Capitol Police officer shared secure location where lawmakers were taken on Jan. 6: report

A friend tipped off the FBI, citing concerns about the officers' enthusiasm for Trump's election conspiracies

By Jon Skolnik
Published September 15, 2021 6:14PM (EDT)
Pro-Trump protestors clash with police during the tally of electoral votes that that would certify Joe Biden as the winner of the U.S. presidential election outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.  (Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Pro-Trump protestors clash with police during the tally of electoral votes that that would certify Joe Biden as the winner of the U.S. presidential election outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. (Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Six Capitol police officers are currently facing disciplinary action over their conduct during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, including one who reportedly shared information about the secure location that lawmakers were evacuated to during the attempted insurrection. 

That officer was outed when a friend, identified in internal Capitol Police documents obtained by the Miami Herald as "ANONYMOUS," reported him to the FBI for relaying that information a week after the riot. The friend also told agents that they were concerned about the officer's parroting of Trump's election conspiracies.

"I don't want to report a friend of forty years but he's says enough concerning statements that I feel like I need to do this... he's just fallen into this cult and these beliefs," the friend said in a subsequent interview with Capitol Police, according to the Herald. 

The officer in question apparently disputed that he was sympathetic to the rioters' cause, but admitted that he may have shared the confidential location where lawmakers were taken after the U.S. Capitol building was breached. 

"I can't say one hundred percent that I didn't do what you're telling me I did," he told investigators.

Three other officers may be disciplined for "conduct unbecoming" after posing for pictures with rioters, while the others face accusations of making "improper remarks," failing "to comply with directives," and "improper dissemination of information," according to Politico


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A large number of cases the department investigated did not garner enough evidence for formal charges. However, one officer in particular – dubbed by investigators as the "selfie officer" – may see a significant reprisal.

Back in February, shortly after the Capitol riot unfolded, the FBI sent the Capitol Police Department a photo of at least one of the agency's officers posing for a selfie with a Capitol rioter, leading some commentators to suspect that the police force deliberately let the rioters inside the building. 

"The arrest warrants are public so I just wanted to give you a heads up that this is happening so you all aren't blindsided by it," an FBI investigator told Capitol Police over email, according to the Herald. 

After the media quickly disseminated a flurry of similar images, the Capitol Police Department received "numerous complaints, via telephone and at least 170 emails received in one day, regarding photographs that appeared in news stories and on a live Twitter video of a USCP officer posing with rioters after the Capitol Building was Breached," per documents related to the investigation. 

The officer in question has maintained that he posed with the rioter to defuse the conflict, and make the offender easily identifiable for a subsequent federal investigation.

"I specifically took the picture so I can refer to that guy," the officer told investigators, adding: "I can't help what [the rioters] do. If you want to take a photo, I'm not going to say no because we are always told to interact and keep the situation calm."

Asked about the photos, the Capitol Police Department told the Miami Herald that it's "committed to accountability when officers fail to meet the standards governed by USCP policies and the Congressional Community's expectations."

"The six sustained cases should not diminish the heroic efforts of the United States Capitol Police officers," the department added.


Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, AlterNet, and The New York Daily News.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Big Lie Brief Capitol Police Capitol Riot Crime Donald Trump Insurrection January 6 Politics U.s. Capitol