As protesters became an increasing threat to the Capitol on Jan. 6, Chief Sund asked federal and law enforcement agencies in the area for further assistance. “He also campaigned for National Guard approval, but received no approval for over an hour,” Chief Pittman said.
Two of the board members have resigned at the time of the attack: Paul D. Irving, the House NCO, and Michael C. Stenger, the Senate NCO. The third member, J. Brett Blanton, the architect of the Capitol, is still on the board. Mr. Blanton was nominated by Mr. Trump in December 2019 and ratified by the Senate that same month. The head of the Capitol Police is ex officio not entitled to vote.
“In my experience, there was no preparation that would have enabled an open campus on which legitimate protesters could exercise their freedom of expression under the First Amendment while preventing the attack on the Capitol grounds that day,” Chief Pittman said .
Many officers suffer from PTSD following the attack, she said, “especially after the loss of two of our officers directly and indirectly as a result of the January 6th events.” Officers have also seen an increase in coronavirus infections.
During the briefing, House NCO Timothy P. Blodgett said it was “clear the preparation had failed,” referring to poor communication and poor Capitol defenses.
“Whether it was inadequate or conflicting information, the inability to translate that information into action, the inadequate preparation, or the inadequate ability to mobilize partner agencies for immediate help, a series of events that were once considered unfathomable unfolded and enabled the breach of our most sacred halls, “said Mr. Blodgett.