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tv   Counterterrorism Homeland Security Officials Testify on January 6...  CSPAN  March 3, 2021 10:02am-2:16pm EST

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i call to order the second joint hearing of the rules and homeland security and government affairs committees. examining the january 6th attack on the united states capitol. at today's review we'll continue the committee's important work to get answers to lead us to solutions following the horrific events at this capitol on
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january 6th. last week we heard from witnesses who were directly in charge of capitol security on that day and from local law enforcement in washington. today we'll hear testimony from the head of the national guard and from federal officials from agencies including fbi, defense department and department of homeland security that are tasked with supporting our security people at the capitol. the testimony of these witnesses is crucial as we work to get to the bottom of what happened again with the focus being on making sure it doesn't happen again. and with that, i now turn it over to chairman peters for his opening statement. i will give mine and then senator blunt and portman. thank you. >> thank you, madam chair. and ranking member portman, rapging member blunt and to all of our colleagues from the rules committee for, once again, joining us to convene this second joint hearing on the
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january 6th attack on our capitol building. last week's hearing provided really the first opportunity for the american people to hear about the attack directly from the security officials that were on the ground. today we'll be seeking answers on the role of the federal national security and counterterrorism agencies and officials played intelligence gathering, security and response to the attack. and i want to thank each of our witnesses for joining us voluntarily here today. and i'm grateful to all of you and the employees of each of your agencies, including the national guard units who continue to assist in protecting the capitol today. we appreciate their continued efforts to safeguard our national security. and while there are still many unanswered questions about january 6th, it's clear that this violent, coordinated attack
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was the result of a massive and historic intelligence failure. today our committees will, once again, examine the systemic break downs that led to this terrible attack and particularly how our intelligence and national security experts failed to see it coming. this is not a new problem. for years i've been raising the alarm about the growing domestic terrorism threat with the department of homeland security, the fbi and other key agencies and their continued failures to adequately and effectively align our counterterrorism efforts to address the threats post by domestic extremists. but the january 6th attack must mark a turning point. there can be no question that the domestic terrorist threat including violence driven by white supremacist and anti-government groups is the gravest terrorist threat to our homeland security. moving forward, the fbi, which is tasked with leading our
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counterterrorism efforts and the department of homeland security, which ensures that state and local law enforcement understands the threats that american communities face must address this deadly threat with the same focus and resources and analytic rigor that they apply to foreign threats such as isis and al qaeda. today's witnesses are uniquely qualified to discuss the intelligence that was produced in the days leading up to the attack, that officials missed as they assessed the likelihood of violence on that day. and why are our intelligence community failed to heed the crystal clear warnings that were broadcast on social media and publicly reported in the days leading up to the 6th. that a violent attack on the capitol was likely and imminent. we also need answers about the operational failures that terrible day, especially the response to the secure the building once it was breached.
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i'm pleased that we have representatives that built the department of defense civilian leadership and the national guard to help us understand why it took several hours for the national guard to arrive and offer additional security and support. the january 6th attack on the democracy remains a dark stain on our nation's history. our committee, both of our committees have a responsibility to carry out our oversight duties in a serious and nonpartisan way. i look forward to having a productive discussion and getting the answers that the american people deserve. and what we need to do to make sure that reforms are put in place to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again. with that i'll turn it back over to chairwoman klobuchar. >> i want to start by thanking you, ranking member blunt and
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portman for the hearing that we had last week. i also want to thank the many members of both committees who patiently participated during votes and all last week and asked thoughtful questions that will help us move forward. importantly, there were a number of areas of agreement. we heard all of our witnesses last week make clear that there is now insurrection was coordinated and involved white supremacist and if it was not for the brave actions of law enforcement on the front line. we also heard consensus from witnesses who held key leadership positions in charge of the capitol security. now, they didn't agree on everything, but there was consensus that there were break down in intelligence sharing, delays in bringing in the national guard and issues concerning the structure of the capitol police board and the decisionmaking process that it is in our unique responsibility
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to change. i hope that the spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation will continue today as we hear testimony from federal agencies on their roles with respect to intelligence gathering and timely sharing of intelligence, security preparations, the response and the request for help from the defense department as well as their perspectives on how the capitol police decisionmaking process could be so much better going forward. we know there were errors made by those in charge of security at the capitol. and it is always easy, of course, to realize that later than we're in the moment. but that fact alone to me isn't enough to not look back. we must look back because we must do better going forward. we heard last week the capitol police as a consumer, that was the word of the former chief of intelligence. it relies on its federal partners including the february and the department of homeland
