DHS Agents Were Just Chilling During the Capitol Riot Because No One Asked Them for Help

Illustration for article titled DHS Agents Were Just Chilling During the Capitol Riot Because No One Asked Them for Help
Image: Win McNamee (Getty Images)

More information is being made available about what went down during the riots at the Capitol last Wednesday, including who was there, where they worked, and just how many police officers allowed rioters to go on their merry way unhindered. The question that remains unanswered is why the response to rioters by law enforcement was borderline non-existent. As it turns out, communication is pretty shitty in DC.

A few blocks away from where Trump worshipping rioters were fucking up government property, 50 armed and uniformed agents of the Department of Homeland Security were waiting to be deployed to help Capitol police, who were outnumbered by rioters. But alas, there was no hotline bling for the DHS agents milling about the Ronald Reagan Building.

The agents were staged and awaiting orders from DHS’s Federal Protective Service, who would issue the command to join police at the Capitol at their discretion. But no request came. DHS also had agents on standby for protests following the death of George Floyd, though agents were deployed in that scenario. Conveniently, DHS shifted the blame back onto Capitol police, arguing that they were “serving at the request of the Capitol Police because that force has ultimate jurisdiction over the Capitol and therefore makes decisions about what agencies are allowed to police it.”

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If only there was a way to streamline all this policing so there was a better understanding of who gets to be in charge. [NBC News]


European leaders have been keeping an eye on what’s happening in the U.S and decided they’d rather not invite that into their countries. Which is why Mike Pompeo has been snubbed by EU leaders and some diplomats who declined meetings with Pompeo, a firm supporter of Trump.

European leaders are reportedly tired of Trump’s “unpredictability” and in the final days of his administration, a meeting with Pompeo, who is likely on his way out the door, just didn’t make it to the top of the priority list. Trump, a real bull in a China shop when it comes to foreign relations, has not been able to tweet about Pompeo’s canceled European trips, thanks to a Twitter ban. [Reuters]


  • The acting US Attorney General suggested that some of Wednesday’s rioters could potentially be charged with felonies “tied to sedition and conspiracy.” If only King George III could see us now. [Twitter]
  • A horny heckler interrupted Chuck Schumer’s press conference. [New York Post]
  • Lindsay Graham allegedly screamed at a Capitol police officer for not doing enough to protect senators from rioters, who had been encouraged to riot by Donald Trump and other lawmakers Graham supports. [The Hill]
  • State senator Luis Sepulveda turned himself over to authorities after a fight with his wife where he allegedly choked her. [New York Post]
  • Former governor Rick Snyder will be charged for his role in the Flint water crisis. [Vice]
  • Mitch McConnell is “pleased” with impeachment. Will the real Mitch McConnell please stand up? [New York Times]
  • Nancy Pelosi is suggesting fining lawmakers who refuse to wear masks. That’ll teach them, I’m sure. [Twitter]
  • Congressman Mo Brooks learned what the word scurrilous meant today and he is very excited to use it in defense of his honor. [Congressman Mo Brooks]
  • The FBI issued warnings about violence at the Capitol before the riots took place. [Washington Post]

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DISCUSSION

When I was in high school, my dad came home from the grocery store while I was hanging out on the couch, adding flare to my Facebook corkboard or whatever else I did for fun back in those days.

I asked my dad if he needed help bringing things in and he grunted at me, so I just shrugged and went back to rearranging my “I love naps” and “whovian 4 life” buttons (I assume).

He was mad at me for the rest of the evening and finally I just confronted him about it. Obviously, he was mad about the groceries. When I told him that I asked him if he wanted help and he grunted at me instead of saying “yes, please,” he snapped and yelled, “I shouldn’t have to ask for your help! You should just see me struggling and do it.”

Like any teenager would do, I spent the rest of the night relentlessly mocking him to my other family members. (“I sHoulDN’T HaVE to AsK fOr YoUr hELp” You didn’t, old man! I offered it to you and you grunted at me!)

I still think he was being a bit ridiculous then, but as an adult, I try not only to offer help when it looks like people need it, but insist on it.

More often than not, you actually have to show a willingness to help for people to actually accept it. A halfhearted “can I do anything for you?” will 9/10 get a “no, I’ve got it, thanks.” It’s only when you offer a second or third time, or offer to take on a specific task, that they’ll break and say they actually need help.

I could’ve gotten up from that couch to help, but the honest truth was that I just didn’t want to, I wasn’t going to unless somebody made me, and that was probably obvious to my dad from the moment I groaned out a dutiful “do you need any help?” while reclining with a phone in my face.

Anyway, I know it’s not fully analogous, but that story immediately came to mind upon reading that headline.

Not getting a request for help isn’t an excuse for not helping.

Try harder.