These DHS failures came after Murphy’s ouster in late July 2020, when I&A, as the office is called, was placed under new management. The office, according to multiple reports, did not sound the alarm as Jan. 6 approached, when the Capitol fell victim to precisely the kind of white supremacist violence Murphy says Wolf and others have downplayed. .
Experts studying the January 6 assault have specifically white supremacists identified as part of a increasingly emboldened constellation threats of domestic terrorism from the far right. The Acting Capitol Police Chief said white supremacist groups were present that day. Yet a bipartite Senate report published last month revealed that “DHS I&A never produced any specific intelligence, bulletin or warning product for the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress.”
A senior federal source told POGO that under Murphy, the office was monitoring threats of social media violence, an approach that would have detected some of the many warning signs ahead of the Jan.6 attack. But, the source said, “after Murphy’s withdrawal, the focus was on more general ‘strategic intelligence matters’ instead. Likewise, Mitchell D. Silber, the author of a recent Atlantic Council report on the January 6 intelligence failures, told POGO: “Once they fired Murphy, the message was sent to analysts working in I&A that you shouldn’t be telling the truth to power. And this message would have lasted until January 6 inclusive.
After Senate Republicans refused to approve a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of a select committee to investigate the case. Still, the IG’s office reviews of Murphy’s claims and their relationship to Jan.6 are important given that the select committee may end up relying on the IG’s findings.
“How is the preparation for January 6 going?” Those months ago are critically important, ”said Troye, now director of the Republican Accountability Project, who advocated for an independent commission to review Jan. 6.
But the public and Congress may never get a full picture of the pre-Jan.6 intelligence debacle or why it happened – at least not a document informed by the investigations under the supervision of Cuffari.