Pittman -- elevated to acting chief after then-Chief Steven Sund was forced to resign in the aftermath of the deadly insurrection -- was passed over last month for the role of permanent chief. J. Thomas Manger was instead selected by the Capitol Police Board to oversee the force. He is the former chief for the Fairfax County, Virginia, and Montgomery County, Maryland police departments.
Pittman's tenure was marred by a vote against him as assistant chief and questions about intelligence failures and leadership failures.
However, Pittman was reappointed as the assistant chief of intelligence operations at the agency and the supervisor of officers who protect high-ranking congressional leaders. This is more than six years after the riot.
A Jan. 3 intelligence assessment by Capitol Police found that "supporters of the current President see Jan. 6, 2021 as the last chance to overturn the results in the presidential election." "This feeling of despair and disappointment could make it more tempting to commit violence."
Unlike past events, when pro-Trump supporters clashed violently with counter-demonstrations, "Congress itself is the target on the 6th," the assessment added.
Washington police officials are becoming more concerned about the September 18 rally on federal land near the Capitol. The organizers claim the rally is intended to demand justice for hundreds of people charged in January's rebellion. The organizers of the event, called "Justice for J6", claim it will be peaceful. However, law enforcement officials are concerned that a large gathering of thousands could quickly turn violent.
Given the turmoil that followed the riot, Pittman's continued position as intelligence chief is remarkable. Sund, Senate and House sergeants at arm and the other assistant police chief all resigned. However, it could be a concession from the department to her resignation that there was an intelligence problem.
According to Capitol Police, Pittman was given the "extra responsibility" of acting as the police chief temporarily. She never quit her job however, an organization chart obtained from The Associated Press shows that Sean Gallagher held the position of assistant chief for intelligence. He is temporarily in charge the uniformed officers of the department.
"In that temporary role, Chief Pittman managed the Department through many reviews. "She also directed and managed improvements to pivot USCP toward an intelligence-based protective agency," said the agency about Pittman's tenure as police chief.
Pittman, the temporary public face for the department, admitted to Congress that there were multiple failures that allowed pro-Trump protesters to storm the building. However, he denied that law enforcement failed to respond to the threat seriously. He also noted that Capitol Police had issued an internal warning document warning of extremists days before the riot.
Capitol Police has compiled intelligence documents that suggest the crowd could become violent and even target Congress.
The Associated Press obtained complete versions of four intelligence assessments by Capitol Police in December and January. These intelligence assessments warned that large crowds could reach the tens or thousands, and that they might include members of extremist groups such as the Proud Boys or Antifa. For example, a Jan. 3 memo warned of a "significantly hazardous situation for law enforcement as well as the general public."
However, none of these assessments could have predicted the violence that occurred when Trump loyalists took over the building. Police officials repeatedly stated that they did not know of any intelligence suggesting that such a thing would occur.
The most detailed Capitol Police intelligence document was the Dec. 21 assessment. It showed how people had been discussing and researching the tunnels beneath the Capitol. This is a common method of locating and using Capitol Police staff members. Similar warnings were contained in a Jan. 5 FBI memo sent from the Norfolk field office.
Pittman claimed that she had sent the Dec. 21 intelligence assessment to her command team, which included the chief and the other assistant chiefs and deputy chiefs. However, Jeffrey Pickett, a recently retired deputy chief, stated that he hadn't received the document and that he didn't know of any other senior officials who had.
Capitol Police officials stated that the department had "enhanced their security posture" due to intelligence that indicated increased interest in tunnels. A law enforcement official told AP that Pittman had emailed Chad Thomas and Sund about the tunnel information. As she testified, the department didn't say whether Pittman had sent the intelligence assessment to other chiefs.
The department stated in a statement that "what the intelligence did not reveal was that the large-scale demonstration would turn into a large scale attack on the Capitol Building because there was no specific credible intelligence about such an attack."