tv Inside Politics CNN February 23, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST
whole entire intelligence community and the view they have on some domestic extremists and the effect that they have. i look at this as an intelligence problem that impacted this event, yes. >> so what information would you have had to have heard to have raised up the flag to get more resources for the capitol police? because thank goodness -- i mean, we saw loss of life, and thank goodness there wasn't more, but one is too many. so what is your threshold? what should be the threshold at the capitol that protect your officers? >> i did in advance reach out to the washington, d.c. police to coordinate resources, and i did also go to both the house and senate sergeant in arms to request the national guard. >> mr. contee, i think i have five seconds and we can take this off the record, but i believe there are some plans by qanon for something to happen at the capitol on march 4. i want to hear what steps we're
taking to protect the capitol on march 4th from any more violent extremists. thank you. >> okay. we'll have you talk to him about that later. senator warner has arrived via video. i also just want to mention that senator pieters will work with our witnesses for a break and the like. we don't to want take a long break, but i imagine you could use a break somewhere in here. senator warner? >> thank you, madam chairman, and thank you to the witnesses for appearing today. you know, we've talked a little about the deployment or lack of deployment of the national g guard, and one of the questions, i guess, mr. sund, or chief contee, the fact that we -- the district did not have the ability to bring the guard to
the table because of, frankly, mayor bowser is not treated in a totally fair fashion in this, this may be outside your lane, but her inability to bring the guard to the table, or actually any of you on the panel can answer this, that to me is a reflection of the disempowerment of the district. on a going forward basis, in terms of at least being able to deploy the guard, shouldn't the mayor have the ability to do that aside from all the things we have to go through in terms of a checklist? >> yes, i absolutely agree with that. >> does anybody else want to answer that question as well? >> yes, sir, i'm happy to add in. we have an established process for the capitol police to make the request through the capitol police board. that is also equally as effective.
>> again, i feel like the long-term discrimination against the district that we've seen in some of the covert legislation where they did not receive the same kind of level of support that other states did, we saw it play out in realtime on january 6th. being a hurdle of the previous administration, i have concerns that the deployment of the guard was actually slowed down. i hope that we in the congress will support the statehood, i would like to see that move forward, but also making sure the mayor has appropriate powers going forward. i know there were some questions already raised about the fbi and whether the intel that came out of the norfolk fbi office was ever fully relayed to all of you individuals. but can you talk more generally about the fbi's responsiveness,
sharing of intelligence? i had a number of conversations. i called director wray on monday the 4th, trying to express concerns that there might be this kind of activity. i never expected this level of violence. i had a number of conversations with senior fbi leadership on the 5th through the 6th. i don't think i could have been fully informed of what would come to pass, but i think the fbi felt they were in better shape in terms of intel and preparation than what came to be the case, and i would like for you to comment on how well you felt the fbi did in terms of sharing intelligence and then coordinating when the actual activities of the 6th played out. >> i'll go ahead -- do you want me to address that first? >> yeah. i mean, i can't see where you all are, so every one of you can
take a crack at that. >> i'll go ahead and start first. i think the relationship we have with the fbi is outstanding. i think in my time with metropolitan and my time here, we've seen nothing but the relationship get better. the construct that we have that's very similar to some of the other major cities is having the joint terrorism task force, being involved with that. the information we're getting in is good. i think the process and having, like i said earlier, the wider lens of what information is being collected, maybe looking at the agencies that are consumers of their information and what their intelligence requirements are is something we need to look at. but i think getting that information in and then having it processed and pushed forward in an effective manner is something we need to look at. i would say on the 6th when this started happening, you know, immediately the fbi as being a partner of ours established a process where, with capitol police and fbi police, we can begin to analyze video footage,
analyze other evidence to going out and making arrests of the individuals that created the insurrection of the capitol. >> i'll go next. >> did we get enough intel beforehand? if we could get the balance of the panel to respond. >> i would echo on what the chief just mentioned. we've had a great working relationship with the fbi. i think it's a whole of intelligence approach, not specifically just the fbi when we have something as significant as what occurred here at the u.s. capitol. if there is information -- specific information out there that our government is responding to, i would think that something of that nature the would rise to the level of more than just an e-mail sent to law enforcement agencies. that should be a larger, more involved conversation about specifics, not just some of the
unvetted law information that's out there. we see some of that, but i think it's a whole approach. >> thank you. i don't know if any of the other panel members want to add any comment on that. let me just say that this is -- my concern is that in virginia, we've seen these kind of anti-government extremists take to the streets of charlottesville in 2017, resulting in the death of heather heier. we see the same kind of groups come to the forefront on january 6th. i think this is an ongoing threat to national security. i fear at times that while the fbi and others have pointed this out that it didn't get the level of serious review that it should
have. with the prior administration, i felt at times they did not want to take the information that was coming out of the fbi. i'm hoping on a going forward basis we'll be able to be more coordinated in terms of taking on anti-government extremism, whether it comes from the left or the right. this is a real ongoing threat. i can tell you for our intelligence committee, we've seen that many of these groups have connections and ties to anti-government extremist groups in europe where they've taken a great precedent. i know my time has expired, madam chairman, but this is something we need more work on. thank you for holding this hearing. >> thank you very much, senator warner. we look to working with you and the intelligence committee on this. next will be senator lankford and after that senator carper. >> thank you. mr. sund, i want to try to evaluate something. there is a letter in the public domain at this point that's an eight-page letter that was written to speaker pelosi that is attributed to you to try to
explain the events of that day. are you familiar with that letter in the public domain and is it accurate? >> yes, liit is, sir. >> in the letter itself you describe several things in this, the details and the time on it. can you tell us why you wrote this letter to speaker pelosi? what was the purpose of the letter? >> i feel at the time i resigned. i had limited communications with my department. i know my department was getting ready to go and testify at some of the initial committee hearings, and i think she had called for my resignation without full understanding of what we had prepared for, what we had gone through. i think she deserved to read firsthand what we had prepared for and what i dealt with for the 6th. >> you talked several times about thousands of coordinated, well-equipped rioters.
you said at 12:52 a pipe bomb had been located at the committee headquarters. how was that located? who found it and what was the particular moment it was found? >> i don't know that it was a particular moment it was found. i believe it was an employee at the republican national committee that had located it in the rear of the building that called it in to capitol police headquarters. >> you said you thought there were several out there that would take out resources at that exact moment. i'm glad they did find it. they found another one at the democratic headquarters as well. you had to assign several individuals to go to the rnc and dnc to deal with those explosives that were planted there, is that correct? >> that is correct, and just for your information, the rnc pipe bomb, that was run by capitol police. the d.c. metropolitan ended up
taking that so we could run two concurrently. the cannon house office building as well as one of the library of congress buildings. >> so the assault of the capitol is not what caused the evacuation of those buildings, the discovery of the pipe bombs is what caused evacuation of those buildings? >> that is correct, sir. >> there are quite a few members here that talked about the national guard and the length of time it took to go through the bureaucratic process to be deployed. it seems to be a misunderstanding on this dias with some individuals describing the national guard as if they are the riot police that can be automatically called. did you expect it to be a rapid response s.w.a.t. team at this point? what's the typical response of the national guard to call them out when they're not currently positioned? >> i believe the typical
response when they're called is approximately two hours. >> but the deployment of them would have to be started two days ahead? >> that's right. my initial request was over to mr. irving. it was actually an in-person request on the 4th, and it wasn't until the evening of the 4th that i talked to general walker, that he informed me that if needed, because mr. stenger wanted me to look forward and they could 125. >> but those 125 individuals from the national guard that were prepared to be able to move faster because they were in streets and other places doing traffic duty at that point, you had already been informed that the city of washington, d.c. and the mayor's office had made a request of d.o.d. and d.o.d. approved it, that none of them would be armed, none of them would have heavy gear on. there would be no military
vehicles available to them, they had to use unmarked vans and other government vans, and there would be no helicopters used. those were prohibited that day for the 125 individuals that were already on the street, is that correct? >> no, at the time i did not know that was the restrictions being placed on them. and two, when i talked to general walker, the 125 he was giving us was those assigned to covid. >> so they had no weapons, no military vehicles to move, no overhead visual on anything? that had all been requested no from the city of washington, d.c., and then for the other individuals, that could be a sign to use rapid force. those were the folks currently doing covid duty, so you had no s.w.a.t. team? this description is very interesting to me around this dias that people suddenly think the national guard bursts in and they're ready to go. that is not what the national guard is prepositioned to do.
