Retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré claimed U.S. Capitol Police and the House and Senate sergeants at arms were “complicit” in the Capitol riot last month.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tapped Honoré to lead the investigation into the security of the U.S. Capitol after the Jan. 6 attack.
But days after the attack, Honoré slammed the Capitol Police and the House and Senate sergeants at arms, claiming “complicity.”
“I was surprised that the Pentagon did not have those troops on standby,” Honoré said on MSNBC. “The FBI had a major failure in their intelligence.”
He added: “I think once this all gets uncovered, it was complicit actions by Capitol Police.”
Honoré said an investigation needs to determine whether former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund “was … complicit along with the sergeant at arms in the House and the Senate.”
He added: “It gives appearance of complicity.”
Gen. Russel Honore delivers remarks during a Hurricane Katrina memorial service Aug. 28, 2007, in New Orleans on the second anniversary of the disaster. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)
Honoré also suggested that perhaps Capitol Police and other officials “complied because he might have thought 45” — referring to former President Trump, the 45th president of the United States — “was coming to the Capitol and he gave way to the protesters.”
During a separate interview with FOX 8 just a day after the riot, Honoré said he has “just never seen so incompetence, so they’re either that stupid or ignorant or complicit.”
“I think they were complicit,” he said.
The resurfaced comments come as some Republican lawmakers are criticizing Honoré, known for his role in the response to Hurricane Katrina, calling him an “extreme partisan.” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., tweeted this week that Honoré “should be the LAST person to head up an investigation of what happened at the Capitol on Jan 6th.”
And earlier this week, in a letter to Pelosi, GOP Reps. Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, James Comer and Rodney Davis also took issue with Honoré’s appointment, saying he was tapped by Pelosi “without consultation of the minority.”
The Republicans acknowledged, though, that to Honoré’s “credit, he has reached out to several Republicans to brief on his work to date.”
But they added that they “are hopeful his review will result in beneficial recommendations that are not influenced by political motivations” and that Republicans “remain skeptical that any of his final recommendations will be independent and without influence from you.”
Pelosi’s office on Thursday praised Honoré in response to the accusations of partisanship against him.
“General Honoré is a committed public servant whose name is synonymous with integrity and professionalism. His efforts to review the U.S. Capitol’s security infrastructure, interagency processes and procedures and command and control have included seeking bipartisan input in order to achieve its mission,” spokesman Drew Hammill told Fox News. “There is no room for partisanship in the Speaker’s efforts to make the U.S. Capitol a safe place for staff, workers, press and Members.”
Pelosi herself praised Honoré when she announced last month that he would head an investigation into the security situation at the Capitol.
“The General is a respected leader with experience dealing with crises,” she said on Jan. 15. “House Leadership has worked with General Honoré, seen up close and personal his excellent leadership at the time of Katrina, particularly Mr. Clyburn was the head of our Katrina task force. So, he and I and others know full well how fortunate we are that the General has accepted, is willing to do this.”
The speaker added that there “is strong interest in the Congress in a 9/11‑type commission, an outside commission to conduct that after‑action review. In the meantime, I am very grateful to General Honoré for taking on this responsibility.”
This week, Pelosi said in a letter to members that Honoré has provided a grim report of Capitol security.
“For the past few weeks, General Honoré has been assessing our security needs by reviewing what happened on January 6 and how we must ensure that it does not happen again,” she said. “It is clear from his findings and from the impeachment trial that we must get to the truth of how this happened… As we prepare for the Commission, it is also clear from General Honoré’s interim reporting that we must put forth a supplemental appropriation to provide for the safety of Members and the security of the Capitol.”
The concern about future Capitol security — and the ongoing significant presence of national guard troops in the Capitol complex — was spurred by the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Trump, after months of making false claims that he’d won the presidential election, called a rally in Washington, D.C., with his supporters for the same day Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence were meeting in a joint session to certify the results of the election.
Trump, at the rally, repeated his false claims that he’d won the presidential election as he and advisers used pitched rhetoric, riling up the large crowd. Trump told his supporters to march to the Capitol after the rally.
Eventually, the large pro-Trump mob overwhelmed the Capitol police and breached the Capitol, forcing hundreds of lawmakers and Pence into hiding as they ransacked the building.
Trump was eventually impeached for allegedly inciting an insurrection in the Capitol riot but was not convicted at the Senate trial last week.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson and Sam Dorman contributed to this report.