Capitol Hill Press Corps Want Transparency for All Investigations Into January 6 Attack on Capitol

Capitol Hill Press Corps Want Transparency for All Investigations Into January 6 Attack on Capitol

The following letter was sent by the chairs of all four Capitol Hill press galleries to Senate and House Leadership, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, House Committee on Administration, and Representative Tim Ryan on the need for transparency in any investigation into the attack on the Capitol January 6th. 


We, the representatives of the working press on Capitol Hill, are writing in response to the upsetting and unacceptable attack on the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters last week.

Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and colleagues of Officer Brian Sicknick, who was killed while trying to defend lawmakers, staff and, press in the Capitol. Our hope is that the individuals responsible will be identified and brought to justice immediately. 

Our sympathies also go out to the family and colleagues of Officer Howard Liebengood who spent 15 years protecting the United States Capitol and was a friendly and familiar face to those in the Russell Senate office building.

The investigation into the attack on the Capitol must not end with a handful of criminal charges against would-be insurrectionists. It is clear serious mistakes were made in security preparation before Wednesday’s tragedy and emergency response during the brutality that must be explained and corrected. 

All reports detailing those failures must be made public as they are completed, to give the American people a full view of the problems exposed and the solutions moving ahead. Any redactions or exemptions to save high-ranking security officials from public embarrassment will be a disservice to the numerous heroic law enforcement personnel injured trying to defend the Capitol. 

Already, Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger, House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving and US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund have stepped down in response to mistakes made in the response. But their departure and others to follow cannot be used as convenient scapegoats to cover up much deeper problems in security operations and blind spots.  

There were numerous instances of heroism in the police response to the attack. There were also numerous concerns, particularly in regards to treatment of the press. Those issues must be discussed in a public manner to ensure proper reforms are put in place. 

Despite a clear threat to their lives, journalists continued to conduct themselves in a professional manner throughout the horrors that overwhelmed the halls of Congress. The response to this incident must not be a total lockdown of the Capitol for the public and press, but instead a responsible reform of operations that allows for proper public oversight of elected officials’ decisions while ensuring safety for all. 

We stand ready to meet with you to better explain our concerns and work with you on ways to improve security without infringing on the American people’s ability to see the inner workings of the federal government. 


Jason Donner 

Chair, Executive Committee of Correspondents 

Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association 

Sarah D. Wire 

Chair, Standing Committee of Correspondents 

Daily Press Gallery

Leo Shane III  

Chair, Executive Committee of Correspondents

Periodical Press Gallery

J. Scott Applewhite 

Chair, Standing Committee of Press Photographers

Press Photographers’ Gallery 

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