>> that's correct. any time we've requested the national guard, it has been in an unarmed fashion. i was looking for them to help support the perimeter we had established. >> we've talked to some officers here and there has obviously been conversation around this dias as well about rules of training and authorization. there wasn't training for what to do if a mass group actually comes through the door and tries to burst through, whether it's an insurrection type of event, whether it's just a mob that's gone crazy and maybe protesting gets out of hand to be able to burst through the door. there was no clarity for the officers inside the building on their rules of engagement once they actually came to the building? my impression is they had to make it up on their own, and they determined whtheir stand would be where the members were located and they would use force. i have a couple questions on that. i know hindsight is 20/20, is there a need of a much greater
capability at the time or with officers at the time if they had less capabilities, and what to do if you have a group of individuals coming into the building unauthorized. >> just for clarification, we do train for people trying to get into the building. we don't train for an insurrection of thousands of people. they do have some capability they carry with them. i think there should be additional training, additional equipment to consider this type of attack in the future. >> the challenge is we all watched this summer, in fact, this committee on homeland security had a hearing on assaults at a federal courthouse in portland and went through assault for a month. individuals attacked that courthouse day after day after day after day. some of those techniques were used by individuals in here, some of the techniques to find a way to be able to attack officers. so the challenge is that we saw
that this was rising, i guess, that people were watching on tv, people attacking a federal institution all summer long. it is a follow-up we're going to have to do in the days ahead about how to get less than lethal capability and find ways to be able to stop any kind of assault of a number of individuals to be able to come on the capitol. i appreciate your sfrs. i appreciate very much the officers that continue to be able to serve because they've not had a gap, they've not had a break since that time period. i know you still interact with them, at least i hope you do, and i would encourage for you to pass on from us our gratitude, and we're all looking at this as a hind side 20/20 saying, why couldn't you read the tea leaves from the scrap of intel that came in the night before. let's find the lessons we can learn. >> thank you very much, sir. i know they appreciate your support as well as the support of congress. they're a hell of a police agency.
>> thank you for your patience, senator carper. >> chief contee is a former officer in the state of delaware. i recall instances on which i call on the delaware national guard for emergencies like ice storms, drought, you name it. i know the importance of the value of work that our officers have done for decades and other states around the country. as we have learned in contrast to every other state's national guard, the d.c. national guard operates differently. i'm convinced if someone had been able to activate the d.c. national guard and had 1,000 or 2,000 guardsmen deployed at the capitol in a timely way on the 6th of january, that level of destruction would not have occurred. unlike the 50 states that we have, the district of columbia not empowered to activate the
d.c. national guard during an emergency. that's one of the reasons i've worked for years with congresswoman to support the national guard washington, d.c. next question, chief contee, in your testimony you highlight a request for d.c. national guard assistance at the d.c. capitol on january 6 would have had to have been made by the u.s. capitol police with the consent of the u.s. department of defense. would you take a minute to explain that process and why mayor bowser is not able to request d.c. national guard assistance when federal property as well as human lives are threatened in the district that she leads? please go ahead. >> thank you for the question. so the mayor does not have full authority over the national guard to include their activation or deployment.
when the mayor makes a request to the district of columbia, we send that to the federal government. ultimately the secretary of the army who sees that request, there is a whole approval process that that request has to go through in order for national guard resources to be deployed from the district of columbia. unlike governors, and without going through approval processes and receiving approval from the highest level of the federal government, that just does not have to take place in other states. a real hindrance to us in terms of response and the ability to call them up. >> thanks for that response. would you take a minute to share with us your thoughts and whether having d.c. national guard under the command of the mayor or even a governor of a neighboring state might help the d.c. metropolitan police in
coordinating with federal authorities to better protect the city and citizens? and along with federal installations not unlike the one we experienced on january 6th. >> yes, i think we certainly should. we knew even on that day, january the 6th, prior to any movement of the national guard from the assignments they had been given, the traffic post, again, that required approval at the highest levels of the federal government to include the secretary of the army and the secretary of defense in order to just move the national bar or change admission, in essence. i think that should certainly be something that falls on the mayor's authority. >> mr. sund, in your testimony you state that the events of january 6 were not the results of poor planning on behalf of the capitol police, but rather a lack of intelligence that would
have allowed -- that would have allowed the -- let me start over. a lack of intelligence that would have allowed the capitol police to properly prepare. as i was looking through mr. stenger's testimony, he says, quote, the sharing of information and resources is paramount for success. that's his quote. i strongly agree with that statement. mr. sund, what went wrong leading up to january 6th as far as gathering and sharing actual intelligence. why do you think the likelihood of a truly devastating attack was so easy to underestimate. >> i think when you hear from some of the agencies with investigations currently going on, where they find evidence this was a coordinated attack that had been coordinated with numerous states for some time in advance of this, that's the information that would have been ekts tropical storm herminely
helpful for this. for them to make an indication that we will see more than a maybe inclined to violence type of preparation ds. knowing what occurred, you see what type of resources are brought to bear around the capitol. that information could have given us sufficient advance warning to plan for more of an attack such as what we saw. >> it reminds me of the movie "cool hand luke." certainly my generation would remember it. what we everhave here is a fail to communicate. that was the line at the end of the movie. do we have a failure to communicate? i'm not want to go point fingers, but to whom do we assign that failure to communicate? >> i believe that question is for me, sir. what i look at is we have a process for communications, and being a consumer of intelligence, i look at it more
as i think there is a failure of having a wide enough lens to look at what are the current threats that we're facing in a nation now from some of the domestic extremists. i think the communications processes are there, they need to be worked on a little bit, but i think the intelligence community needs to broaden its apertures on what information it collects. >> the investigation started weeks before, and we know it was culminated by none other than our president. with all the intelligence that was gathered by the fbi and homeland security, it never found its way to the people right here in d.c. that could have used it and avoided the tragedy of january 6. thank you. thank you, particularly to the capitol police and others who joined in trying to protect us
in this capitol on that sad day. >> i know we have several members ready to go, and we want you to go as quickly as possible, but there is a request from our witnesses who have been here for a long time. if we could give them a five-minute break and we'll reconvene in five minutes with additional questions. so we will recess for five minutes. >> i'm john king in washington. you're watching a very important committee hearing, two senate committees asking law enforcement officials what went wrong on january 6, the day of the deadly capitol insurrection. what intelligence did they receive beforehand? were there miscommunications about foresight posture before that day and on that day? this is just the beginning of several investigations into the insurrection on exactly what went wrong and what can be done to prevent such an attack in the future. joining me is political correspondent dana bash, andrew
mccabe, and the police chief sergeant ramsey. number one, we applaud all the officers and the bravery on that day. number two, hindsight is 20/20, as the witnesses said, so it's easier to criticize things that didn't happen on that day. but so we have grace for human error, several things came up that is quite alarming. one is that the capitol police chief does say they had a warning the night before, january 5th. it went to kcapitol hill but it never was received by the leadership, that possible attack on capitol hill. how could that happen? >> that is certainly a breakdown in communication, to say the least. i keep hearing people over and over again saying, well, we didn't have a lot of information, it was raw
information. intelligence rarely paints a full picture. but i think there was enough information there for them to have responded differently than they did in terms of having enough people available for immediate deployment. if it's true that it actually went from the joint terrorism task force to the capitol police intelligence section and the sergeant in charge of intel did not pass that on, that is just totally inexcusable. that is the kind of information you need, and it's occurring the day before the eventual action itself. the other thing i think contee mentioned that was very important, during the time i was in d.c., i had a great relationship with the fbi. i never worried about critical information that needed to get to me. why? because the assistant director would pick up the phone and call
me for something i needed to be aware. it was a simple phone call. i think we rely too much on e-mails and faxes and other things for critical information. that stuff needs to get to the right people very, very quickly. >> so, andrew mccabe, let's follow up on that very point. if the fbi had this intelligence and it was that these people, quote, were prepared for war, that's not something you pass through the mid-level of bureaucracy thinking someone would see it and call a meeting and move it up the chain. i assume if you were in that job, you would call the chief and you would call the capitol police chief. and if you didn't think they were taking it seriously, maybe you would call the speaker of the house and the majority leader in the u.s. senate. am i wrong about that? should the person who had this document -- chief ramsey is laying out what happened when it was received. does the person sooreceiving th intelligence have more responsibility? >> there is a deep responsibility there. i couldn't agree more with chief
ramsey. we've been down this road before. we at the fbi were roundly criticized in the aftermath of the boston bombing for failing to do exactly what you just described. when you have a key piece of intelligence that, in this case, bears direct impact on an event that's within, you know, 24 hours, 48 hours, you don't rely on the regular pass it to the jttf, hope that the capitol police officer on the jttf happens to push it fast enough and far enough up his chain of command. you as a leader pick up the phone and call that police chief and said, hey, i just saw one that really concerned me, i think you need to take a look at it. >> dana, one thing viewers around the country probably understand more now after that horrific insurrection day, when you hear all the different stakeholders here, this is a complicated collision of jurisdictions in the sense that the united states capitol police is responsible for the capitol
building. the house sergeant of arms' priority is house members. the senate sergeant of arms is senate members. the d.c. police has no jurisdiction on the capitol grounds. the d.c. mayor cannot deploy the national guard, it has to go to the pentagon because it's not a state. in this case the dysfunction in between cost lives. >> i'm going to add one more dynamic to that. in congress, for the sergeant in arms, the house and the senate, and to some degree the capitol police because there is a chain of command there, the politicians, the elected officials have a lot of say in the protection of the capitol as part of conversations with those entities. and that is different from a lot of law enforcement entities across the country, and i mean, chief ramsey certainly has experience with that. my unanswered question still in watching the many hours of testimony this morning is whether or not the political
leaders were -- yes, they weren't -- it seems to me that they weren't told but whether or not it is a culture that needs to be changed, that the expectation was that maybe they wouldn't like the optics, separate and apart from what andrew mccabe said, that it's just common sense that when you see something dire, you pick up the phone. >> and, chief, it's a collision of jurisdictions. you lived it when you were the d.c. police chief. for understandable reasons, we're not going to resolve the d.c. statehood debate here in this conversation right now, but should there be some sort of trigger, an emergency. when you reach a certain point, one person is in charge and one person gets to call the shots, and then that person is held accountable the day after, the week after, the month after. but in this case you have too many cooks, frankly. >> you're right. in a real emergency, the bureaucracy needs to be cut
through, and you need to be able to access the resources you need in a timely fashion. i have worked with the d.c. guard. they are very, very good. not only for things like traffic control and so forth. i've actually used them, especially during the international monetary world fund bank protest in the early 2000s, they have people that are trained in crowd control. now, we had them tucked away. we didn't just show them, but we had to actually deploy them on a couple occasions to actually help us man the lines. and had they not been there, we would have lost the line. so they are very good at what they do, but they're no good if they're not there. and so you have to be able to access them as a resource in a timely fashion, because if you do, then you're able to be able to deal with a situation far more effectively. >> we'll take a very quick break. i just want to remind our viewers that the senate administration committee is on a very quick break. should be back momentarily.
they are questioning law enforcement officers what they knew in advance of the january 6 insurrection, what they learned on that day and lessons they learned since. we'll be right back. way for you to sell your car. whether it's a year old or a few years old. we wanna buy your car. so go to carvana and enter your license plate answer a few questions. and our techno wizardry calculates your car's value and gives you a real offer in seconds. when you're ready, we'll come to you, pay you on the spot and pick up your car, that's it. so ditch the old way of selling your car, and say hello to the new way at carvana. we'll go straight back to
capitol hill. senator peters resuming this hearing. >> on january 6, police arrested the leader of the proud boys for possess, firearm magazines, and on january 5th, they released a report that went through the police, and that report noted on far right media the threats included comments such as, be ready to fight. congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, blood from their blm and antifa, slave soldiers being spilled. get violent. stop calling this a march or rally or protest. go there ready for war. we get our president or we die. nothing else will achieve this goal. did you get that fbi
intelligence report? >> i addressed it right when we started. the united states capitol police department did get that report. i was just advised of that in the last 24 hours. that report made it from the joint terrorism task force over to our intelligence bureau to a sergeant there and ceased moving forward at that point. no leadership, myself included over at capitol police was made aware of that at the time of the event. >> so you've referred in your testimony to the individual who is the head, john donahue, the director of intelligence on the u.s. capitol police, and did he receive that report, but he did not pass that on to you as head of the usep? >> i have no knowledge he received that report. i was told it went to the official rank of sergeant and didn't move any farther from there. >> that's very concerning. were there not procedures for
the head of the intelligence on the u.s. capitol police to get the intelligence report, to review it, especially when there were significant other indications of potential violence and make sure that you, as the leader, had that knowledge on which to develop additional plans if additional plans were needed? >> i'm sure that's something they're looking at in their current after-action. yes, there is a process for it, but again, as i mentioned before, that was raw intelligence that was coming in. and again, taken into consideration with everything else, none of the other intelligence were showing that we were looking at this type of a broad insurrectionist type of event with thousands of armed, coordinated individuals. >> i know you're saying the folks are looking at that now, but my question was, did you have a procedure for important intelligence to be brought directly to your attention, and did that system break down, and that's why you did not see the warnings about blood being spilled, get violent, be ready
to come and die. >> yes, there is a process in place to make sure that critical, important information is brought up to the leadership. again, that was something that would have gone through the development and the analysis of that information. >> okay. so you're saying the intelligence side of u.s. capitol police failed to get that into your hands. let me turn to rules of engagement. so officers are out there and there is an expanded perimeter which you've referred to, and you have those kind of perimeter fence that look like bike racks, and in a normal situation, that tells peaceful protesters, this is where you stop. was there any sort of discussion or training about what to do if protesters started picking those things up and opening holes in that perimeter? what were the rules of engagement? if i'm a police officer that day on the line for the capitol police, how was i supposed -- was i trained, like, what do i do when those perimeter fences
are breached? do i use spray, do i use a stun gun, do i use tear gas? do i have a clear sense of exactly how i'm supposed to respond? >> yes, there is a rules of engagement, there is a use of force policy, and there's also civil disobedience training that has to do with when you have a non-compliant group, how you deal with non-compliance and gaining compliance, which would include hand control techniques, the application of chemical spray and impact weapons. >> so on that day, you issued rules of engagement that included what specifically? i'm an officer. what was i supposed to do if those barricades were breached? >> there are rules of engagement that exist. they weren't issued just that day. >> they don't exist from event to event based on threat analysis? >> no, sir. >> you said the perimeter was spread out in that area. once they were breached, what is
the instructions to officers on the team to be able to retreat to a defensible point? >> we had what was called an instant command system that was established. you have instant command for the exterior, the resources on the exterior of the building that would provide those officers, those cdu units, with specific directions on where to go, what's the next step if you retreat to the upper west terrace, which i believe is what they were told to do, as well as handling the joint session and activities on the outside. >> so i'm out on the plaza and the crowd swarms past me. i have an assigned place to go to retreat to that is defensible? >> the incident commander would be providing directions to people on the field of where to retreat to and make the next stand. >> so no advance information. how do you avoid the situation of those who are guarding a door, closing and locking a door and leaving police officers stranded outside of that locked perimeter?
