Former US security officials blame intel failures for Capitol attack
An FBI warning that a protest by Donald Trump’s supporters could turn violent reached the U.S. Capitol Police the day before the deadly assault, but top officials in charge of securing Congress that day did not see it, they told lawmakers on Tuesday.
The officials told two Senate panels looking into failures ahead of the Jan. 6 attack that the intelligence they received did not prepare them for hundreds of Trump backers, many working in teams and wearing tactical gear, storming the building.
They gave conflicting accounts of conversations ahead of the assault on whether to call in National Guard support and what if any role concerns about keeping up the appearance of an open Capitol building played in the security failure.
One of the four, former Capitol Police chief Steven Sund, told senators that he did not see a bulletin issued by the FBI’s Norfolk, Virginia office on Jan. 5 warning law enforcement agencies that extremists were preparing to commit violence.
“None of the intelligence we received predicted what actually occurred,” Sund said, referring to scenes in which Trump supporters assaulted police, smashed windows and charged through the Capitol chanting “Hang Mike Pence.”
“We properly planned for a mass demonstration with possible violence,” Sund said. “What we got was a military-style coordinated assault on my officers and a violent takeover of the Capitol Building.”
The attack was an attempt to stop Congress, with former Vice President Pence present, from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden’s electoral victory over Republican Trump, who falsely claimed the election had been marred by widespread fraud.
The former sergeants-at-arms of the House of Representatives and Senate, Paul Irving and Michael Stenger, also testified on Tuesday, saying they did not see the FBI warning…..read more