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security who have witnesses here today. while we are aware of the fbi raw intelligence report that came out the day before out of the norfolk office, public reporting has indicated that neither agency, dhs or fbi produced a threat report that the fbi did not produce a joint bulletin and the dhs did not produce a threat assessment ahead of january 6th. and the former police chief has said that representatives from these agencies indicated they did not have any new intelligence to share at a meeting before the day of the attack. but the insurrectionists who attacked the capitol as we know came prepared for war, as we heard last week. they brought radios and climbing gear to surmount the capitol features and they brought weapons. we need to hear from the federal agencies about what was known and when and what was done in response to those foreboding online threats and how information was share would the law enforcement partners who
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depend on them. we need to also understand why with all the information that was available the decision to reinforce local police with the national guard was not made ahead of time. now, that decision was made or maybe i should say rather not made by the former house and senate sergeant in arms who, in fact, have resigned. and nevertheless despite the clear breakdowns at the capitol, we must get to the bottom of why that very day it took the defense department so long to deploy the national guard once the need for reinforcements became clear on every tv screen in america. acting chief provided a disturbing account of how at 2:22 p.m. as rioters broken through police lines and smashed windows at the capitol and breaching the building all on live television the initial response from the defense department to our request of national guard support was not
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to immediately activate the guard. as the acting chief said to us last week, he was, quote, simply just stunned that there was not a more immediate response. last, an issue of critical importance in today's hearing is the threat posed by domestic terrorism and hate groups and their role in the attack on january 6th. we will never forget the story of the capitol police officer who fought against the violent mob for hours and after it was all over broke down in tears telling his fellow officers how he had been called the n word repeatedly that day and then said, is this america? we also won't forget the picture of the insurrectionist proudly waving a confederate flag in the capitol rotunda or the images of a rioter in a hoodie. but this rising problem is just not limited to the events on january 6th. according to an fbi report, hate crimes in the u.s. rose to the highest level more than a decade
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in 2019. putting all the dates and the memos aside, there was widespread knowledge of the importance of the date of the rise of violent extremism and that the president of the united states had called out his followers to go to the capitol that day. the warnings were dismissed, despite the fact that the vice president, the future vice president and the entire congress was gathered in one place. in the end, it was left to frontline officers who were severely outnumbered, to protect not only those of us in the capitol, but our democracy itself. they performed hurowically tragically suffering many injuries and loss of life. that's why we need answers. thank you. >> thank you, senator,
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klobuchar, and senator peters and ranking member blunt for the way you all approached this process. it's important that we keep it bipartisan. i would even say nonpartisan and i hope that our review continues to set politics aside and focus on the facts. what happened that day. and how can we avoid it. happening again. i want to begin by expressing again my gratitude to law enforcement and national guard is represented here today from all over the country, there are national guard here at the capitol still and we appreciate them. we appreciate the fact that law enforcement put their safety on the line to safeguard democracy. also to protect us. we will never forget it. we owe it to the law enforcement personnel and those national guard and to all americans to take a hard look at these security failures. both the preparation that was inadequate, clearly, and the response which also had some
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gaps, we'll talk about in a moment. how could this have happened that the capitol was breached and overrun? we got some answers last week at the first joint hearing on the capitol. i agree with what senator klobuchar just said, i thought it was a productive first hearing. i thought we were able to get some good information. we heard from the former chief of capitol police, the former sergeant in arms. and we heard from the people who were responsible on that day for making decisions. i'm concerned that today we're not going to be hear from the department of defense officials who were actually in place at the time making the decisions and i hope we'll have an opportunity to do that in the future. at last week's hearing we learned a number of things. we learned the capitol police officers were not prepared to respond to the attack like the one we had on january 6th. they were not given the proper equipment necessary to protect the complex and also themselves. we learned there were breakdowns
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in communication on january 6th and the days leading up to it. the most concerning breakdown in communication concerning the recollections of the former chief of capitol police and the former senate and arms about request for backup for national guard assistance, in particular. each testified under oath to a different version of requests of events. so, we'll get to the bottom of that. the witnesses also pointed to lapses in intelligence as a key reason law enforcement was not better prepared. they all claim no intelligence warned of a coordinated violent assault at the capitol but we know there were reports out there both publicly and from the fbi. one report from the fbi norfolk field office warning of a violent attack on the capitol and reached by police and never reached the former chief, never reached the former sergeant in arms or even the incident commanders on the ground. many questions remain unanswered despite the lack of intelligence, there were warning signs.
