We ended up of course, Senator Warner’s national guard there in Virginia and other ones stepped in. But there was in our opinion, some delays that were very costly. Senator Blunt.
Senator Blunt: (31:25)
Thank you Senator Klobuchar. Chair Bolton, we had our last hearing with you, I think it was pointed out that most of the recommendations that you had made up until that time could be done, a majority of them could be done without the police board being involved, or without any even additional funds. How many of your, I think now around 104 recommendations, have been implemented?
Michael Bolton: (31:53)
Out of the 104, we have 30.
Senator Blunt: (31:56)
Michael Bolton: (31:56)
Senator Blunt: (31:57)
And are you getting significant pushback on the remaining 74?
Michael Bolton: (32:05)
Not at this time, we haven’t gotten any pushback. There may be some, the recommendations that we’ll have to sit down with the chief and with the board to hash out the very nature of what we’re looking for, them to make the changes and what they feel sort of what’s comfortable for them.
Senator Blunt: (32:22)
And your first recommendations were available to them when?
Michael Bolton: (32:28)
We first issued our first flash report, I believe it was sometime in, was it March?
Senator Blunt: (32:34)
That’s what I was thinking.
Michael Bolton: (32:36)
Yeah, it was March. And that was a series, that was the intelligence and operational planning flash report in which they have, as far as the operational plan, they do have that department wide operational plan now being produced in a singular document.
Senator Blunt: (32:54)
Do you have regular scheduled meetings with the department leadership to talk about those recommendations and the implementation of them?
Michael Bolton: (33:02)
Recently, we have not. I haven’t had a meeting with the chief, but I’m sure he’s busy with trying to assimilate through with the department, all the other issues we have. I do attend the monthly board meeting, so there is an opportunity there. And then I do brief the board on a quarterly basis.
Senator Blunt: (33:21)
So you haven’t had a meeting with the chief yet, the two of you?
Michael Bolton: (33:25)
We’ve had one meeting. I believe that was back in August, when we had our initial meeting.
Senator Blunt: (33:32)
Are there any recommendations that you’ve made that you can clearly see resistance in the department?
Michael Bolton: (33:41)
I believe there probably may be a couple that that, at least as indicated to me, there may be resistance. One is with the CERT teams, the containment emergency response teams, and issues concerning potential with about security clearances. That was one of, remember, one of our recommendations is that every sworn and civilian would either have a top secret, or at worst, a secret clearance. There seems to be some hesitation towards moving towards that.
Senator Blunt: (34:15)
Why do you think that is?
Michael Bolton: (34:17)
It hasn’t been expressed to me directly. I think some of it is potentially having to change your hiring standards, what to do with those who are already on the job that came on a job without that particular hiring standard. And also with whether it be issues that the union may raise, I don’t know of any specific ones, but they may. So there may be some concern about what the union may feel about their folks having to have get clearances and maintain those clearances. And there’s always the fear that once you expend that additional funds, which it is going to be additional funding, to get the clearances that you’ll have to pay for those, that your individuals may end up leaving to another federal agency with that clearance, because that is a sought after tool within the rest of the federal government, that if you already have a clearance, then it makes it much easier to move to another federal agency.
Senator Blunt: (35:14)
How many officers have left the department since January the sixth?
Michael Bolton: (35:18)
I don’t have the exact numbers as far as those, but I believe it’s around 200 or so.
Senator Blunt: (35:26)
Are there jobs where we’re having sworn officers, that have the sworn level of training, do jobs that someone else could do if we got the right match of training and jobs that are being done in the capital complex by officers?
Michael Bolton: (35:45)
If you’re talking about what’s being proposed right now, where you may have some contract, think of it as the court security officers that you see at the US Marshals, those gals and guys in the blue blazers and pants doing basically the mag checkpoints there.
Senator Blunt: (36:04)
Michael Bolton: (36:05)
And providing the … something similar. I know that that right now is in discussion with the board and the department on bringing over some, maybe potentially contracted folks to augment the officers, one, to allow them to be able to get their days off, cut down a little bit on the overtime, and also to provide the officers would be able to get their much needed training. So I know those things are in a discussion right now between the board and department. And I imagine some of it with the committees as well.
Senator Blunt: (36:36)
So with 200 officers or so retiring or leaving the force this year, what percentage of vacant jobs are there in the capital police?
Michael Bolton: (36:48)
I would say it would probably be that number, I think that’s what they’re down. I think they’re authorized with 1800 or so. And they’re in an area right now, either 16 or 1500. I’m not exactly sure of the numbers that they have. But they are down significantly of officers. And they need to be able to bring at least folks on that can augment us because, think even if you hire somebody today, you’re talking over a year before you get them on post. By the time they get done with federal law enforcement training center, and even [inaudible 00:37:20], by time you get all that training done, get them through their on the job training when they’re with another officer learning about the actual post and everything, you’re talking almost a year before they’re operational. So what they’re thinking and proposing now is to be able to get immediate help to augment those officers and identify posts that may not require, strictly you still provide some training, but it’s not the same extensive training that you’re giving somebody who’s coming on a job for law enforcement.
