Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who headed the security review following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the capital at the request of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has repeated his call for background checks on all Congressional staffers. According to Honoré, this suggestion has nothing to do with the claim that Republican members of Congress gave some participants of the Jan. 6 riots tours of the Capitol the night before the riots.
Honoré claims his team did not even investigate these claims, but regardless he believes that background checks are needed for everyone working at the Capitol. This massive undertaking will require considerable work to perform on the more than 15,000 Congressional staffers. Currently, only Congressional staffers who seek a security clearance are required to receive a background check.
Regardless of the difficulty, Honoré said he believes that everyone working in the Capitol, including the entire Congressional staff, should receive a complete background check. Also, security measures should be improved, including quickly processing all people through security vestibules outside the Capitol so they can be quickly screened before entering.
Though some have questioned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s way of handling the investigation, including her willingness to perform it in a bipartisan manner, there are even some Republicans who have indicated their willingness to implement some of Honoré’s recommendations as long as they are performed in a non-partisan manner.
Finally, Honoré has repudiated claims that the Capitol Police Force is unable to perform its duty of protecting members of Congress. He stated that he believes that the claims by the USCP union chief that the force was having difficulty meeting its obligations and required hundreds of new officers to do so were an overstatement.
Despite this, he did remind everyone that in his report, he called for Congress to grant the department the funding to hire 233 officers; the department is short as well as to hire 800 more officers. The USCP union chief endorsed this, as well as the report’s prior statements that the department was understaffed, undertrained, and ill-equipped to protect Congress during the Jan. 6 riots.