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numerous online posts called for attacking the capitol. and the previously mentioned fbi norfolk field report warned of violence and even war. we need to know what information the intelligence community reviewed prior to january 6th, how it assessed that intelligence and characterized the potential for violence when it shared that intelligence with law enforcement. second, although last week's witnesses disagreed about when the capitol police requested national guard assistance, all agree that once requested it took far too long for the national guard to arrive. we'll dig further into this today. based on the defense department's public timeline, once requested it took the national guard over three hours to arrive at the capitol. now, remember, we're all watching this on cnn and fox and msnbc and it's a riot. and, yet, it took more than three hours. the request came in from the
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capitol hill police chief at 1:49 p.m. we're told and the capitol hill deployment did not arrive until after 5:00 p.m.p . we'll hear different timelines but some are closer to 5::00 p.m. some closer to 5:30. it's unclear when they authorized them to deploy. secretary mccarthy mobilize at 3:04 p.m. but according to the timeline the national guard provided to the committees, and a briefing from major general walker and commander general of the d.c. national guard it didn't arrive until 5:08 p.m. we don't know why the pentagon took so long to deploy the national guard. according to the former chief of capitol police and major general walker, the delay was due in part to the, quote, optics of the national guard at the capitol. we need to know what role, if any, optics played in the delay
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to provide much-needed assistance to u.s. capitol police and d.c. metropolitan police department to protect the capitol and get people out of the capitol. from hearing from those responsible for the intelligence in the national guard today we expect to get clear answers to these open questions. answering these questions is critical to our understanding of where the break downs occurred on and before january 6th and only by understanding where the breakdownss occurred that can w make the changes to ensure that something like january 6th never happens again and that is our objective here with this oversight mission. again, i appreciate the fact that we've been able to keep the politics out of this and focus on the facts and be objective. we have to continue to do that. i look forward to another instructive hearing today. thanks to our witnesses for being here. i look forward to your testimony. >> recognize senator blunt,
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ranking member blunt for your opening comments. >> thank you, chairman peters. thanks to chairwoman klobuchar. i join my good friend senator portman for my appreciation of where we've headed with this so far and my hope that we continue to look at the facts and see where the facts lead us and as much of a nonpartisan way as you can do in an institution like the united states senate. i'm glad to join my colleagues for today's hearing to learn more about the decisions and the actions of the federal agencies on january the 6th. last week's hearing with the chief of the metropolitan police force and the senate in arms of the house and senate left in many ways with more questions than answers. the witnesses could not agree on some of the basics of timeline. i believe we learned at that hearing that the structure and the practice of the capitol police board, which i previously
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questioned. in fact, asked for a gao study that was issued in 2017 just simply delayed the response and proved to be ill-suited for an emergency on the 6th. today i hope to learn if the failure of capitol security leaders were compounded by officials at the department of defense who did not act quickly enough to take the situation seriously enough. i also hope to explore if the failure to alert the leadership of the u.s. capitol police or the metropolitan police department of the fbi's norfolk situation information report which warned of, quote, war end quotes at the capitol. i understand that information was raw and unverified but should it make us consider changes in the information sharing process that we pursue in this structure.