>> your question is how do you prevent that? >> if you ever folks guarding a door, and protesters are trying to get through it, so they're trying to lock that and prevent it, and there isn't a pre-plan for how to deal with officers who are stranded outside of those doors, how is that handled? do you have drills on that, do you have set instructions on that? >> again, that's something i would look for the on-site official, the on-site commander with instructions on where to relocate to. >> let me put it this way. have you ever held a drill to respond to this situation where a crowd pushes past the exterior barricades? >> not this level of situation, no, sir. >> to what level have you had such drills? >> we've done various exercises with people, you know, activities on the grounds during civil disobedience training, how to handle riotous groups. >> thank you. i'm going to turn just seconds
left to the sergeant in arms for the senate. mr. stenger, at the time we were in the senate chamber and the rioters reached the perimeter of the senate, there was a very quick rush to try to lock the doors, and there were people searching for how do you lock these, and there are many ent entrances on the balcony. has there ever been any kind of drill of how to secure doors to the chamber as a last point of defense? >> yes, sir. at least once a year they hold a chamber action drill where they would work together with the capitol police, with the floor keepers to do a lockdown so they know when they should lock down. >> so that's done as an actual drill where people have to run,
get the keys, lock the doors. they know what doors they're supposed to guard? are they supposed to guard them from the inside, the outside and so forth? >> yes, sir. >> when was a drill of that nature last conducted? >> i would have to go back and check. we try and do it once a year. >> i think i'm out of time and i thank you very much to the chairman. >> thank you, senator. senator scott, you're recognized. >> thank you. first off, i want to thank everybody for your hard work. we've had the national guard since around the 6th. can you tell us how you made the decision to bring the national guard here, each of you, to the extent you were involved, or if you were not involved, how the decision was made? the national guard presence we have here now. as a result of the riot, the
national guard has put up the fencing and all that. >> that began to be developed on the evening of the 6th. when we made the request, we got the national guard in, we started looking to the future of what was going to be next. we started talking about bringing in the first section of global fencing which basically went right around the square, that was constitution to 1st. we started talking about working with the national guard representative. that was developed with capitol police, working with, i believe, sergeant in arms at the time. in the evening going into the 7th that we developed that. >> okay. were you the only one involved or were the sergeant in arms involved? >> i believe so. i would have to go back and pull that information. we were working on a number of different aspects of it at the time, but i had my general counsel as well as my operations people working on the request in coordination with the national guard. >> what was the purpose of the original -- the national guard that came and put up the fencing? what was the rationale, what was the threat assessment?
>> so just to make sure i understand, you're talking about the national guard that came on the 6th? >> no, the presence that stayed after. >> oh, the one that stayed after. so what was the threat assessment? >> what was the threat assessment, and why was it set up that they would be here for -- it seems like now months on end? >> beyond the 8th, again, my departure date was the 8th, so the information i have is up until the 8th. they were putting them in place based on the mass insurrection we had on the 6th. i wasn't aware of any additional intelligence at that point, they were just concerned about possible violent extremists regrouping and staging another attack on the capitol. >> so you haven't seen anything that would give us a threat assessment now that we have a concern that we need to have the national guard present. it doesn't mean there's not, but you haven't seen anything? >> no, sir. i've not been in that environment since the 8th. >> okay.
anybody else -- any of the others that are here to testify, do you have any threat assessment you've seen that there is a reason we have the national guard here today? is that a no from everybody? no one has any idea why we have the national guard here? >> this is chief contee. yeah, my guess is in response to all the things that have happened, but to your question specifically about specific intelligence, i have not personally seen anything that suggests that. >> and are you involved in the decision at all of why the national guard is here? >> no, sir, i am not. >> and they've not shared any threat assessment with you at all with regard to why the national guard is here? >> that has not been shared with me, no. >> does that surprise you?
