The Capitol Police’s internal inquiry into Jan. 6 is growing: 35 officers are under investigation.
Thirty-five Capitol Police officers are under investigation over their actions during the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol by Trump supporters, an indication that the department’s internal inquiry is growing.
As part of the investigation by the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, six of the officers have been suspended with pay, according to John Stolnis, a spokesman for the Capitol Police. The department did not provide any additional details Friday about the nature of the investigations or what the officers were suspected of doing.
“Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman has directed that any member of her department whose behavior is not in keeping with the department’s rules of conduct will face appropriate discipline,” Mr. Stolnis said in a statement.
The number of Capitol Police officers facing scrutiny has doubled since mid-January, when the Office of Professional Responsibility reported that 17 officers were under investigation with three suspended. At the time, the officers who were suspended included one who took selfies with members of the pro-Trump crowd and another who put on a “Make America Great Again” hat and directed rioters into the Capitol, according to Representative Tim Ryan, Democrat of Ohio, whose subcommittee oversees the Capitol Police.
On social media, videos have widely circulated that appear to show some officers allowing rioters to enter the building or treating them sympathetically while their colleagues were being assaulted with fire extinguishers, flagpoles and hockey sticks.
At least 138 officers — 73 from the Capitol Police and 65 from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington — were injured during the siege, the departments have said. The injuries ranged from bruises and lacerations to more serious damage such as concussions, rib fractures, burns and even a mild heart attack. Officer Brian D. Sicknick of the Capitol Police died after being injured while physically engaging with protesters, according to the department. Officer Sicknick returned to his division office, collapsed and was taken to a hospital, where he died, the police said.
Gus Papathanasiou, chairman of the Capitol Police union, said Friday that he could not comment on specific internal allegations, but he argued that the investigations “appear to be an attempt by U.S.C.P.’s upper management to divert the attention away from their significant leadership failures of Jan. 6.”
The union’s members recently cast a vote of “no confidence” in the leadership of the agency. It came as Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her intention to form a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack, and as the Senate was moving forward with its own inquiries.
“This is just a witch hunt by the department’s top leaders and a continuation of the systemic failures that continue at the top,” Mr. Papathanasiou said in an email. “I think it’s sickening that the department’s leaders are even investigating over 35 officers because of U.S.C.P.’s top management’s immediate failures as they try to point the fingers at officers who were applauded by Congress this past week. Why aren’t any of the chiefs being investigated or suspended?”
In the aftermath of the attack, the Capitol Police chief at the time, Steven Sund, resigned along with the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms.