Lawmakers ‘perturbed’ when House Sergeant-at-Arms told them at least none of them died in Capitol attack: report
Protesters storm the Capitol and halt a joint session of the 117th Congress on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.. - Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that the private briefing of House lawmakers on the violent Capitol invasion left many members shocked and unsatisfied as to the failures of law enforcement to restrain the rioters.

"Multiple participants in the briefing, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the closed-door sessions, said law enforcement officials appeared to still be grappling with the extent of the peril that faced lawmakers that day," reported Karoun Demirjian, Aaron Davis, and Peter Hermann. "Among the new details discussed in the meeting: that a group of lawmakers being evacuated from the House chamber were mistakenly first directed to the wrong room on Capitol grounds, instead of to the secure room where members were gathering, according to a person familiar with the briefing."

"Lawmakers were particularly perturbed by the testimony of acting House sergeant at arms Timothy P. Blodgett, who touted the fact that 'every Member and House staff went home without death or serious injury,' crediting that to the performance of both his office and the Capitol Police," continued the report. "Following the briefing, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), a committee member, said in an interview that no dead or maimed lawmakers was 'a pretty low bar,' adding, 'I firmly believe that is due to the courage of Capitol Police officers and blind luck.'"

The briefing also featured the testimony of former Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, acting chief of D.C. police Robert Contee, D.C. National Guard Maj. Gen. William Walker, and "representatives from the Secret Service, FBI, Justice Department, the D.C. U.S. attorney's office and the Park Police." It is the first of what is expected to be several hearings on the attack.

The invasion ultimately was a major factor in the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump, which will move forward in the Senate after a motion from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to declare the trial unconstitutional was defeated.