You are here: Home » International » News » Politics
Business Standard

US Senate panels call former Capitol Police chief to testify

The Senate has announced its first hearings to examine the January 6 siege of the Capitol, calling in the former chief of Capitol Police and the former heads of security for the House and Senate

US Senate | US Capitol attack

AP  |  Washington 

US Capitol
Trump loyalists stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the Electoral College results. Photo: Reuters

The Senate has announced its first hearings to examine the January 6 siege of the Capitol, calling in the former chief of Capitol Police and the former heads of security for the House and Senate, all three of whom resigned immediately after the attack.

Two Senate committees will meet next week to begin a broad examination of the security failures that led to the vast breach, in which five people died. In addition to the February 23 hearing, the two committees are pressing for information from almost two dozen agencies and departments about the response.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Rules Committee announced Tuesday that they had invited former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, former Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger and former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving to the hearing, along with Robert Contee, the chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.

The security breakdown that day, as the House and Senate met for a joint session to count electoral votes, was massive. The Capitol Police had planned for a free speech demonstration, not a violent insurrection by supporters of former President Donald Trump to overturn the election.

The rioters not only breached the Capitol but entered the Senate chamber minutes after senators had fled and tried to break through the doors of the House chamber with lawmakers still inside. Outside, they engaged in hand-to-hand combat with an outnumbered, ill-prepared Capitol Police force, eventually assisted by D.C. police.

The acting chief of the Capitol Police, Yogananda Pittman, has acknowledged the department knew before Jan. 6 that extremists and white supremacists could be in the crowd outside the Capitol, but she and other leaders are still pointing fingers about who was responsible for not bolstering security.

With security weakened, tall fences and barbed wire now surround the Capitol, cutting off streets and laying out a wide perimeter. Thousands of National Guard troops line the fences and protect the halls.

The hearing was announced by Senate Homeland Chairman Gary Peters, D-Mich.; the Homeland panel's top Republican, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman; Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and the top Republican on the Rules panel, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, February 17 2021. 00:04 IST