Senator Blunt: (37:55)
So my last question for this round would be, one of the things we did in the supplemental funding was waive the maximum limits that officers could be paid during a year. Are we going to face that again this year with that big shortage from the full force, are we going to face that same situation again where we, one, have more overtime than the officers or their families want them to have? And two, get officers at a point before September the 30th, the end of the fiscal year, that they have already reached their maximum income potential?
Michael Bolton: (38:36)
I would anticipate that you’ll probably find yourselves in the same position through the remainder of this fiscal year and potentially into fiscal year 2023. It will take a while to get folks on board. Not only that, but there’s certainly things that you can’t dictate or anticipate, whether it be additional protests for something that comes up that nobody knew was coming, that you could require officers to have overtime or late night sessions with members voting or whatever, so some things you can’t anticipate.
Senator Blunt: (39:14)
Well, if you never get more than 90% of the jobs filled in this organization, either we expect we have more jobs there than we need, which we know that’s not the case, or you’re going to have people working harder and longer hours than you want them to work. And we need to begin to think about that. That may be the thing that argues the most for looking for whatever jobs are there that don’t take the same training, skills, or arms that you need in other locations. So thank you for that. Thank you chairman.
Senator Klobuchar: (39:49)
Thank you very, very much, Senator Blunt. Next up, Senator Warner.
Sen. Warner: (39:53)
Well, thank you, Madam Chair. Let me just say at the outset, as somebody who hasn’t always been a great attendee at the rules committee, I very much appreciate the way that you and the ranking member have led this committee on this subject. This committee’s investigation may not have attracted the same level of attention that our friends in the house have, but I think the fact that you have been professional, bipartisan, and looking for the facts, and looking for how we move forward is a tribute to both of you and the members of the committee. You indicated and where I want to go, Mr. Bolton, is my role from the intelligence standpoint, and I’m lucky enough to have Senator Blunt and Senator King on the intelligence committee, you raise the issue about security clearances, I know back in your June report.
Sen. Warner: (40:43)
And one of the things I hope that capital police knows is that this is an area that we have focused on for some time. A few years back there was a 750,000 person backlog on security clearances. One of the few areas I give the Trump administration credit is they worked with us to reform that. We brought that down to about 250,000. We are down to about a 30 day wait in terms of a secret clearance. So I hope that the movement we’ve made on security clearance reform, you got to stay on this all the time, and reciprocity so that once you get clearance, you can take it with you. Or you can move from entity to entity. We may be ought to give you a briefing, so you can get that to the capital police.
Sen. Warner: (41:29)
But I am concerned on this intelligence sharing between the IC kind of writ large, and DHS, and FBI. You brought up a point that you were concerned about that ability to have that sharing. Do you think progress has been made since June? Are there any more formal procedures in place on how capital police shares with DHS, FBI, and the IC intelligence?
Michael Bolton: (42:00)
I would say that there has been some progress. We do have some folks embedded in some of the task force and intelligence. I just see it as we need to do more. One, again, as I said earlier, making it into intelligence bureau, having somebody from the intelligence community, has lived all their lives. Those folks are, I look at them, anybody that comes from the intelligence community, they are folk that’s cut from a different cloth. They are unique skills and sets. You just can’t learn that. And it’s something that takes time to actually know, that kind of a field. And that’s where the department needs to recognize that they really need to put a lot of resources into the intelligence bureau. Now, I know they have hired additional intelligence analysts. There’s a group right now, they’re in school learning. But there’s more that we need to hire, and make it a very large and make it something almost similar to what maybe the secret service has, the FBI. This area here is, we need to have that kind of abilities, especially around the capital complex.
Sen. Warner: (43:12)
Well, I would agree with that, and I’m not sure that would mean that every capital police officer needs a secret or top secret clearance, but having a large number. And one of the things that again, Senator Blunt, Senator King, and I have looked at, just communications between different components of the IC. You’ve got to have a classified communication systems in place. And my fear is if we don’t have that kind of classified information sharing so that you can have real time information, the capital police are always going to be at a disadvantage. If you have to wait for the FBI or the DHS or some other part of the IC to come in brief on a periodic basis, that’s always going to be a hurdle. So do you know whether the capital police has in place or putting in place any kind of classified communication?
Sen. Warner: (44:03)
… in place, any classified communications. So you can go literally online, real time and get updates from the IC.
Michael Bolton: (44:08)
Yeah, they do have that capability, so they can go online and have real life communication with the community, whether it be in their skiffs that they have, they had their our own skiff as well. So they can do that in real time. And I just want to real quick, the whole reason for whether or not the officers have the top secret or secret clearance there’s a couple components to the reasoning for that. One is the insider threat.