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all of the agencies participate in these hearings at the most fundamental levels to uphold and protect the rights of americans and to protect our form of government. january 6th revealed weaknesses in our intelligence agencies, our law enforcement agencies and elements of defense agencies. it would be a mistake for the leadership of those agencies to think it was only a failure of the u.s. capitol police leadership or the capitol police board that produced the terrible result we saw that day. i look forward to the testimony of our witnesses and, again, thanks for holding this hearing chairman peters. >>. >> now my privilege to introduce each of the witnesses that we will be hearing from here today
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and, again, thank you for your willingness to be with us. our first witness today is ms. melissa, she is currently the acting undersecretary for the office of intelligence and analysis at the u.s. department of homeland security. ms. smislova principal adviser to the secretary of homeland security and deputy security of homeland security for coordinating with law enforcement officials and intelligence to respond to terrorism and other threats that the nation faces. she assumed this role on january 20th, 2021. prior to that date and on january 6th, ms. smislova was secretary of office of intelligence and analysis prior to joining dhs she spent almost 20 years in the field of intelligence analysis, which included time at the defense intelligence agency. welcome.
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ms. sanborn helps leads the fbi on terrorists and track down known terrorists worldwide. ms. sanborn joined the fbi in 1998 and assigned to the phoenix field office prior to becoming assistant director, ms. sanborn served as the special agent in charge of the minneapolis field office and worked in both the washington and los angeles field offices. welcome. our third witness is salesses serving which he began on january 20th of 2021. prior to this and on january 6th, 2021, he was the deputy assistant for defense
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integration and defense for civil authorities. in this role, mr. salesses worked closely with federal, state and local leadership, law enforcement, public health and emergency management to oversee dod's response to national emergency operations in support of civil authorities including the deployment of the national guard. appointed to the senior executive service in 2005 and awarded the presidential rank award at the rank of executive for his decisive leadership and program management skills and his contributions to the national response plan and the national strategy for homeland security. welcome. our final witness today is major general william walker, the commanding general of the d.c. national guard. in this role, general walker is responsible for the strategic leadership, training, readiness, operational employment and performance of the army and air force components of the d.c. national guard.
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he reports to the secretary of the army and is charged with ensuring units are manned, trained, equipped and ready for war and any national emergency. for the 30 years general walker served as both a national guardsman and a special agent of the u.s. drug enforcement administration. welcome, general. >> chairman klobuchar, those are our witnesses for today. >> thank you. thank you, chairman peters. if the witnesses could now please stand and raise your right hand. do you swear that the testimony that you will give before the committee is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? thank you. you can be seated. i'll turn it back over to chairman peters. >> i think we will now begin with the questioning.
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>> their statements. >> yes, i'm sorry. >> ms. chairman peters, ranking members portman and blunt, distinguished members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. on the department of defense's support of civilian law enforcement agencies and securing the u.s. capitol on january 6th, 2021. one of dod's mission is to support civil authorities, including civil law enforcement organizations. dod frequently provides this support during planned major events like the presidential inauguration and the state of the union addresses.
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due to the unique nature of the district of columbia in which numerous governmental organizations exercise a range of jurisdictional authorities ensuring safety and security is the responsibility of the d.c. government, the secret service, the park police, the marshal service, the capitol police, the federal protective service and other civilian law enforcement organizations. dod provides support to these civilian law enforcement agencies when requested based on their assessment of the support required. prior to the attack of january 6th, dod worked closely with federal law enforcement, d.c. government partners to determine if they anticipated a need for any dod or d.c. national guard support related to the planned protests. on 31 december the commanding general of d.c. national guard
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received a letter from the d.c. government requesting national guard support for the d.c. metro police at 30 traffic control points and six metro stations. and to make available the d.c. national guard civil support team to support the d.c. fire and emergency services. over the weekend of january 2nd and 3rd, my staff contacted the secret service, the park police, eó the fbi, the capitol police to determine if they planned to request dod assistance. none of these law enforcement agencies indicated a need for dod or d.c. national guard support. after consultation with the department of justice, the acting secretary of defense approved the d.c. government request for national guard personnel to support 30 traffic control points and six metro
