Faulty intelligence blamed for Capitol riots response

www.latimes.com
5 min read
fairly difficult
Former security officials testified before Congress on Tuesday, saying they didn't know extremists planned to storm the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
Former security officials told Congress on Tuesday that faulty intelligence was to blame for failing to properly prepare for last month's bloody insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, testifying in dramatic detail about their shock at confronting a violent insurrection and not the manageable protest they had been expecting.

"The events I witnessed on Jan. 6 was the worst attack on law enforcement and our democracy that I've seen in my entire career," former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned in the days after the attack, testified before a joint hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Rules committees.

"None of the intelligence we received predicted what actually occurred," he said. "We properly planned for mass demonstrations, with possible violence. What we got was a military-style coordinated assault on my officers and a violent takeover of the Capitol."

Sund was joined by two former Capitol security officials, as well as acting Washington, D.C., Police Chief Robert Contee III, at the hearing, the first to examine the Jan. 6 insurrection by a marauding pro-President Trump mob that left five people, including a police officer, dead. The hearing came just 10 days after the Senate voted to acquit the former president at his second impeachment trial on allegations he incited his supporters to storm Congress to stop it from counting electoral college votes that would cement Joe Biden's victory.

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All four security officials testified that federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies did not provide them with specific warnings that the Capitol might come under attack. They had planned, they testified, to confront a peaceful protest similar to the mostly peaceful ones by die-hard Trump supporters upset about the results of the November election.

Lawmakers have expressed dismay that Capitol police and federal agencies were caught so off guard, especially because media reports had indicated Trump supporters might try to prevent Congress…
Del Quentin Wilber
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