While appearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee security officials former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger, and former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving along with Metropolitan Police Department acting chief Robert Contee said they believe the Capitol riots that occurred on January 6th were due to "security failures" and not a "coordinated attack" as some have claimed.
The group was questioned by Committee Chairman Gary Peters over whether they believed there was any coordination in reference to the attack.
"These people came specifically with equipment. You’re bringing climbing gear to a demonstration, explosives, chemical spray – you’re coming prepared," Sund testified. "The fact that the group attacked our West Front 20 minutes before the event at the Ellipse ended – they were planning on our agency not being at full strength at that time."
Sund was referring to former President Donald Trump's rally, which was taking place near the White House around the time the riots first began.
He also noted that the U.S. Capitol Police "were dealing with two pipe bombs, specifically set right off the edge of our perimeter to draw resources away."
"I think there was a significant coordination with this attack," Sund added.
Contee said rioters had "hand signals and radio communication," as well as a "coordinated use" of chemicals.
"I certainly believe it was coordinated," Contee said, reiterating the "placement of pipe bombs in the area, all of those things, and plus, adding to what we know in hindsight, now, as a result of the ongoing investigation of the FBI."
Irving agreed and said, "As they continue to scrub social media, we are learning more and more and more that this is clearly a coordinated effort."
"Based on the information provided by Contee and Sund, I would agree," Irving added. "The evidence would indicate a coordinated attack."
The Capitol Riot followed Trump's rally during which he urged his followers to protest "peacefully and patriotically." Rioters began gathering around the Capitol for most of that day but didn't breach the building until about an hour after Trump's speech concluded.