One of the House Democrats who led the second impeachment against former President Donald Trump has produced an anonymous letter that allegedly came from Capitol Police officers urging lawmakers to support a commission to look into the origins of the Jan. 6 riot while going on to level criticism at Republicans who aren’t supporting the effort.
The anonymous letter, which was printed on Capitol Police letterhead, caused somewhat of a stir after it was introduced last-minute by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), shortly before the chamber approved legislation to create the commission.
The overtly partisan letter expressed a “profound disappointment” with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), as well as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), both of whom came out this week against the legislation.
“It is inconceivable that some of the Members we protect, would downplay the events of January 6th,” the letter from the alleged Capitol Police officials read. The letter was then signed, “Proud Members of the United States Capitol Police.”
No one has, of yet, stepped forward to verify the authenticity of the letter, which likely has more than a few skeptics on Capitol Hill.
Raskin said the officers who chose him to give the letter to claimed its sentiments expressed therein are from about 40-50 of their colleagues.
His office sent the note to congressional chiefs of staff around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, about two hours before House members voted on the legislation.
“Mr. Raskin is hoping your bosses will read this letter, and consider the sentiments behind it, before the vote,” said an email that accompanied the letter.
In addition to the overtly partisan nature of the letter, that it was composed on official department letterhead led many, including lawmakers, to question whether its contents amounted to an official statement from Capitol Police.
As such, a short time later the department sent out a tweet denying that it was an official position.
“A statement is circulating on social media, which expresses an opinion about the proposed legislation to create a commission to investigate January 6. This is NOT an official USCP statement,” the tweet noted. “The Department has no way of confirming it was even authored by USCP personnel. The U.S. Capitol Police does NOT take positions on legislation.”
USCP does NOT take positions on legislation. pic.twitter.com/LSu38jbIqd
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) May 19, 2021
“The commotion subsided within a few hours. But the brief episode — fueled by social media, heated emotions and a general distrust between the parties — was emblematic of the toxic atmosphere on Capitol Hill, where the tensions stemming from the Jan. 6 attack still linger four months after the event,” The Hill reported.
To that point, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) launched into a tirade on the House floor aimed at Republicans who were not supporting the creation of commission many of them believe will simply be exploited by Democrats for political gain.
“I want to thank the gentleman from New York and the other Republicans who are supporting this and thank them for their bipartisanship,” Ryan said in a hat-tip to Rep. John Katko, a moderate New York Republican who supported the effort in committee.
35 Republicans in the House just told you they're really Democrats by signing up for the Jan. 6th commission.
— Emerald Robinson ✝️ (@EmeraldRobinson) May 19, 2021
“To the other 90 percent of our friends on the other side of the aisle, holy cow! Incoherence! No idea what you’re talking about! Benghazi! You guys chased the former secretary of state all over the country, spent millions of dollars. We have people scaling the Capitol, hitting the Capitol police with lead pipes across the head and we can’t get bipartisanship!” he yelled.
“What else has to happen in this country?! Cops! This is a slap in the face to every rank and file cop in the United States. If we’re gonna take on China, if we’re gonna rebuild the country, if we’re gonna reverse climate change, we need two political parties in this country that are both living in reality and you ain’t one of ’em!” he noted further.
At least one trained observer has written that he believes the Jan. 6 riot was preplanned and staged using “provocateurs.”
“The deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol bore the markings of an organized operation planned well in advance of the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress,” wrote J. Michael Waller, a senior analyst for strategy at the Center for Security Policy who specialized in propaganda, political warfare, psychological warfare, and subversion, on Jan. 14 in The Federalist. “A small number of cadre appeared to use the cover of a huge rally to stage its attack.”
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