Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund placed the blame Tuesday on intelligence officials for failing to properly share warnings about the potential for violence ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
Sund called the events “an intelligence failure” and called the attack preventable in testimony before the House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight.
“We were blindsided. Intelligence failed the operations,” Sund said. “The Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol was preventable. If the intelligence had been accurately reported — and the FBI and DHS had followed their policies and established practices — I wouldn’t be sitting here today.”
He added: “There was a failure to connect the dots on 9/11 and again on Jan. 6. I’m concerned if we do not identify and correct these issues, we may fail again in the future.”
Sund resigned following the deadly attack, along with two other senior Capitol security officials — then-Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger and then-House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving. He’s previously said the Pentagon dragged its feet in responding to the events of Jan. 6 — even after besieged law enforcement officials pled for additional support.
Under questioning from the panel’s ranking member Norma Torres (D-Calif.), Sund said participants in the events “deserve to be held accountable” and said he wished former President Donald Trump had reacted more swiftly to bring reinforcements to the Capitol.
“I would’ve liked some assistance with getting the military to the Capitol,” he said in response to Torres.
Asked if Trump had accepted his proper share of responsibility for the attack, Sund responded: “I think there are a lot of people that need to accept some responsibility associated with this.” He also called it “very surprising” the identify of the person who placed bombs at the DNC and RNC remains unknown.
Republicans on the subcommittee indicated they felt Sund got disproportionate blame for the day’s events in the aftermath from officials like then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“You were a scapegoat of conditions that were set forth where you could not succeed,” Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) said. “What happened on Jan. 6 was unforgivable but the conditions were set forth by the former speaker and two sergeants at arms.”