Senate schedules 1st hearing into Capitol breach security failures

Pro-Trump rioters breach the security perimeter and penetrate the U.S. Capitol to protest against the Electoral College vote count that would certify President-elect Joe Biden as the winner in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI

Feb. 17 (UPI) — The Senate on Tuesday scheduled its first hearing to examine the security failures that led to last month’s breach of the U.S. Capitol building by a mob of President Donald Trump‘s supporters.

The joint hearing, to be held between the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Rules and Administration Committee, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday.

“The committees are seeking testimony from current and former officials responsible for securing the U.S. Capitol on the preparations and response efforts on Jan. 6, 2021, when a criminal mob was able to breach the Capitol complex,” the committees said in a statement.

Robert Contee, chief of the Metropolitan Police Department; Michael Stenger, former Senate Sergeant at Arms; Paul Irving, former House Sergeant at Arms; and Steven Sund, former chief of U.S. Capitol Police, have been requested to testify.

At least five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died as a result of the swarm of Trump supporters who sieged the Capitol building Jan. 6 in an effort to stop congressmen inside from certifying the election win of President Joe Biden.

Trump was impeached for a record second time on an article of inciting the mob, but was acquitted Saturday by the Senate.

Nearly 200 people have been charged by federal prosecutors for their involvement in the breach, and authorities continue to search for others.

Stenger, Irving and Sund, the top Capitol security officials, resigned after the attack.

The announcement of the joint hearing came a little more than a week after Senate committee leaders called on 22 agencies and departments to inform them of their preparation prior to the certification of electoral votes on Jan. 6 and their response to the siege.

On Monday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced plans to launch an independent commission to probe the attack in order to “get to the truth of how this happened.”

The California Democrat had previously urged for the creation of a “9/11-type” commission to investigate the causes and security failures that led to the breach.


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