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Lawmakers angrily grill Capitol security officials over lack of leadership as mob stormed US Capitol

February 25, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 53%. 2 min read.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13: The Capitol dome is seen early Wednesday morning before Amb. William Taylor And Deputy Assistant Secretary Of State George Kent testify at the first public impeachment hearing before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill November 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. In the first public impeachment hearings in more than two decades, House Democrats are trying to build a case that President Donald Trump committed extortion, bribery or coercion by trying to enlist Ukraine to investigate his political rival in exchange for military aide and a White House meeting that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky sought with Trump. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

House lawmakers angrily grilled acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman and acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett on Thursday over the security failures that occurred on January 6, repeatedly pressing both officials on the lack of communication by law enforcement leaders as their officers were overwhelmed by the pro-Trump mob that day.

(CNN)House lawmakers angrily grilled acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman and acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett on Thursday over the security failures that occurred on January 6, repeatedly pressing both officials on the lack of communication by law enforcement leaders as their officers were overwhelmed by the pro-Trump mob that day.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Republican from Washington state, said she was with police officers during the attack and saw the communication failures happening in real-time.

"It was very clear that their head pieces, the communication pieces, they were getting no actual real communication, they were getting no leadership, they were getting no direction, there was no coordination and you could see the fear in their eyes," Beutler said.

She said the failures stemmed from the fact that police lines were so overrun that commanders who oversee the emergency response were instead physically fending off rioters.

"When there's a breakdown you look for those commanders with boots on the ground to provide that instruction," Pittman said.

"I'm hearing a lot of process and a lot of almost blaming why there is a problem versus hearing how you're going to make sure that there is a command center that speaks into the ear pieces of the officers and provides directions and leadership.

That part of the problem there was chaos was because each and every one of these officers' boots on the ground, commander or not, had to make a decision with no information," she said.

Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro directed her frustrations Thursday toward the board that oversees the US Capitol Police, saying it is "obsolete" and isn't keeping members safe, blaming the board's bureaucracy for the slow response during the January 6 insurrection.

Her comments came two days after a Senate hearing where the three officials who were on the Capitol Police Board during the attack said that the bureaucracy creates a situation where no single person has ultimate responsibility to secure the complex.

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