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Ex-chief blames intelligence breakdown for mob attack

Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund in testimony to a Senate joint hearing on Tuesday blamed the Jan. 6 Capitol breach on failures within the intelligence community.

Sund said Capitol police were not able to properly prepare for the attack on the Capitol due to a lack of intelligence shared with the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) in his prepared remarks to lawmakers examining the security failures surrounding the attack.

“There has been much conflicting information presented by various officials and the media regarding the preparations for and actions taken at the Capitol that day, and I would like to set the record straight from my perspective. Contrary to some of the reporting, the USCP had an effective plan in place to handle the First Amendment demonstrations and possible pockets of violence that were anticipated for January 6, based upon the available intelligence,” Sund wrote ahead of the hearing. 

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But he called the agency “a consumer of the information provided by the intelligence community,” saying intelligence agencies did not fully relay the extent to which the attack was pre-planned and heavily coordinated.

“None of the intelligence we received predicted what actually occurred. … No entity, including the FBI, provided any new intelligence regarding Jan. 6,” Sund later told lawmakers on the Senate Rules and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees.

“We properly planned for mass demonstration with possible violence. What we got was a military style coordinated assault on my officers and a violent takeover of the Capitol Building," he said.

He told senators the intelligence community needed to evaluate how it collects and shares information on domestic extremism.

“Although it appears that there were numerous participants from multiple states planning this attack, the entire intelligence community (IC) seems to have missed it,” he wrote.

“Casting blame solely on the United States Capitol Police leadership is not only misplaced, but it also minimizes what truly occurred that day. The focus going forward needs to be on the efforts to improve intelligence and the coordination of security measures between all involved agencies," he told lawmakers.

—Updated at 11:11 a.m.