At least two Capitol Police officers have been suspended after a pro-Donald Trump mob overtook the Capitol last week, the top House lawmaker overseeing funding for the law enforcement agency said Monday night.
Of the two officers suspended, one took a now-infamous selfie with one of the rioters, and the other wore a “Make America Great Again” hat while “directing“ members of the mob, said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), chair of the House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee.
Ryan also said he believes a third officer has been arrested for conduct during the riot, although he did not have details and said the individual might instead be a member of the National Guard. A spokesperson for the Capitol Police did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.
As many as 10 to 15 instances involving Capitol Police are currently under investigation, Ryan said. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also told Democrats on an earlier caucus call that about 15 instances involving officers are under investigation and that two officers have been suspended.
“The Capitol Police are looking at everybody involved that could have potentially facilitated“ the Capitol takeover or helped rioters “at a big level or small level in any way,” Ryan said, while cautioning that he does not have “direct evidence“ of an “inside job.”
Many Capitol Police officers were in danger as they worked Wednesday to protect lawmakers, aides and journalists during the deadly insurrection. Many sustaining injuries, and one officer, Brian Sicknick, died from his injuries late Thursday. Another officer, Howard Liebengood, died by suicide after the attack, according to reports. CBS News also reported Monday that some officers have threatened self-harm since the ambush.
But Democrats are increasingly worried that some officers may have helped the rioters, with videos showing a small number of officers pulling down barricades and, in another instance, stopping for a photo with one of them.
Ryan stressed that a thorough investigation is ongoing and that enhanced congressional oversight of the Capitol Police moving forward is highly likely. In the meantime, lawmakers are focused on learning from the attack in order to ensure a safe inauguration on Jan. 20, he said.
“I think any review that’s going to be happening of Jan. 6 is going to take into account a broader understanding of oversight, what needs to be done, as we begin to build the force of the future,” Ryan said.
“We’re going to have to make a lot of changes when it comes to the structure of the buildings, the perimeters, the roles and responsibilities around the Capitol Police. And all of that is going to entail us having more oversight over them,” he said. “I think there will bipartisan agreement on this.”
Heather Caygle contributed to this report.
Source: Politico, 2 Capitol Police officers suspended after deadly riot, lawmaker says