Washington — Two Senate committees on Tuesday are holding the first hearing examining the January 6 attack on the Capitol, featuring testimony from key officials about security lapses that allowed a pro-Trump mob to overrun the complex.
The Senate Rules Committee and Homeland Security Committee are holding a joint hearing with four officials, three of whom resigned almost immediately after the attack: former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger, former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund and Robert Contee, chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.
“When an angry, violent mob staged an insurrection on January 6, and desecrated our Capitol, the temple of our democracy, it was not just an attack on the building. It was an attack on our republic itself,” Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, the Rules Committee chairwoman, said to open the hearing. “We are here today to better understand what was known in advance what steps were taken to secure the Capitol, and what occurred that day, because we want to ensure that nothing like this happens again.”
How to watch the Senate hearing today on the Capitol attack
- What: The Senate Rules Committee and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hold a hearing on security failures during the January 6 attack on the Capitol
- Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2021
- Time: 10 a.m. ET
- Location: Capitol Hill
- Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above or on your mobile or streaming device
The failure to quickly call in National Guard reinforcements to aid Capitol Police who were responding to the attack is likely to be a central point of contention in the hearing.
The hearing is just the beginning of congressional inquiries into security failures surrounding the attack, with lawmakers considering establishing a panel to investigate the assault, modeled on the 9/11 Commission.
The Justice Department has charged more than 235 people in connection to the assault, which left five people dead, including one police officer. The pro-Trump mob overran security forces at the Capitol as lawmakers met to count the votes of the Electoral College, sealing President Biden’s victory in November’s election. The mob successfully delayed the count for hours as members of Congress fled the building.
House Democrats moved quickly to impeach former President Donald Trump before he left office for allegedly inciting the mob in a speech earlier on January 6. Mr. Trump was acquitted in his Senate trial, although seven Republicans voted to convict him.
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