>> i can't say that i'm really surprised. quite frankly, we have talked about, you know, intelligence in terms of what we expect to see in the city. there are several law enforcement calls that take place between metropolitan police department and other federal partners, but, again, the capitol police and that structure is something they're not beholden to the district of columbia mayor or anything like that. but i've not seen anything specifically from them about the fence being the way it is now. i should add also, sir, obviously i think there needs to be a reimagining of the security posture. something certainly should be there, but i'm not exactly sure the answer to that is razor wire and the deployment that we
currently see. >> and former sergeant in arms, no one has given you -- you've not seen any information that would suggest we have an imminent threat that we need the national guard here? >> i have not. >> and i have not, either. i resigned on the 7th and have been gone since, so i have no information. >> okay. so who would be making the decision that the national guard needs to be here, then, and where would the threat assessment come from? does anybody know? >> i would maybe look at the current leadership over at maybe the capitol police in conjunction with the current sergeant in arms. >> so the head of capitol p police, the city and acting sergeant in arms. >> that is correct, to give you current information on that. >> would they coordinate with the metropolitan police? >> if there was intelligence
that would indicate the need for such activity, it would usually be shared with our partner, our local law enforcement with whom we share our perimeter and our borders. >> and if there was a threat out there, would there be some public information that they would put out, normally? >> again, that all has to do with the nature of the threat, the threat, the classification of the threat, but again, that would be shared with law enforcement within the district of columbia through the jttf as well as the executive board for the jttf. >> i'm flabbergasted not that you don't know now, but there is no public information about why we have all these national guards here. does that surprise you? >> it's a significant security deployment. again, i believe it's based on the facts of what they've seen. hindsight being what it is, it's the facts of what occurred on
january 6, an unprecedented insurrection. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. senator hassin, you're recognized for your questions. >> thanks, mr. chair, and thanks for all the witnesses being here today. i especially want to take a moment to acknowledge the heroism of the officers of the u.s. capitol police, law enforcement and other employees of the capitol who bravely worked to protect our democracy on january 6, and who have done so much work to restore our capitol since that day. i also want to thank all of the families of our law enforcement and capitol hill staff for what they went through watching this unfold in realtime. i want to start with a question for chief contee, if i could. chief, washington, d.c. is
obviously no stranger to large assemblies and protests. what is the standard process for protests in washington, d.c. when it comes to interagency coordination and information sharing? and following the events of january 6, what recommendations do you have for improving coordination and information sharing? >> thank you for that question. there are several discussions, meetings that take place between the municipal police department as well as our federal partners. we oftentimes have coordination calls with the national park service simply because in a lot of the federal lands, they authorize the permits for the federal land. so this ere is coordination tha has to happen between the parks department, the u.s. secret service. with respect to the intelligence, again, our partners from the fbi, they're often a part of those
discussions. i think that the thing kind of going forward that certainly needs to be looked at with respect to specific intelligence has been outlined throughout some of the testimony today. when there is specific information that warrants us to perhaps posture differently, our notification system needs to be different. the jttf distribution list that we have is not something that is a monitored list 24 hours a day, seven days a week that would generate an immediate response to that. when those communications are sent out, there are staff members who at some point will get to that information, but i think, again, that has been laid out when we're talking about something of this magnitude that could potentially happen and ultimately did happen in our city, it should posture us to
move differently, perhaps with convenient phone calls immediately and not counting on an e-mail or something making it through the chain, through the levels that it needs to for other decisions to be made. >> thank you for that answer. one of the things i would observe is sometimes ahead of events like these just scheduling ongoing check-ins with leadership at all of the agencies that need to coordinate can have the effect of sharing information in realtime. i want to move to a question -- to mr. stenger, mr. irving and mr. sund. the secretary of homeland security has the authority to designate events of national and international significance as national special security events. but that didn't happen for january 6, even given the threat information readily available ahead of time. designated events are ready for
expanded support and security of the events. prior to january 6, did anyone from the department of homeland security contact you for a national security designation? i'll start with you, mr. sund, and move to the others. >> thank you, senator. no, i am not aware of anybody from d.c. reaching out, if this was a national security event or we would request it to be, or if they would designate a special cr rating to the event. no, i'm antnot aware. >> thank you. mr. stenger or mr. irving? >> nobody contacted me. >> same thing with me, no one contacted me or my office. >> thank you for that. i intend to bring this up with the department of homeland security on this topic. mr. sund, my last question. the officers of the capitol police work each and every day to keep the u.s. capitol safe and secure.
