NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Many questions have arisen about security at the U.S. Capitol following last week’s siege by pro-Trump mobs and a Louisiana resident has been chosen to lead Congress’ efforts to get answers. Retired Lt. General Russel Honoré received the assignment from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi made the announcement during a press briefing on Capitol Hill.
“We must subject this whole complex though to scrutiny in light of what happened and the fact that the inauguration is coming. To that end, I have asked retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré to lead an immediate review of security infrastructure, inter-agency processes and command and control,” Pelosi said during a press briefing inside the Capitol building.
Honoré recently spoke to FOX 8 about security lapses he believed had taken place at the Capitol building.
“It’s like the Capitol Police was doing security by ZOOM like we’re doing this interview by ZOOM. I don’t know, I’ve just never seen so much incompetence, so they’re either that stupid, or ignorant or complicit. I think they were complicit,” said Honoré.
Honoré said the Capitol Police Chief and the Sergeant-at-Arms for both the House and Senate deserved to be fired. They both ended up resigning.
“They were complicit in that they did not treat this crowd like a potential threat and did not secure the capitol,” said Honoré.
Honoré says it could have been prevented.
“We knew they were coming; everybody knew they were coming, every law enforcement agency in D.C. called the Capitol and said how many you want? Oh, we don’t need no help, that’s why it was complicit, and people need to go to jail over that,” he said.
Pelosi expressed strong confidence in Honoré.
“House leadership has worked with General Honoré, seen up close and personal his excellent leadership at the time of Katrina,” Pelosi stated.
Honoré was sent to New Orleans by then-President George W. Bush to oversee the response and to end the chaos playing out on streets.
GOP House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana says he has been asking questions of his own about the security that was in place when rioters broke into the Capitol building.
“I’ve heard reports that I’ve been trying to verify that there were some people in the hierarchy at the Capitol that turned down a request for National Guard troops leading into January 6. I asked who actually turned those requests down, no one’s given a straight answer and I think those questions need to be answered,” said Scalise.
Louisiana law enforcement and federal agents are working together in case the threats of armed protests at state capitol buildings become reality.
La. State Police Supt. Colonel Lamar Davis commented on that during a Friday afternoon interview.
“We haven’t received any particular threats at this particular time, but we are making sure that we’re going to be able to respond,” said Davis.
Armed National Guardsmen have blanketed the area around the U.S. Capitol days ahead of next week’s inauguration ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
“I am confident that every agency in law enforcement is well-aware of what those threats are they’re taking them very seriously. I wish they were taken more seriously last week,” Scalise said.
Soon after the announcement, Honoré said he was not available for an interview.
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