Michael Bolton: (44:37)
Having an individual that has to have a clearance, whether it be on or off duty, making sure that their lives comport to what their jobs entail, but it also elevates your standards and your expectations of the people that you’re bringing on. And it is a good recruiting tool as well that this is what we require, require a high standard individual, and that’s, I believe that is going attract additional folks who will look upon the capital police as a job that you would wish to use as a career.
Sen. Warner: (45:09)
And again, one of the things we’re working through is this issue of reciprocity. So if someone’s going to move from one part of the IC over to the capital police, they could take their clearance with them. That’s still remaining a problem. I know I’ve got eight seconds left, I’m going to go completely to the other end of the spectrum. An issue I’ve been strangely interested in for some time is the performance of the canine units. And you pointed out that that was also a challenge in one of your early reports. Is there any progress on the capital police’s use of the dogs?
Michael Bolton: (45:40)
Yeah, they are. They’re starting to get their training that they need and making sure they document whenever they do some of their sweeps, so they are making progress to updating their policy and procedures and getting the training. But again, it goes back to, I really like to see their training is being conducted by [inaudible 00:46:00] and not by the units themselves here. And again, to me, that poses a problem. You need to have that separation of duties to make sure that it’s separated from the day-to-day operation to training, and they need to continue to move forward in that area.
Sen. Warner: (46:16)
Well, thank you [inaudible 00:46:18] and thank you for giving me the flexibility to go from security clearances to canine units.
Sen. Klobuchar: (46:21)
Okay. Very good. Senator [inaudible 00:46:24] member of the appropriations’ committee as well. We thank you for your help in getting the funding that was needed.
Sen. Capito: (46:29)
Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank ranking member Blunt too. And I want to thank you inspector general Bolton for being here. I do think it bears repeating how appalling January the 6th attack was for all of and it remains a stain on our democracy. So I appreciate everything that you’ve done, but I also mostly want to express, again, my sincere thanks and appreciation to all of our capital police officers and law enforcement personnel that we’re protecting our capital that day. It’s always great when you’re on the Dias and the person in front of you ask the question that you were going to ask, because last time you were here, I was asking about the canines.
Sen. Capito: (47:03)
And the reason I ask about them from another perspective is what the chairman mentioned being on the appropriations’ committee when I was a chair for the capital police appropriations, there was a whole lot of talk about expanding the use of canines into different types of areas, more perimeter purchase of these dogs. We know the training and the purchase is very expensive. And so, I don’t need for you to repeat it. It sounds like it’s the training aspect as to how they can use the canine units better. And do you anticipate that as the training improves for the canines, that they would expand their different parameters of what they can be used for? I know some of them are used for sniffing toxic materials. Some of them are used for, obviously, inspecting vehicles, those kinds of things. Is that the type of thing you’re talking about?
Michael Bolton: (47:54)
Absolutely. Yes, ma’am. Whether it be the vapor wake dogs or your traditional canine sweep vehicles, having that training is so important and they continuously train because you got to make sure that the dogs are performing the way they should be performing.
Sen. Capito: (48:12)
Right. The other thing I would say, and I think all of us, certainly I do on my phone as early as this morning is I was deciding how to navigate the way into the Capitol, since January the 6th, we are getting repeated messages on our phones that raise our awareness as to what streets are closed, for what purpose what’s going on Capitol Hill. And I think that was one from a member’s perspective, one of the big fallacies of that day, because we didn’t know really what was going on, where there were safe areas.
Sen. King: (48:46)
How is that any different than every day?
Sen. Capito: (48:49)
Well, this is true. This is true. Yes. Like today, we don’t know what’s going on, but we do know what roads are closed, I’ll say that, but I do want to express appreciation both to the Sergeant of arms but also to the capital police because they have upped their communications at least with me personally and I assume everybody and I’m appreciative of that because we do need to know we do use it, so the alerts are very useful. One of the aspects that I picked up in one of your reports is that there was no continuous radio contact between the officers. They were having trouble coordinating, communicating with one another. Has that been improved? It seems to me that would be something that would be, I don’t want to say anything’s easy but easier to improve than maybe some of the longterm training aspects of this.
Michael Bolton: (49:40)
That’s a hard one in a sense as far as the communication because we haven’t had something similar to that. But I think certainly what I would say is an improvement is by issuing all the officers with department cellphones, so they can receive those very alerts you just had mentioned with street closures to give them that situational awareness in real time. Because there is difficult when you do have an incident, people end up overusing the radio and your communications ends up breaking down.
Sen. Capito: (50:11)
Michael Bolton: (50:11)
But I think the longterm answer to that is through additional training and being able to, once things get a little bit more settled down to have either tabletop exercises, having areas to instruct officers how to do radio discipline.