we are all grateful for the brave work of the u.s. capitol police officers on january 6th. tragically, the law enforcement community has now lost two officers to suicide since january 6 as a result of the insurrection and the events then. my thoughts, and i'm sure the thoughts of all of us here today, are with the families of npd officer jeffrey smith and u.s. capitol police officer howard levingood. what are currently available to capitol police officers and are these resources sufficient? >> the department has brought in significant mental health resources, and i certainly do appreciate your recognition of that. i've talked to a number of officers who have definitely gone through the battle and feel -- they're feeling a lot of trauma from it, but i know the chief of police, the acting chief, has brought in significant resources. we had the employee assistance program, but they brought in a number of outside contractors
that have gotten very good response, so i think there is a lot of mental health resources available, and i know a number of officers are taking advantage of it, which i'm happy to see. >> so am i, and i would encourage all officers who feel that they could benefit from counseling to reach out for it, and i would certainly encourage, and i'm sure my colleagues here would, too, that all leadership in law enforcement reach out to us if they feel the resources are strained or need bolstering in some way. thank you all for your service. thank you very much for your testimony and for being here today. to the chair and ranking members of our respect acive committees thank you so much for organizing this hearing. >> thank you, senator hassan, and the chair now recognizes senator hawley for his questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to begin by saying a special thank you and a special acknowledgment to captain
mendoza who shared her testimony earlier today, earlier this morning. captain mendoza is a native of missouri and an alumnae of park university if memory serves. i want to thank her for being here today, but also for her incredible bravery and courage on january 6th, and on behalf of the entire state of missouri, i want to say thank you for what you have done, thank you for what you represent, and i also want to take that opportunity to say again now, as i said on the night of that terrible day, a thank you to all of the law enforcement from all of our various branches who responded in this dire emergency to face these criminal rioters, these violent criminals to repulse them from the capitol and to secure the space so that the work of congress could continue. so thank you, and a special thanks to captain mendoza from the state of missouri. mr. sund, if i could just return to the question about the national guard activation, i'm a little bit confused about the
timeline here. i want to ask you and mr. irving some questions just so i can get this clear in my own head. i'm looking at your written testimony. you testified that you spoke with mr. irving at -- actually, both of the sergeants in arms at 1:00 p.m. i understand there is a little dispute about the timing here, but you do say mr. irving advised you that he needed to run it, namely the request of the national guard, he needed it run it up the chain of command. have i got that right? >> yes, sir. >> mr. irving, can i just ask you, when mr. sund told you you needed to run it up the chain of command, to whom were you referring there? >> senator, i do not recall a phone call at 1:09 when i was on the floor of the house during the electoral college session. my phone records do not reflect a telephone call at that time, and had i received a call at
that time, i had everyone with me. i had mr. stenger, leadership. we would have approved it immediately. i have no recollection of that call and neither do i have a record of it. >> you say, i think, that you spoke with mr. sund later, at approximately 1:30. is that right? >> that is correct, after i left the floor. and on that call, he had indicated to me that conditions were deteriorating and that he might be making a request at a later time. >> okay. did you then say you needed to run it up the chain of command or words to that effect? >> no. not to my recollection. i notified leadership and i went to michael stenger's office to receive updates from mr. sund as to conditions outside and to determine whether he need to do make a request or not. and when the request was made shortly after 2:00, we approved it. >> when you say "we," who
approved it? >> i was in mr. stenger's office, so mr. stenger. >> so you were not waiting for input from congressional leadership? do i have that right? >> i advised them like we would do with many security protocols. >> but you weren't waiting for them at any point? there was no delay, you're saying, in getting national guard request because you didn't at any point actually wait for the input of the speaker or the majority leader or anybody else? >> no, absolutely not. >> mr. sund, is that your recollection? >> my recollection was at 1:09 while i was sitting in the command center watching things rapidly deteriorate, i made a phone call. a phone call was made in the presence of both my assistant chiefs and possibly my general counsel, at which time i made the initial request that we need
to activate the national guard, the situation is bad on the west front. i followed up on 1:22 to check on the status of the request. >> one of the things i'm trying to get clear on here is who would constitute the chain of command. it sounds like mr. irving is saying he actually never made that statement and he didn't consult anybody else. my understanding is from the statute, 2 usc chapter 29, line 170, that the capitol police board does not have to consult with members of the senate and house leadership to make a request of other executive departments and executive agencies, so it would seem strange to me that there was any talk of a chain of command that would have involved anybody other than the capitol police board given the statute. there seems to be some confusion about the basic facts and who asked for what when. let me just ask you this. mr. sund, on monday, january 4th, you testified that you approached the house and senate
sergeant-at-arms to request the assistance of the national guard and mr. irving said he was concerned about the optics of having to deploy, is that right? am i remembering that correctly? >> yes, sir. on the 4th, it wasn't a phone call, it was an in-person visit to his office where i went in and requested the national guard. >> mr. irving, when you used the term optics, and maybe you didn't, do you recall being concerned about the optics of the national guard and could you just elaborate on what you meant by that? again, this is monday, january 4th, now. >> on monday january 4th, senator, safety was always a deciding factor in making security plans. the issue on the table was whether the intelligence warranted troops at the capitol. and the conversation with mr. sund was not -- i did not take it as a request, he was merely informing me that he had rece