‘Planned in plain sight’: House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney slams Trump admin for being ‘unprepared’ for Capitol riot

May 12, 2021
In The News

House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney blasted the administration of former President Trump on Wednesday for being “unprepared” for the Capitol insurrection “even though (the attack) was planned in plain sight on social media for the world to see.”

The New York Democrat’s remarks come after months of numerous House and Senate hearings to investigate how a mob of Trump supporters was able to overwhelm law enforcement and storm the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“It is our duty to understand what went wrong that day, to seek accountability, and to take action to prevent this from ever happening again,” Maloney said. “More than four months later we’re still in the dark about exactly what went wrong.”

But after more than five hours of testimony, Wednesday’s hearing featured more partisan rhetoric than actual new information about preparations for the Capitol attack.

Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, a Trump appointee, stood behind his decisions on Jan. 6 and sought to rebut widespread criticism that military forces were too slow to respond.

“Criticism of the military response is unfounded, and reflects inexperience with, or a lack of understanding of, the nature of military operations,” Miller testifed. “Worse ... it is simply the result of politics.”

Miller said he was concerned that sending troops would fan fears of a military coup and cause a repeat of the deadly Kent State University shootings in 1970, where the Ohio National Guard killed four students during an anti-Vietnam War rally.

Miller endured withering questioning from Democrats who roasted him for watering down his previous statement blaming Trump for egging on his supporters.

Republican lawmakers spent most of the hearing seeking to shift blame away from Trump and his administration.

Miller and several GOP lawmakers argued there was distinction between peaceful protesters who got caught up in the riot and organized right-wing extremists who planned the siege in advance.

“I have reassessed, it’s not the unitary factor at all,” said Miller. “It seems clear there was an organized conspiracy with assault elements.”

Maloney ended the hearing by slamming Miller and acting Attorney General Jay Rosen, another Trump appointee, for “passing the buck.”