Acting DC Metropolitan Police Department chief Robert Contee plans to testify that the National Guard was unwilling to send troops to the U.S. Capitol during January 6 because it “didn’t like the optics boots on the ground at the Capitol, “according to his prepared remarks.
Contee said at 2:22 p.m., after rioters had already started storming the building and two homemade bombs had been found, he had a call with leaders of the Capitol Police, National Guard of DC and the Department of the Army.
“I was stunned by the response from the Department of the Army, which was reluctant to send the DC National Guard to Capitol Hill,” Contee said in his prepared remarks.
Contee said he asked if they refused to deploy guards and said army personnel told him “they weren’t refusing to send them, but wanted to know the plan and didn’t like the optics of the boots on the ground at the Capitol. ”
– Christal Hayes
Senior law enforcement officials dispute details of National Guard deployment to Capitol Hill during riot
Senior law enforcement officials disputed details of the delay in the deployment of the National Guard to the Capitol during the January 6 riot in their prepared remarks, creating inconsistencies in their accounts.
Former Capitol Police Chief Stephen Sund has previously said his requests to put the National Guard on hold in the days leading up to the riot were rejected by House and Senate sergeants-at-arms, senior law enforcement officials in the House and Senate.
According to Sund, former House of Arms Sergeant Paul Irving, the House’s top law enforcement official, had been concerned about the “optics” of having uniformed troops on Capitol Hill. Irving took issue with Sund’s account, saying in his prepared remarks that Sund’s claim was “categorically false” and that safety was his main concern.
Sund also plans to say in his opening remarks that as the riot escalated and turned violent on January 6, he asked the sergeants-at-arms to declare a state of emergency and call the National Guard, but Irving advised that the request had to be relayed through the chain of command. Irving retorts that he has “no memory” of a call from Sund at the time and that he did not receive any text messages.
The timing of the National Guard’s deployment to Capitol Hill during the January 6 riot and communication failures among senior Capitol law enforcement officials is likely to be the focus of today’s hearing. hui. Officials have disagreed on this before, but the hearing marks the first time officials will be questioned in public.
– Nicolas Wu
5 experts to testify at Garland’s confirmation hearing
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from a panel of five experts on Tuesday as the confirmation hearing continued on Tuesday for the appointment of Merrick Garland as attorney general.
Garland, a longtime federal judge and former federal prosecutor, said on Monday his top priorities were to investigate domestic terrorism such as the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill and to fight foreign terrorism on the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He discussed the need for racial fairness in law enforcement. And he expects a moratorium to be declared on federal executions.
After:Merrick Garland says he is ‘very concerned’ about federal use of death penalty, which jumped under Trump
Democratic witnesses for Tuesday are: Wade Henderson, interim CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Andrea Tucker, parent of students at JO Wilson Elementary School; and Donna Bucella, former director general of US lawyers and former US lawyer in Florida.
Henderson presented testimony calling for a change of course for the Justice Department, which he said was “deeply tarnished” under the Trump administration. Henderson criticized the department for supporting discriminatory election laws and for defending the spread of disinformation.
Henderson called Garland, who noted that the department was created to fight the Ku Klux Klan after the Civil War, to vigorously enforce civil rights laws. Henderson said Garland should enforce voting access laws, deal with the COVID-19 crisis in prisons and suspend the application of the death penalty.
“The need for a robust federal civil rights enforcement has never been greater for the country,” said Henderson. “We need an attorney general who will restore the DOJ’s historic commitment to integrity, independence and the vigorous enforcement of civil rights.
Tucker will talk about how Garland mentored students at a DC elementary school for decades.
Bucella worked with Garland after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, an investigation he led.
Two Republican witnesses are: Josh Blackman, professor of law at the South Texas College of Law, and Ken Starr, a retired judge and former independent lawyer who investigated President Bill Clinton.
Blackman blogged about the lack of meaningful opinions during Garland’s decades on the bench.
Starr was among former senior Justice Department officials who signed letters encouraging the Senate to quickly confirm Garland.
Several conservative Republicans on the panel backed his appointment on Monday, so confirmation is pending. The panel will vote on March 1 and the full Senate is expected to vote next week, said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Chairman of the panel.
– Bart Jansen
At Capitol Riots hearing, former Senate security official calls for intelligence review
The former Senate law enforcement chief on Tuesday gave little information on the initial preparations for the Jan.6 protest on Capitol Hill, and instead called for a review of how intelligence is analyzed ahead of such events, according to its prepared opening statement.
“We must be careful not to return to a time when possibility rather than probability determines security planning,” former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger said in remarks prepared for delivery later Tuesday during of a Senate hearing. “While the events of January 6 certainly reveal that an intelligence-based policing review needs to be carried out, the return to the concept of the possibility of conducting security operations can result in the misuse of resources.”
Stenger resigned shortly after riots that left five people dead, including a U.S. Capitol police officer.
“It is possible to learn from the events of January 6,” he said. “Investigations should be considered into the funding and travel of what appear to be professional agitators.”
– Kevin Johnson
Police officials to testify to riot on Capitol Hill during Senate hearing
WASHINGTON – Current and former leaders of four law enforcement agencies tasked with protecting the U.S. Capitol will be questioned by senators on Tuesday during their first public testimony on the deadly January 6 riots on the U.S. Capitol.
The hearing before two Senate committees comes as lawmakers investigate the rise in riots and the subsequent response by law enforcement. Thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump marched to Capitol Hill on January 6, subdued police, broke inside and then ransacked the building in a riot that left five people dead.
The four officials responsible for answering questions from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee are Acting Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee, former Chief U.S. Capitol Police Steven Sund, Former Armed Senate Sergeant Michael Stenger, and Former Arms House Sergeant Paul Irving.
After:Capitol police investigate 35 police officers for January 6 riot as union denounces ‘witch hunt’
Lawmakers should ask questions about readiness failures. Officers were overwhelmed by rioters despite reports suggesting the protests could turn violent. The Capitol Police Union criticized the leaders for insufficient preparation and equipment for the officers.
Senator Gary Peters, D-Mich., Who chairs the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, told reporters on Monday he hoped to learn more from officials about the intelligence leading to the attack, why the forces orders were not prepared and details of the deployment of the National Guard.
“Why weren’t they really ready for what was a very large, violent attack on the Capitol?” Peters said.
Sund, Stenger and Irving all resigned following the Jan.6 attack. Capitol Police have also opened an investigation into their own officers, recently claiming that 35 of their officers were under investigation in connection with the riot, including six suspended without pay, a move their union denounced as a “witch hunt”.
Merrick Garland:Merrick Garland Calls Capitol Riot Probe “First Priority” During Confirmation Hearing; promises no political interference
The group may also seek answers about the delay in the deployment of the National Guard to Capitol Hill, which some law enforcement officials say may have helped their response. Sund previously said his requests to put the National Guard on hold in the days leading up to the riot were denied. And Contee said in a closed-door briefing with lawmakers that military personnel “didn’t like the look of the boots on the floor on Capitol Hill.”