'They used military grade tear gas'- Security officials tell Senate hearing as they blame poor intel and each other for pro-Trump Capitol attack

'They used military grade tear gas'- Security officials tell Senate hearing as they blame poor intel and each other for pro-Trump Capitol attack

 Law enforcement officials have blamed poor intelligence, each other and poor pentagon response for the security breach that allowed a pro-Trump mob to storm the historic building last month in a deadly attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

Before the officials testified to Senate committees,  a Capitol Police captain injured on Jan. 6 opened the hearing by revealing how the insurrectionists attacked her and other officers with “military-grade” tear gas.


“Officers received a lot of gas exposure, which is a lot worse inside the building versus outside, because there’s nowhere for it go,” said the captain, Carneysha Mendoza. 

“I received chemical burns to my face that still have not healed to this day.”

During the testimony, the four Capitol security heads who have resigned since the attack except for Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee, defended their actions during the attacks and said they could not have foreseen the events of that bloody day which left a Capitol Police officer and four others dead.

They also revealed some errors that paved the way for the riot yo take place.

Steven Sund, the former chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, made the startling revelation that his agency received a “critical threat” memo from the FBI on Jan. 5 warning that far-right extremists were preparing to unleash “war” the next day if Congress certified President Biden’s election but the alert was never conveyed to Sund.

“I was just advised of that in the last 24 hours,” Sund said before the Senate Homeland Security and Rules Committees.


“That report made it ... to our intelligence bureau to a sergeant there and ceased moving forward at that point. No leadership, myself included, over at Capitol Police was made aware of that at the time.”

 Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.), whose committee is taking the lead on a preliminary review of the Jan. 6 riot, could barely believe his ears and asked Sund how that “vital” piece of intelligence was kept from him on the eve of the assault.

Sund then said the reason for that shortcoming was an intra-agency process necessitating that such “raw” intelligence be verified before it’s passed up the chain of command.

“That information would have been helpful,” he conceded.

Moving on, Sund pointed fingers at former House and Senate Sergeants-at-Arms Paul Irving and Michael Stenger, who were both at the hearing, saying he had approached them around 1 p.m. on Jan. 6 about calling in the National Guard to help with security at the Capitol.

But Irving refuted that and said he didn’t hear from Sund until after 2 p.m., once right-wing rioters were already climbing the Capitol steps, wielding weapons, Confederate battle flags and zip ties.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, the top Republican on the Senate Rules Committee, said lawmakers may need to subpoena Sund and the other officials for phone records to clear up the discrepancies.

 Irving, Stenger and Contee also said they weren’t made aware of the Jan. 5 FBI alert before the attack.

Contee complained the FBI memo was emailed to his agency without much notice. 

Once the riot was underway, Contee testified about an infuriating conversation with Pentagon officials.

Contee said Army officials were wasting time with his request for National Guard assistance as rioters were already stampeding through the halls of Congress on the hunt for ex-Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other politicians they deemed “traitors” to Trump.

“I was just stunned that I have officers that are literally fighting for their lives, and we’re kind of going through what seemed like an exercise to check the boxes and there was not an immediate response,” Contee said.

It took several hours before National Guard troops eventually arrived at the Capitol.

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The four officials testifying Tuesday all said their agencies did the best they could in a difficult situation.

“No single civilian law enforcement agency — and certainly not the USCP — is trained and equipped to repel, without significant military or other law enforcement assistance, an insurrection of thousands of armed, violent, and coordinated individuals focused on breaching a building at all costs,” Sund said.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who is chairwoman of the Rules Committee, concluded the hearing by saying that more scrutiny will be necessary.

“Because clearly we have, and our members have, additional questions,” she said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says congress plans to create an independent 9/11-style commission to examine all aspects of the Capitol attack.

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