WASHINGTON (AP) – The first public testimony of the US Capitol uprising on January 6, former security officials said, was bad intelligence in the catastrophic failure to predict the crowd’s violent intentions. It remained unprepared for the attack, which was unlike anything they had ever seen.
Officials, including the former head of the Capitol Police, blame other federal agencies – and each other – for not protecting the building, as supporters of then-President Donald Trump overcame security barriers, broke windows and doors, and escaped. legislators were sent. the chambers of the House and the Senate.
Steven Sund, a former Captain of the Capitol police, described a scene that “resembled nothing” he had seen during his 30 years of policing.
“When the group came to the brink, they didn’t behave like any protest group I’ve ever seen,” the driven boss said, arguing that the uprising was not the result of poor planning but of failures by many agencies.
Congress first heard Capitol security officials about massive law enforcement failures on Jan. 6, the day the building was besieged by a violent crowd. and interrupted the presidential election count.
“We certainly have the facts, and the answers are in this room,” Amy Klobuchar, chairman of the Senate Rules, said at the beginning of the trial.
Three of the four will testify on Tuesday, before two Senate committees resigned immediately after the deadly attack, including Sund, under pressure.
Not much is known about what happened before and during the attack. How much did law enforcement know about the violence plans that day, many of which were public? How did the agencies share this information with each other? And how could the Capitol Police have been so ill-prepared for an online violent uprising?
After breaking the borders at the border, the invaders fought hand in hand with the police, dozens of them were wounded, and breaking through several windows and doors sent lawmakers out of the chambers of the House and Senate and interrupted the certification. the 2020 presidential election. Five people died as a result of the violence, including a Capitol police officer and a woman who was shot by police while trying to break into the door of the house chamber while lawmakers were still inside.
Former Senator Michael Stenger and former Sergeant Paul Irving speak for the first time since their resignation at the hearing, which is part of a joint investigation by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government and the Senate Rules Committee. They are joined by Sund and Robert Contee, the Acting Chief of Police of the Metropolitan Police Headquarters, who sent additional officers to the scene after the riots began.
The hearing was the first of several inquiries into the events of the day, nearly seven weeks after the attack and more than a week after the Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump of inciting the uprising by telling his supporters to overthrow his election defeat. Thousands of National Guard soldiers continue to surround the Capitol extensively, cutting off the streets and sidewalks that are usually full of cars, pedestrians and tourists.
Congress is also considering a bilateral, independent committee to review the deviations, and several congressional committees have stated that they will examine various aspects of the siege. Federal law enforcement has arrested more than 230 people accused of taking part in the attack, and said Joe Biden at the confirmatory hearing of candidate for attorney general, Judge Merrick Garland. Monday, investigating the riots will be a top priority.
Congress needs to know quickly how failed security preparations and a delay in response have led to “a crazy, angry crowd penetrating this temple of our democracy,” Amy Klobuchar, president of the Senate Code, said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Klobuchar, D-Minn. According to the senators, special attention will be paid to the timing of the National Guard deployment, which ultimately came to help the overburdened police, how security agencies shared information before the attack, and if the Capitol Police Command Structure The body to which the House and Senate contributed armed sergeants. He said legislation could exist to remedy any shortcomings.
“We’re moving fast here, simply because decisions have to be made about the Capitol,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar said Tuesday’s hearing was based on the first of at least two public inquiries, which spoiled that day as Senate bodies conduct a joint inquiry into security flaws. The response to the second hearing, which is expected to take place in the coming weeks, will be examined by the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.
While there is widespread agreement that security measures were inadequate that day, officials blamed each other for the reasons and disputed each other’s accounts. The next day in the riots, Sund said his force had “made a solid plan to deal with activities related to the expected First Amendment”. It soon became clear that although the Capitol police were prepared for the protests, they were extremely unprepared for the violent uprising – and many were beaten because they tried in vain to prevent disruptors in the building.
Interim Captain Yogananda Pittman, who temporarily replaced Sund, apologized last month for failing to prepare despite warnings that Congress is being targeted by white supremacists and far-right groups. But he also said Sund had asked the Capitol Police Board, which oversees the department, to declare a state of emergency in advance and allow him to ask for National Guard support, but the board refused. The Department of Defense said it had asked the Capitol Police if a guard was needed, but the request was denied.
A third member of the Capitol Police denied Pittman’s claim hours after his testimony was issued. J. Brett Blanton, who is in charge of the Capitol Architect, said Sund had not asked him for help and that “there is no record of an application for an emergency notification.”