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Two Senate committees vow probe of security failure during Capitol riots

Two Senate committees vow probe of security failure during Capitol riots
© Greg Nash

Two Senate committees said on Friday that they will investigate security failures after rioters breached and vandalized the U.S. Capitol building. 

Sens. Gary PetersGary PetersThe Hill's Morning Report - President Biden, Vice President Harris begin work today Two Senate committees vow probe of security failure during Capitol riots US government caught blindsided over sophisticated cyber hack, experts say MORE (D-Mich.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanBipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official MORE (R-Ohio), the top members of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharA Day in Photos: The Biden Inauguration Senators vet Buttigieg to run Transportation Department Democrats shoot down McConnell's filibuster gambit MORE (D-Minn.) and Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntBipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief A Day in Photos: The Biden Inauguration GOP senator calls Biden's COVID-19 relief plan a 'non-starter' MORE (R-Mo.), the top members of the Rules Committee, said they would hold hearings and conduct joint oversight after a mob was able to storm the Capitol, temporarily suspending the counting of the Electoral College vote. 

“It is our duty as bipartisan leaders of the Senate committees with jurisdiction over homeland security, oversight and Capitol operations to examine the security failures that led to Wednesday’s attack," they said in a joint statement. 

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“Let us be clear: An attack on the Capitol Building is an attack on every American. We plan to conduct oversight and hold bipartisan hearings on these horrific events, and work together to make the necessary reforms to ensure this never happens again," they added. 

The security lapse has sparked fierce bipartisan backlash amid shock that a pro-Trump mob was able to breach the Capitol, including entering both chambers and vandalizing leadership offices. 

The announcement from the two Senate panels comes as House committees and individual senators have pledged to probe why rioters were able to overrun Capitol Police and enter the building.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial McConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February For Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief MORE (R-Ky.) indicated that leadership and committee discussions were already underway about an investigation. 

"A painstaking investigation and thorough review must now take place and significant changes must follow," McConnell said in his statement Thursday.

Countless videos have shown police officers outnumbered as they tried to hold off a mob of people inside and outside of the Capitol.

Three top security officials will resign or have been fired following Wednesday's events: Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger, Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund and House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving.