Just the News’s request for interview records with top congressional security officials got junked by the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
The department leading the investigation into the fatal Capitol siege denied the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, claiming it would invade the officers’ privacy.
Just the News stated in its FOIA request seeking “copies of public records that include notes, reports, and summaries of interviews done by the Metropolitan Police Department with the former Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives Paul Irving, Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate Jennifer Hemingway, and the former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund regarding January 6, 2021.”
However, MPD responded days later that it determined withholding responsive records due to its personal nature where public disclosure “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
It could be noted that both the U.S. Capitol Police Chief and the House of Representatives Sergeant at Arms stepped down from their positions following the Capitol’s deadly siege on January 6.
Sund told the Washington Post that Capitol security officials turned him down six times when he requested National Guard reinforcements even two days before the riots exploded.
The outlet sought the records to shed light on the directive between the Capitol security officials and congressional leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell regarding security concerns. And on the anticipation of possible attacks before and during the Capitol riot.
The news editor-in-chief, John Solomon, revealed his organization currently explores a lawsuit to force the records’ disclosure.
Solomon was outraged that public officials like the Capitol sergeant at arms and police chief are protected by privacy when their information was taken during a national tragedy on public property. The US taxpayers deserve to know about said information.
He added that the public officials are government witnesses to an important national event. Some of them have already talked to the media, and it is only right for the American people to hear it.