The former Capitol Police chief blamed a flaw in intelligence Tuesday before the Jan.6 breach of the U.S. Capitol.
« I believe that in demanding circumstances there should be a streamlined process for the Capitol Police Chief, the Capitol Police, to have authority, » former Chief Steven Sund told senators during a hearing on the incident.
Sund, who resigned from his post several days after the Capitol breach, commented that House and Senate sergeants at arms on Jan.4 reportedly did not respond to a request for assistance. He also requested help from the National Guard, but was rejected.
“Her testimony makes it clear that the current structure of the Capitol Police Board caused delays in the attendance of the National Guard,” Senate Rules Chair Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) Told Sund during the hearing.
Metropolitan Police Department Acting Chief Robert Contee defended the response, saying officials were not alerted to the potential for violence despite claims by federal officials.
« The District had no intelligence to point to a coordinated assault on the Capitol, » Contee said in a statement before the hearing.
“MPD police officers were involved in a literal battle for hours. Many were forced to fight hand to hand to prevent more rioters from entering the Capitol. This was not a peaceful protest. This was not a crowd trying to express their First Amendment rights, rights that we are proud to protect regardless of our beliefs, ”Contee said, referring to the Metropolitan Police Department. « At the end of the day, this was an assault on our democracy, and MPD officials held the line. »
Former Acting Department of Homeland Security Chief Chad Wolf said earlier this month that there are still questions about why Capitol Police officers weren’t properly prepared.
There was a « more threatening environment » due to the January 6 rally « given all the tensions » regarding the election outcome, Wolf told CBS News, adding that there were numerous « coordination calls » with various enforcement agencies. of the law. He said the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies beefed up security ahead of the riots.
The Capitol police had « the same intelligence we had » in the Department of Homeland Security, Wolf said. He said the intelligence was shared with the United States Capitol Police, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department.
Former President Donald Trump was indicted in January for a speech he gave on January 6, with Democrats and some Republicans blaming the unrest on his comments and rhetoric. Trump, through lawyers, denied inciting the violence. During his speech, he called on the protesters to “peacefully and patriotically make [their] voices heard «.