Sen. Capito: (50:27)
Well, it seems to be training, training, training is the aspect that’s come very forward and all of your recommendations. And I’m wondering if there has been, or are there plans to be a full out drill of these trainings, drill of a like incident so that you can deploy these trainings in real life, you’re not just sitting in a classroom or looking at something on a computer? To your knowledge, has there been a full out drill and evacuation drill? I question the evacuation that were used to actually remove us from the chamber. So those are questions that I’m wondering, have we actually drilled this training?
Michael Bolton: (51:06)
What I’ve seen is they, you have to continue to do at least the evacuation training, but not the overall, I think what you’re thinking about. They’ll do it in the bits and pieces or the childcare center, we’re evacuating the Fairchild building or some of these individual buildings. And we’ll just do it as opposed to a whole encompassing situation where you had to evacuate the entire capital complex, which is very difficult to do, let’s make no mistake about that. Especially if Congress is in session, that’s not going to happen. We’re not going to do a training if anyone’s in session. So it had to be something or during a break.
Sen. Capito: (51:45)
Well, in my view, the fact that it’s very difficult to do, speaks to the need to do it. Yes, I would agree when we’re in session that would cause additional problems. And the reason I’ve got this top of mind, the horrifying shooting in the school that occurred in Michigan last week, if you read some of the reports from the students and the teachers as to what they did, they had drilled as to what to do if there was an active shooter in their school and they barricaded themselves into the classrooms, they had practiced this, and I think honestly, it saved lives. So it reinforced to me how important actually, physically drilling really difficult situations in the whole would save lives in the end. So thank you very much for all your work. Thank you.
Sen. Klobuchar: (52:32)
Thank you very much Senator Capito. Senator King member of the intelligence committee as well.
Sen. King: (52:37)
Thank you. First, I have to observe how profoundly sad it is that we’re here even talking about this. And January 6th was one of the saddest days in our country that our magnificent capital is not open to the public and we had an attack on the heart of our democracy. It just casts a poll over this whole discussion. Second point, part of, as I recall, the 9/11 commission, one of their conclusions was that there was a failure of imagination. Security people had not thought about what could happen, the use of an airplane as a bomb. In this case that the U.S. capital would be attacked. So I think part of the recommendation is not a specific one, but there should be red teams.
Sen. King: (53:34)
There should be people in the capital police who think the unthinkable. Who think about what could happen in the mind of a malefactor, and it might be domestic terrorist, or it might be an international terrorist, or some combination. So I hope that that’s something that you can recommend. Again, it’s, not as specific as saying, “Okay, let’s fix the canine core,” or those things, but there should be a conscious and deliberate policy of trying to think the unthinkable and therefore, be ready for it.
Sen. King: (54:12)
A specific question, and I haven’t read all your reports in detail. I commend you for the work that you’ve done. I’ve been surprised there hasn’t been more discussion of physical security. It’s pretty easy to secure a building these days. Why do we have windows that can be broken on the first floor of the capital? Why don’t we have an automated system that when a button is pushed metal doors shut on all the entrances? Is that part of your analysis?
Michael Bolton: (54:47)
Not specifically, because those type of issues really almost fall under the architect of the capital, any physical structure.
Sen. King: (54:54)
Yeah, but here’s another silo, Madam Chair. I mean, come on.
Michael Bolton: (55:01)
Yeah, that would be outside of my authority to look at those issues. Now I know general [inaudible 00:55:08] and his taskforce did look at and did make several recommendations on physical security or the structural security, but those really fall around the architect and that does not quite fit into my jurisdiction.
Sen. King: (55:24)
Well, I hope Madam Chair that that’s something we can look into. Because if all the doors and windows had been sealed, we wouldn’t have had a lot of the problem that we had. And there are ways, there’s Lexan you can put in the windows that’s virtually bulletproof unbreakable. So I think that should be part of our analysis. Finally, with regard to intelligence. I leaned over to Senator Warner and said, “Is the totaled intelligence budget of the United States government classified?” And neither of us are sure, so I’m not going to cite the number. But we spend tens of billions of dollars every year on intelligence. It bothers me that we’re creating another intelligence bureau.
Sen. King: (56:08)
I think there should be someone in the capital police whose job it is to look out for the intelligence, but we don’t need to start another intelligence examination. We’ve got the FBI, we’ve got Department of Homeland Security. We’ve got enormous intelligence assets throughout the federal government. So I would hope that what we can talk about is the receipt of intelligence information but not necessarily the creation of a new intelligence division. I mean, the problem in this case, for example, apparently there were indications that in the FBI system, that there was danger that day, but it didn’t get to the right level in the FBI, and it never got over to the capital police. To me, it’s a coordination issue rather than a collection of intelligence issues. Do you see what I mean?
