WASHINGTON – Capitol police were wiped out as a violent mob of Trump supporters and stormed within the Capitol on Wednesday, about 50 uniformed, armed DHS personnel lined up inside a federal building, waiting for a call down the street Two Homeland Security officers and a former DHS officer, according to the current Department.
But when the violence escalated, there was no call for timely help to deploy the Capitol.
“They stayed there the whole time, waiting,” the former official familiar with the programs told NBC News.
About 50 DHS personnel from various parts of US Customs and Border Security waited in a scaffolding area inside the Ronald Reagan Building, just 13 blocks down the Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol.
Officers, in blue, and agents, in green, waited at the same place this summer before they were called to respond to protests outside the White House following the death of George Floyd. In that instance, he was posted by then Attorney General William Barr.
However, on Wednesday, they stood to be deployed at the discretion of DHS’s Federal Security Service, officials told BBC News. The FPS, which is responsible for protecting federal buildings and property, was one of a handful of federal agencies that, in coordination with the Capitol Police, asked to be prepared to respond to upcoming protests.
The FPS asked CBP to have agents on standby on Monday 4 January, but did not call them during the heat of the siege on Capitol Wednesday. Officials said some CBP agents were eventually deployed, but it was only after dusk and the violence had largely subsided.
A CBP spokesman declined to comment, and sent FPS to NBC News for comment. FPS did not respond to a request for comment. A DHS officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the FPS was serving at the request of the Capitol Police as that force has ultimate jurisdiction over the Capitol and hence it decides which agencies to police Is allowed.
Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Tuesday, January 5, the day before the planned protests, D.C. Mayor Muriel Boeser said in a letter to the Justice Department and the Pentagon that the city’s Metropolitan Police Department was not requesting federal law enforcement assistance other than the Capitol Police, the park police . And secret service.
Further, the city discouraged any additional deployments without immediate notification, and consulted with the MPD, ”Bosar said ahead of the plan for the protests on Wednesday.
In contrast, in Portland, Oregon, CBP agents were used this summer for months – over the objections of the mayor and governor – to assist the FPS with federal court patronage, which leftist protesters tried to attack . Oregon Governor Kate Brown eventually struck a deal with the federal government to withdraw federal agents, though many CBP personnel remain on standby in Portland.