Acting deputy secy. comments on response to breach on Capitol building

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 12: Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli spoke about immigration policy at the White House during a briefing August 12, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 2:07 PM PT – Friday, January 8, 2021

In an interview Friday, Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli said his department is focused on supporting D.C. Capitol Police.

Cuccinelli reassured that he authorized hundreds of reinforcements to the Capitol on Wednesday when protesters breached the police lines and stormed inside the building. He explained the Capitol is under the jurisdiction of Capitol Police, but that DHS responded to requests for backup even before the violence began.

He also emphasized that the federal government is seeking justice against people who broke the law, unlike government officials in other states where no action has been taken to hold violent demonstrators accountable.

“Unlike the prosecutor in Portland, who lets lots of rioters go without charges, that is not happening here. The FBI is fully pursuing anyone they can find who was involved in this criminal activity, and we at DHS are assisting them in that,” Cuccinelli explained. “They have the point and there’s no restraint on that. We are fully, across the administration, pursing every avenue of justice available.”

He noted that going forward, Capitol Police need to address why there was no immediate backup in position once protesters broke through the initial lines of law enforcement.

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