Chief: Capitol Police prepared, but not for a riot

The acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police is testifying before Congress as lawmakers press for answers about intelligence failures that allowed thousands of supporters of then-President Donald Trump to storm the Capitol last month. (Feb 25)

Video Transcript

YOGANANDA PITTMAN: Since the 6th, it has been suggested that the department was either ignorant of or ignored critical intelligence that indicated that an attack of the magnitude that we experienced on January 6 would occur. The department was not ignorant of intelligence indicating an attack of this size and scale we encountered on the 6th. There was no such intelligence. Although we knew the likelihood for violence by extremists, no credible threat indicated that tens of thousands would attack the US Capitol.

There's evidence that some of those who stormed the Capitol were organized, but there's also evidence that a large number were everyday Americans who took on a mob mentality because they were angry and desperate. It is the conduct of this latter group that the department was not prepared for. The department did face some operational challenges that we are addressing. For example, the Capitol lockdown was not properly executed. Some of the officers were unsure of when to use lethal force.

We are addressing those operational challenges. But I want to make clear that these measures alone would not have stopped the threat we faced. To stop a mob of tens of thousands requires more than a police force. It requires physical infrastructure or a regiment of soldiers.