At the joint-Senate hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot yesterday, top former Capitol security officers testified that prior intelligence neglected to forecast the extent of the potential damage that might occur. Testimony also revealed that on the night before the attack, FBI agents believed it was necessary to warn Congress that there was a threat of violence. Remarkably, the various officials attempted to blame each other and multiple federal agencies for their failure to protect the Capitol building as demonstrators flooded through security barriers to make their way into the building.
According to testimony at the hearing, on Jan. 5, an FBI intelligence report detailing plans for violence at the Capitol was sent via email to lower-level officials. It was never read by Capitol Police or Washington, D.C. leaders. Senators described that failure as “an intelligence breakdown” by both the Capitol Police and the FBI. Former Chief of the Capitol Police Steven Sund, who resigned from his post just days after the Capitol breach, agreed, telling senators during Tuesday’s hearing about the incident, “I think in exigent circumstances there needs to be a streamlined process for the Capitol police chief, for Capitol Police, to have authority.”
Senate Rules Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who helped preside over the hearing, told Sund, “Your testimony makes clear that the current structure of the Capitol Police Board resulted in delays in bringing in assistance from the National Guard.”
Sund, who indicated the incident wasn’t his agency’s fault, commented that on Jan. 4, the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms allegedly did not respond to a request for support. He also requested support from the National Guard but was denied.