Michael Bolton: (57:00)
Yes, sir. I do. And this was not proponents that we would be actually going out and gathering the intelligence. We’d still be users of the intelligence, we’re just elevating the ability to receive that intelligence and then be able to process it and get it to the rank and file and to the committee or committees or members of Congress. So we’re not advocating that we’re out there actually gathering the intelligence. No, we’re still users of it, but we have more ability where we have folks there.
Michael Bolton: (57:32)
For instance, real quick, when our counter surveillance units are out there and they receive information whether they overhear or see that we need to have basically an intelligence desk for them to report to our folks, who can immediately then push out to the rank of file, so they get that information what our folks are there. So it’s just what they see in here, so there’s no active where they’re searching, or …
Sen. King: (57:59)
But I think, again, this is pressing beyond your jurisdiction, but there should be very vigorous discussions with the overall intelligence community, the director of national intelligence, to be sure the capital police are part of their dispersal, their distribution of information. Again, the tragedy is to have intelligence, but it doesn’t get to the people that need it. That may not be a failure of the capital police, it may be a failure of some other agency, intelligence agency within the federal government.
Sen. King: (58:31)
It’s a question of coordination and that we need our intelligence gathering agencies, which are very good, to be sure that that information is being shared with the appropriate entities. One of which is the capital police. The best intelligence of the world is no good if the people that need it, don’t have it. So I appreciate your report and thank you very much for your really diligent and excellent work on this. Thank you, Madam Chair.
Sen. Klobuchar: (59:02)
Thank you very much Senator King and then on with us remotely is Senator AOF.
Sen. Ossoff: (59:08)
Thank you, Madam Chair and thank you, Mr. Bolton for your testimony today. When we spoke in June during your prior appearance before this committee, I asked you a simple but important question, which is which individual is ultimately responsible for the security of the United States Capital complex? Who’s in charge? Who has ultimate accountability? And that was not a question that you, at that hearing, nor your colleagues who testified before the committee in February were able to answer with specificity.
Sen. Ossoff: (59:42)
And you acknowledged Mr. Bolton, during that discussion at your last appearance, that that was a problem. That the lack of single individual who’s accountable for and has responsibility for the security of the U.S. Capital is a major management problem and a security risk. That’s my assessment. Is that your assessment? And let me ask you the question again now, now that there’s been time to regroup, consider reforms, consider recommendations from this committee. Who is ultimately responsible for the security of the United States Capital?
Michael Bolton: (01:00:23)
Once again, you asked a difficult question. That is, if you look at it strictly from an operational, let’s say an operational side, that would be the chief, the chief of police. But because the chief also has to coordinate and you have the house and the Senate and the architect of the capital, the capital police board, that muddies the water in a sense of ultimate responsibility. But if you had to pick the ultimate responsibility, it would fall under the chief of police for security, but that still, again, poses an issue because you still have the board.
Michael Bolton: (01:01:04)
And I’m not trying to say that the board doesn’t have its roles and responsibilities, certainly they do. That’s not the question here. The question is who do you look for to having that responsibility for capital security? Obviously, if you have an issue or you have a question or a member of your staff does, they’re going to go pick up the phone and probably call one or two people, either the chief or on this side, for the Senate side, you’re going to be calling the Senate Sergeant of Arms. So again, that does pose a potential problem that exists.
Sen. Ossoff: (01:01:42)
Mr. Bolton, we’ve engaged extensively with you this year and with your colleagues because there was an egregious security failure, which threatened the peaceful transfer of power as required by the constitution between presidential administrations. I don’t need to remind you, but I remind all who are tuned in that that failure resulted in the sacking of the United States Senate. The invasion of the Senate floor, a suspension of constitutionally vital processes.
Sen. Ossoff: (01:02:19)
Here we are now nearly a year later and the answer to the question who’s in charge, which we’ve identified repeatedly as being a crucial driver of both the failure to respond promptly to the contingency on January 6th and also the lack of effective management and sharing of intelligence in the weeks beforehand, no one is in charge. Does that need to change and how would you change it if you could to simply impose a different set of policies in a different org chart?
Michael Bolton: (01:02:57)
Well, it pushes me outside of my realm as the inspector general for the capital police, but I think there would be an ability and this would be something that the committees would have to look long and hard at where you have maybe something similar to, let’s say, the FBI, where you have a director in charge, and that would answer your question who’s ultimately in charge of the FBI? It’s the director. Who’s ultimately in charge of the secret service? Well, the director of the secret service.
Michael Bolton: (01:03:30)
So that’s who you’re going to go to, to hold accountable for any questions that you may have. So that would be something that would have to be thought long and hard because of the uniqueness of the capital police and the various elements, whether it be the house Sergeant of Arms or the Senate Sergeant of Arms, or the architect capital who make up the capital police board. There are a lot of different moving parts there. It’s not as clear cut and as easy as it is over in the executive branch.
Sen. Ossoff: (01:04:04)
Thank you, Mr. Bolton. Well, it’s a matter that I think this committee needs to continue to focus on in any management context, in any security context and any command context. As you know, the lack of a single point of authority and accountability is a major vulnerability and we’ve seen the consequences of that in part earlier this year. With my remaining time, I’m begging the Chairs’ indulgence. Just one further question for you. I want to express my gratitude and respect and appreciation for men and women of the United States Capital Police. I want to express my gratitude and appreciation and understanding of the extraordinary burden that they’ve had to bear. The tremendous amount of overtime that U.S. Capital Police personnel have worked and 2020 officers worked according to my notes here over 700,000 hours of mandatory overtime.
Sen. Ossoff: (01:04:56)
And as us CP Union representatives have noted, this is driven by chronic under staffing. There was of course, a wave of retirements and resign after January 6th attack. Congress has an unpredictable schedule. At present, none of this overtime, again, mandatory overtime, 700,000 hours of it in 2020 counts toward the officer’s base pay for retirement purposes. My question for you, Mr. Bolton is what more can Congress do to relieve the extraordinary burden on the U.S. Capital Police requiring so much mandatory over time, and to ensure that their compensation and their retirement benefits reflect the true measure of their commitment and sacrifice to the security of the Congress? I can’t hear you, Mr. Bolton.
Michael Bolton: (01:05:53)
Can you hear me now, sir?
Sen. Ossoff: (01:05:55)
Yes, I can.
Michael Bolton: (01:05:55)
Okay. I’ve been here since to 2006 with the Capital Police Inspector General’s Office. I have yet to see were any …
Michael Bolton: (01:06:03)
… please the Inspector General’s office. I have yet to see where any committees, or Congress as a whole, or even the board, be an impediment to the Capitol Police in getting the necessary resources and funding required to complete their job. Some of this is a result of circumstances beyond either the committee’s control or even the Capitol Police’s control, whether it be the events of January 6th, or just natural retirements, or folks wishing to get out of law enforcement. There are many different factors, and I certainly, I would not leave any kind of impression or that at any time the committees and/or the board were an impediment to the Capitol Police in receiving, like I said, funding and/or resources. Basically, from my position, it is incumbent upon the Capitol Police to present to the committees and to the board their needs, and to be forward-looking into potential what they will need, whether it be retirements coming up, need additional classes, or utilizing different aspects in order to bring folks on quicker, whether it may be rehired annuitants of those Capitol Police officers who are coming up on the retirement, as opposed to them going to, let’s say, over to the Marshall service to conduct their court security officers, we keep them here.
Michael Bolton: (01:07:36)
We just may end up changing into, instead of a uniform they’re wearing a blue blazer. Those kind of ideas where you can have a force multiplier, and those are the type of things that’s really incumbent upon the department to be looking to those type of things. Certainly, like I said, since I’ve been here, I’ve never seen any committees and/or board that had inhibited the department from getting those resources.
Senator Klobuchar: (01:08:03)
Okay. Next up, Senator Cruz. Thank you. Thank you, Senator Ossoff.
Senator Cruz: (01:08:07)
Thank you, Madam Chair. Mr. Bolton, welcome. Thank you for your testimony. Thank you for your service. On January 6th, all of us in the entire nation was horrified at the terrorist attack that occurred here in Washington, DC. The violent assault on the Capitol was horrific, and the men and women of the Capitol Police, and DC Metro Police, and law enforcement demonstrated extraordinary bravery, and heroism, and courage. At the same time, what happened on January 6th must never be allowed to happen again. A riot that succeeds in breaching the Capitol, that endangers the lives of lawmakers and law enforcement is an unacceptable security situation. You’ve done a serious job examining what caused, what law enforcement failures precipitated, what occurred that day.
Senator Cruz: (01:09:08)
When you previously testified to this committee, you stated the primary problems were on the front end, a lack of adequate intelligence gathering, and on the day of execution, a lack of operational planning in place to handle an incident like the January 6th attack. I’d like to follow up on what specific steps Capitol Police have taken since then to ensure that never happens again. What specific steps has the Capitol Police taken since June 2021 to prove its intelligence gathering?
Michael Bolton: (01:09:41)
Thank you, sir. One of the things they have done is they went out and hired, actually was a retired secret service agent, who had extensive training and expertise in large event planning, operational planning. They went out and hired someone from the outside, and you could certainly see the difference in September 18th, the latest large demonstration that we had here on the hill, by bringing that expertise in there and coordinating the gathering to have an operational plan has greatly enhanced the department’s ability to respond and react to potentially large demonstrations. The department has increased a number of intelligence analysts. They still have a ways to go, I would say, but they have increased the intelligence analysts, and like I testified earlier, that they have additionally four or five analysts in training as we speak. They have made some improvements in providing the intelligence briefings to the rank and file officers, beyond the executive team, as I would call them, your inspectors, and your captains, your line folks that are actually going to have to react to a situation, so those folks are getting the briefings now.
