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Former U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Tarik Johnson has long indicated that the failure to contain the Jan. 6, 2021, protests may have had something to do with more than mere incompetence.
In conversation with nationally syndicated radio host Glenn Beck on Monday, Johnson called for the USPC's former head of intelligence to be investigated over the possibility that she may have sat on actionable information, possibly putting the Capitol at risk for personal gain and advantage.
What's the background?
Johnson initiated the evacuations of the Senate and the House on Jan. 6, defused a number of tense situations that could easily have escalated into bloodlettings, and sought to ensure the safety of his officers, all while many of his radio requests for assistance went unheeded.
Despite overwhelming evidence of his bravery and quick thinking, this former Democrat was suspended for 17 months, demoted, and denied help accessing psychological counseling.
Blaze Media contributor Steve Baker, the investigative journalist whom the Biden Department of Justice appears keen to silence, noted that Johnson's disciplinary report "only begins at 3 o'clock. It never addresses his heroics earlier in the day, never addresses anything he did to protect the officers, to decontaminate the officers, to bring the M4 units in so they weren't stolen. It never addresses his heroic actions in taking command on his own recognizance in evacuating both the Senate and the House."
NBC News indicated the reason Johnson was given for his suspension was "donning the MAGA hat," which he admittedly put on to better navigate the crowd without resistance and to more rapidly reach beleaguered USCP officers.
Baker suggested that Johnson was "ultimately disciplined because he took initiatives when he was begging for help from command and he did it himself anyway, embarrassing leadership. They needed to shut him up and shut him out."
"From what I’ve seen on social media video of T.K. Johnson and what I heard on the radio that day, T.K. should have been promoted after Jan 6, not demoted," said Gus Papathanasiou, chairman of the U.S. Capitol Police Labor Committee, stressing that Johnson's treatment was a "travesty."
Papathanasiou stressed that USCP officers should not have been disciplined for their actions, especially because their leaders largely went unscathed.
One of the leaders who got out unscathed was Yogananda Pittman.
Unscathed and rewarded
Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund recently told Tucker Carlson that he requested federal assistance, particularly in the form of National Guard troops, ahead of the Jan. 6 protests, but was repeatedly denied by the Capitol Police Board. The board, whose critical voting members answered to Sen. Mitch McConnell and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, allegedly suggested that Sund lacked intelligence to substantiate the request at the time.
Johnson told Beck that Yogananda Pittman, assistant chief of Capitol Police responsible for protective and intelligence operations at the time, was possibly in the possession of intelligence that would have provided Sund with what he needed to secure that assistance — materiel and manpower that would likely have prevented a breach of the Capitol.
The former USCP officer speculated that Pittman stood to gain personally if Sund were seen to fail in his duties on Jan. 6.
Pittman was after all promoted following Sund's resignation to acting chief and kept on in that role for several months, even after the supermajority of the force indicated they had no confidence in her.
She was then reinstated to her old position by USCP Chief J. Thomas Manger — a reinstatement Johnson suggested was a means to deter prospective whistleblowers and clean out dissenters.
Finally, Pittman secured a cushy job at the University of California, Berkeley, as campus police chief.
Johnson suggested it's high time to investigate Pittman for possible wrongdoing.
"January 6 cannot happen without her permission," said Johnson. "It cannot. It's impossible. She's the alpha and omega of what happened on January 6, and the world needs to know that."
While there presently appears to be no hard evidence that Pittman withheld evidence from Sund, there are substantial indicators that the USCP was nevertheless poised to fail.
US Capitol mouse trap
Baker expounded on Johnson's sense that the Capitol Police were set up to fail, telling TheBlaze that the force was woefully under-deployed.
Baker indicated that ahead of a high-profile protest day with six permits issued, policy for Capitol Police would normally have dictated that those on graveyard shifts would stay on for 16-hour stretches. Instead, they were sent home at 7 a.m., while additional forces on administrative leave weren't called in.
Forbes reported that of the over 1,800 sworn officers in the USCP as of September 2020, a "congressional inquiry forced USCP to admit that on January 6th, only 195 officers were deployed to interior or exterior posts at the U.S. Capitol and 276 more were assigned to the Department’s seven civil disturbance unit platoons."
Whereas USCP documents indicated 1,214 officers were "on site" across the Capitol complex of buildings, congressional investigators determined the force could only "account for 417 officers and could not account for the whereabouts of the remaining 797 officers."
Johnson previously told Baker that the suggestion that the whereabouts of officers could not be accounted for was "a bald-faced lie," given that all USCP officers are tracked during their tour of duty and must both electronically "clock in" and "clock out."
"They don't want to tell you where they [USCP officers] were, or what they were doing," said Johnson. "They don't want anyone to know how many of our officers were on administrative leave that day."
Compounding the problem of an inadequate police presence at the Capitol was the discovery of pipe bombs at the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee headquarters, both under the purview of the USCP. This drew some potential reinforcements away from the Capitol, again thinning the defense at a critical juncture.
The forces that the USCP could muster also happened to be ill equipped and in the dark about possible threats.
Not only were a number of badly needed riot shields later found to have been locked away in a bus, Baker noted numerous USCP officers were left without helmets owing to an uncustomary equipment exchange days earlier, when officers reportedly turned in their protective helmets per an alleged order from Cpt. Ben Smith, but were not provided with replacements.
In addition to this greater exposure to bodily risk, Baker noted officers have testified that they were not briefed on possible concerns over the protest.
"It's one thing to have gross incompetence," said Baker. "And of course, you always have to go there first when you're talking about a government agency. ... But in this particular case, there are just too many of these incidents that happened for anybody to sit back and go, 'Okay, they were just that grossly incompetent.'"
If the cascade of failures that appears to have predisposed the USCP to failure on Jan. 6 was not a matter of gross incompetence but instead a nefarious scheme, Baker speculated the strategy appears to have been a "rope-a-dope" — to draw in protesters for a finishing blow, resulting in "the biggest narrative victory for the American left."
Johnson previously agreed with Baker's sense that the Capitol Police were set up to be sacrificial pawns to this end, adding, "They didn't give a sh** what happened to them that day."
TheBlaze reached out to Yogananda Pittman for comment, but she did not respond.
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.