Security officials testify Capitol rioters ‘came prepared for war’

Police and rioters clashed for hours in the halls of Congress

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US Capitol security officials who were ousted in the wake of the 6 January attack on Congress have blamed intelligence failures for the breach.

Testifying to a Senate committee, the officials said that the rioters “came prepared for war” with weapons, radios and climbing gear.

Ex-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said he prepared for a protest, not “a military-style coordinated assault”.

Four people died after pro-Trump protesters stormed the US Capitol.

Three of the four officials testifying on Tuesday to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee resigned in the immediate wake of the attack, in which one Capitol Police officer was killed.

Among those testifying are acting Washington DC police chief Robert Contee III, former US Capitol Police chief Steven Sund, Former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger and former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving.

Chief Contee told lawmakers, who are holding the first public hearing into the attack, that he was “stunned” by how long it took for the Pentagon to deploy National Guard troops to help quell the riots.

Democrats charge that the attack amounted to an insurrection, and impeached former President Donald Trump for allegedly inciting the mob. He was later acquitted by the Senate, becoming the first president in US history to be impeached twice.

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