Security officials say Capitol attack was premeditated and blame poor preparation on lack of intelligence

Posted 8 days ago


All four security officials responsible for the response to the U. S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6 testified that they believed the attack was premeditated, but two blamed not receiving intelligence for delayed and unorganized responses.

Acting Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee, former House of Representatives sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving, former U. S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, and former Senate sergeant-at-arms and doorkeeper Michael Stenger all told Senate Rules Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar that they believed the attack was planned and coordinated before Jan. 6.

The head of Washington's police department defended the law enforcement response to the U. S. Capitol riots, saying District of Columbia officials were not warned about the potential for violence despite federal officials' claims that local officials could have been better prepared.

"The District did not have intelligence pointing to a coordinated assault on the Capitol," Contee wrote in a statement submitted ahead of a joint hearing before the Senate Rules Committee and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.


Contee said the department planned for the "possibility of violence" based on previous large gatherings by the same pro-Trump groups in Washington in November and December. Officers had been deployed on 12-hour shifts in the days leading up to the riot, which took place as Congress attempted to certify election results and deem Joe Biden the president.

"The intelligence was not that there would be a coordinated assault on the Capitol, nor was that contemplated in any of the interagency discussions that I attended in the days before the attack," Irving said.

Sund requested help from MPD at 12:58 p.m., and by 1:50 p.m., MPD officers declared a riot at the Capitol, according to Contee's statement.

"The violent mob overran protective measures at the Capitol in an attempted insurrection, prior to the arrival of MPD officers at the west front," Contee recounted.

MPD officers who arrived at the scene focused on first stopping rioters from entering the building and removing people already inside, securing a perimeter so that Congress could reconvene before police made arrests. Removing rioters took 3 1/2 hours, and Congress resumed its... (Read more)