Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said Wednesday that the agency had taken action prior to the Jan. 6 riot based on information that extremists planned and claimed to have armed to attend the previous rally Unable to predict the extent of the attack that would ultimately overwhelm the officers if the Capitol were breached.
Had Pittman provided better clarification about the coordinated attack, U.S. intelligence may not have brought then-Vice President Mike Pence – a target of the insurgents – to the Capitol to oversee certification of the November election that day, their testimony was given before today’s hearing published by the House Appropriations Committee.
“The department’s preparations were based on information it had gathered from its law enforcement partners such as the FBI and other members of the intelligence community. Neither of them indicated that a mass riot of this magnitude would take place in the US Capitol on January 6,” said Pittman in her written testimony.
“The information received from the FBI or other law enforcement partners also did not contain a specific credible threat that thousands of American citizens would attack the US Capitol,” she added. “Indeed, United States intelligence brought the vice president to the Capitol for certification that day because they were not aware of any specific credible threat of this magnitude.”
Pittman said on her written testimony that the department’s Intelligence and Interagent Coordination Department had prepared up to four intelligence ratings prior to the Jan. 6 riot. The final assessment found that members of militias, white supremacists and other extremist groups were attending the rally and planned to be armed.
The final assessment, Pittman wrote, prompted the Capitol Police to dispatch dignitaries to the homes of some congressional leaders on the day of the rally, dispatch other agents from that unit to the Ellipse to protect members of Congress, and dispatch evacuation vehicles to conduct Congressional leadership.
But Pittman says intelligence did not foresee the scale of the attack, which would take place on Jan. 6. Thousands of rioters outnumbered the Capitol’s police officers and broke against the Capitol. The secret service urged them to prepare for a protest, Pittman wants to say – but never indicated a coordinated attack.
Another senior law enforcement official will tell House lawmakers Thursday that troubled information and a disruption in law enforcement information exchanges contributed to the security flaws in January. 6 when the US Capitol was overrun by a violent pro-Trump mob.
Acting NCO Timothy Blodgett will say in his prepared remarks that intelligence was a problem prior to Jan. 6, citing a U.S. Capitol Police bulletin dated Jan. 3 as an example of conflicting information received by law enforcement agencies prior to Jan. January 6 attack were made available.
Blodgett will say that this USCP bulletin contained some warnings that the January 6 protests could become violent and would be different from previous MAGA marches. But he also plans to say that the bulletin claimed January 6th was expected to be similar to previous MAGA marches, and he believes the assessment was used to inform security preparations for that day.
Read more about their testimonials here.