Michael Bolton: (01:10:53)
They’re getting the intelligence materials and assessments in a timely manner so that it’s real time. With the department also issuing department or government cell phones, they can get the alerts in real time in case there’s a problem with the radio. Now they at least have a backup to get that information, not solely relied on a radio that could potentially get overwhelmed immediately, but you still have that ability with the cell phones.
Senator Cruz: (01:11:20)
What additional steps do Capitol Police need to take to improve their intelligence gathering capabilities?
Michael Bolton: (01:11:26)
I think they still need to, one, first order of business, is they need to hire a full-time director that right now they’re in the capacity of an acting director. They need to fill that position, fill it quickly. Then look to have that individual who has that expertise to look across his folks that he or she has, and, one, is it to elevate to a bureau level? I still believe that they need to elevate it from a division to a bureau level, a standalone, full robust intelligence bureau, hire additional analysts, and keep up with the ways intelligence gathering is done, and also to be able to disseminate the information that you receive from the field quickly and timely to the officers.
Senator Cruz: (01:12:12)
Now, the other major source of the problems on January 6th that you identified was a failure to implement effective operational plans during the attack. What specific steps did the Capitol Police take to develop and design workable, operational plans to deal with a situation like that in the future?
Michael Bolton: (01:12:33)
One of the things we noted when they came up with that operational plan initially for January 6th, it was so stove-piped, is the term, that there were different elements within the Capitol Police who would either do their own plan or didn’t have one, so you didn’t have a department-wide plan. Now what they have done is they have incorporated, whether it be cert, canine, hazard incident response teams, DPD, all under one umbrella, so everybody else knows what everybody else is doing, what their plan of action is going to be, whether it be the bike units or just the patrol division units. Everybody at least understands what the other units, what other assets they may have to call upon, under one operational plan. It’s department wide as opposed to the way it was on January 6th, which was just basically CDU and that was it.
Senator Cruz: (01:13:26)
What more do Capitol Police need to do to improve their operational capability in the event of a riot or other violent attack?
Michael Bolton: (01:13:35)
I think they need, one, is continue with their training. Don’t make the training that they’ve had, they’ve conducted with their CDU units, but also they need to train together. In other words, whether it be cert and DPD, they need to be doing training exercise, again, in case of emergency, so that it becomes a little bit easier, or even canine. How’s canine going to make in a way assist? Set up scenarios where canines are going to have to assist the dignitary protected division. Come up with scenarios. Train together. These units actually need to start training together as opposed to separate.
Senator Cruz: (01:14:11)
Senator Klobuchar: (01:14:14)
Thank you very much, Senator Cruz. I know something that you and I have discussed, and you care about very much, as do all of us, Senator Cruz, is the number of threats that we’ve seen against members of Congress over the past several years. The Capitol Police reported over 4,100 threats against members of Congress in just the first three months of this year. That’s on track to more than double the number of threats against members in all of 2020. The chief has said that he expects that the department and law enforcement partners will have to respond to 9,000 threats to members this year. Has the Capitol Police, Mr. Bolton, taken action since June to keep up with these serious threats, and are additional resources and personnel needed?
Michael Bolton: (01:15:04)
The department is doing a good job in keeping up with the threats. I think by having them open up a field office down in Florida is going to assist once that gets up and fully running, but they are taking steps. They have hired additional analysts. They have, like I said before, they have several in school, but there still needs to be additional folks hired and brought on board in the intelligence. We still have a ways to go, but we are making improvements. We’re taking our steps now.
Senator Klobuchar: (01:15:32)
I think understandably, you focused on the, because as of January 6th, the intelligence piece of this. There’s more than that as well, of course, and that’s the follow up when there is an active threat, and the police protection and the like that we’re very concerned about. I had, let’s see, one smaller question. You report raised broader concerns about the accuracy of department staffing records. We’ve all talked about the problem with lack of staff, but the records, do you agree that the department should maintain accurate records of anyone on duty and where they are stationed?
Michael Bolton: (01:16:10)
Oh, yes. As we noted in one of our last flash reports with the manpower issue we dealt with, that the department couldn’t provide us records, whether it be recalls, or the amount of folks they actually had at that time. The concept that it was an all hands is dubious at best in the sense they couldn’t provide us with that kind of documentation. It’s also important to note when it came time for deputizing some outside law enforcement, the department didn’t have the proper records to document who was deputizing by whom, which could present an issue if that individual made a federal arrest and there was a local officer. Then the question of their legal authority for making that arrest could come into question if we can’t prove that they were actually deputized.
Senator Klobuchar: (01:17:03)
Okay. Something to follow up on. In your report on command communications, you recommended that the department implement a policy requiring senior officials to rotate through various posts of the Capitol Police. I just am recalling when I was the DA. I did this a day at a time, but I would see line people at work, and basically on the front line. It gave me a much bigger sense of challenges and the like. Could you elaborate on that? Then I have one last question, Senator Bolton.
Michael Bolton: (01:17:39)
The department needs to develop a rotational policy. You can’t have certain individuals who will spend their entire career in one unit, whether it’s 23 years out of their 25 years in cert or even DPD.
Senator Klobuchar: (01:17:54)
You’re talking about senior managers rotating to be in charge of different units>
Michael Bolton: (01:17:59)
Whether it be the senior man, also the rank and file officers, because what you want do is you want to develop your officers, your individuals who are especially trained in the cert, or canine, or have these other skills, you want them back in the field with those skills, to get them promoted through the ranks into leadership positions, because they also have that background and that knowledge and skills, and also allow your younger officers to come into those specialty skills without having to wait numerous years in order to become a cert officer, or canine, or a DPD agent. What you want as a well-rounded police department, and if you don’t have a rotational policy, you’re not going to get there.
Senator Klobuchar: (01:18:40)
Okay. Just a yes or no question. We know there’s so much more work to do. Do you believe that the department is better prepared than they were on January 6th?
Michael Bolton: (01:18:50)
Keeping it simple, yes.
Senator Klobuchar: (01:18:52)
Okay. I want to thank you so much, inspector general. Senator Blunt, do you want to see any closing remarks?
Senator Blunt: (01:19:00)
I’ve got just one or two questions. I know you just responded to the event planning question that Senator Cruz asked and talked about bringing somebody in who was more prepared for that. What about the planning for the event on September the 18th. There was installed temporary fencing, announced publicly all of the information that had been shared with the officers, as well as partner agencies, and had those partner agencies on standby. What did we learn from that?
Michael Bolton: (01:19:42)
Our biggest thing we learned is that’s how we should be doing business. This is the way. The detail, the effort, and not only do I say effort, but the impact that you have if you are planning correctly, how you have good outcomes. Certainly, September 18th was a good outcome. They were properly prepared. They were ready for any contingency, and that’s where we need to continue to be each and every day, whether it be a large event or just regular day-to-day operations. We need to be prepared for any contingency.
Senator Blunt: (01:20:19)
Of course, there was not much of a contingency to be prepared for there. Do you think that’s because of the widely discussed preparations or was there an intelligence lack of understanding of how many people were going to come to that event?
Michael Bolton: (01:20:36)
I really don’t have any direct hand knowledge as far the reasonings why it was so, or wasn’t so well attended. There could be various reasons why that, but I think what we need to take from that as an example of how we, the Capitol Police, how we can control, how we should be prepared.
Senator Blunt: (01:20:57)
The cost of that event, preparing for that event, and paying for that event was …
Michael Bolton: (01:21:01)
Sorry. We haven’t conducted any kind of work on that to be able to provide that information.
Senator Blunt: (01:21:06)
Well, I think I’ve read somewhere, it was right around a million dollars. Well, I think there’s maybe more to learn from that, that we should do that every time we think something might happen, and probably that’s more on the intelligence side. I’ve actually been supportive of the chief’s determination of that, if for no other reason than to have a trial run of what happens in terms of how quickly the fence can come up and down, and it was quickly up and quickly down, and how our partner agencies could be prepared to respond. Though, I’m not of the view that there was ever the level of threat, but there could be that the preparations made a big difference in who was going to come. I do think the combination of event planning and solid intelligence would make a difference on how we plan for those events. I’m sure I’ll have some questions for the chief about that. I think that’s all I have. I may have some questions for the record chairwoman, but I think I’m done for this morning.
Senator Klobuchar: (01:22:20)
All right. Well, thank you very much. I want to thank you. We both thank you as all the members of this committee, regardless of political party, are very, very thankful for what you’ve done, Mr. Bolton. You’ve laid out detailed recs. We know there have been progress as a result of those recommendations, but we know there’s a lot more work to be done. That is why we’re going to be calling the chief before the committee following up on the progress. Everyone involved in this who’ve been watching today will have a few weeks notice here. There’s always time to get more things done, and we’ll go over your recommendations, as well as ours, that came out of the report. I want to thank you, Mr. Bolton, and we look forward to whatever you are providing for us next because it’s always done in a professional manner, and you’re not afraid to tell the truth, which we need more of every day in these hallways. The record will remain open for one week. With that, Senator Blunt, you want to add anything?
Senator Blunt: (01:23:25)
No chairman. I don’t think there’s much to add here. We both expressed our thanks to Inspector General Bolton. I do think the recommendations he has made and his consistent following up to be sure, those are done. I know he’s looked also at the recommendations we made in our joint committee report have been significant in helping the department move in the right direction. Like you, I look forward to his continued good work in this area.
Senator Klobuchar: (01:23:58)
Thank you. The hearing’s adjourned.