The admission comes as the impeachment trial against Donald Trump for “inciting” the insurgency on Capitol Hill is underway.
Acting US Capitol Police Chief Apologizes for “Breaches” During This Month deadly attack on the building by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
In prepared testimony to Congress on Tuesday, Yogananda Pittman said the Capitol Police “failed to meet their own high standards as well as yours.”
A crowd of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington, DC on January 6 as Congress gathered to certify President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Five people were killed in the incident, which led to widespread condemnation and raised serious questions, among other things, about how the rioters got into the seat of the US legislature.
In her testimony, Pittman listed several police missteps, including not having enough personnel or supplies on hand, failing to act on a lockdown order she issued during the siege, and not having an adequate communication plan for a crisis.
“We knew that militia groups and white supremacist organizations would be present,” Pittman said in his prepared remarks.
“We also knew that some of these attendees intended to bring firearms and other weapons to the event. We knew there was a great potential for violence and that Congress was the target.
The US House of Representatives on January 13 dismissed the former president for “inciting insurgency” in connection with the riot on Capitol Hill, making Trump the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
Trump supporters torn up he knocked down fences and walked through doors and windows after a speech in which he called on them to “fight” and “stop the theft”. Trump for weeks had repeated false claims that the November presidential election was stolen from him.
The day after the riot, then Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said his force “had made a solid plan to deal with the planned activities of the First Amendment.”
Sund has since resigned, as have the House and Senate Sergeants-at-Arms.
There are conflicting explanations as to why the Capitol Police did not have more support.
In his testimony, Pittman said Sund had asked the Capitol Police Council, which oversees the department, to declare a state of emergency and allow him to seek National Guard support, but the council refused. .
The Defense Department said it asked Capitol Hill police if they needed custody, but the request was denied.
Several reviews of law enforcement and Congress are underway.
Pittman and Timothy Blodgett, the acting House Sergeant-at-Arms, told Congress on Tuesday they needed better communications and more fortifications around the Capitol.
Blodgett called on members of Congress to prepare for future emergencies and offered training to any offices that request it.
In the weeks following the attack, security was tightened around the Capitol and Washington in general, with eight-foot-high fences surrounding the perimeter of the building.
National Guard troops were brought in for Biden’s inauguration on January 20, and around 5,000 of them will remain in Washington until mid-March.