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stations from january 5th to the 6th. the acting secretary also authorized a 40-person quick reaction force to be readied at joint base andrews. on january 5th, the acting secretary of defense and the secretary of the army received a letter from the mayor of d.c. stating mpd is prepared and coordinated with its federal partners, namely the park police, the capitol police and the secret service. based on these communications with federal and local civilian authorities, dod determined that no additional military support was required on january 5th and 6th. dod has detailed the events of 6th january 2021 in a memorandum published on i will provide a summary of those key events. after the u.s. capitol police
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ordered the evacuation of the capitol complex, the secretary of the army and the commanding general of the d.c. national guard received calls shortly before 2:00 p.m. from the mayor of d.c. and the capitol police chief respectively. at approximately 2:30 p.m., the secretary of the army met with the acting secretary of defense and other senior leaders of the defense department. after this meeting, the acting secretary of defense determined that all available forces of the d.c. national guard were required to reinforce the d.c. metropolitan police and the u.s. capitol police and ordered the full mobilization of the d.c. national guard at 3:04 p.m. during this period, major general walker, the commanding general of the d.c. national guard, recalled and made ready the d.c. national guard forces at the national guard armory for
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deployment to the capitol complex. after reviewing the d.c. national guard's missions, equipping and responsibilities to be performed at the capitol complex in support of the metropolitan police and capitol police and conferring with the d.c. metropolitan police at their headquarters at 4:10 p.m., the secretary of the army received the acting secretary of defense's approval at 4:32 and ordered the d.c. national guard forces to depart the armory for the capitol complex. dod continued to deploy national guard forces through the evening to support the u.s. capitol. by 9:00 on 7 january, 1,100 national guard personnel arrived at the capitol. by 9:00 on 8 january, 1,800 national guard arrived at the capitol.
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by 10 january providing security. dod continues to support efforts the safety and security of the u.s. capitol and provides support to our civilian law enforcement partners. from january 9 through the inauguration dod provided nearly 25,000 national guard personnel to support security in washington, d.c. today there are approximately 5,900 national guard personnel supporting the capitol police and 500 supporting the metropolitan police. going forward, the department of defense is committed to working closely with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners. the d.c. government and the congress to ensure that we learn from this event and take all necessary actions to respond and ensure an attack on our nation's capitol never happens again. chairman peters, chairwoman
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klobuchar, ranking member portman and blunt, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. and thank you for your continued commitment and support to the men and women of the department of defense. >> ms. smislova, you're now recognized for your opening statement. >> thank you, senator. good morning. chairman peters, chairwoman klobuchar, ranking member portman, ranking member blunt and other distinguished senators. thank you for the opportunity for me to testify with you today. i want to start with that i'm deeply saddened that you, your staff, loved ones and others experienced on january 6th. the country, myself included, watched in horror as our capitol was attacked. i am here today as the acting undersecretary for the office of
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intelligence on analysis, ina at dhs. i am a career intelligence professional of over 35 years. i am honored to have this opportunity to lead ina and i have great faith in the workforce and our mission which is to focus on a range of homeland threats, including domesticy that our partners across state, local, private sector have the information they need. before i summarize the actions my office took before january 6th, i do want to say i'm deeply concerned that despite our best efforts, they did not lead to an operational response to prepare and defend the u.s. capitol. throughout the 2020 election period and the presidential transition, ina produced numerous, strategic assessments about the potential for election-related violence from
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domestic violent extremmests. in 15 unclassified assessments ina discussed the environment and the potential for domestic violent extremists to mobilize quickly and attack large gatherings or government buildings. these products were intended to increase awareness about the volatile threat environment and enhance policy and operational planning. they were shared broadly with all levels of government, law enforcement partners, critical infrastructure, including through fusion centers nationwide. i will highlight a few products and engagements. in august, ina published physical threats stemming from the 2020 election in which we assessed ideological violent extremists and other violent actors could quickly mobilize to threaten or engage in violence against election or campaign-related targets in
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response to perceived partisan and policy-based grievances. in october dhs released its first publicly available homeland threat assessment. which stated violent extremists specifically white supremacists would remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the homeland. the assessment also emphasized the breath of the extremist threat including the heightened threats from election violence. a week before the attack on december 30th co-authored a product with the fbi and the national counterterrorism center highlighting persistent threats to government facilities and law enforcement noting the perceptions of the outcome of the election could mobilize some extremists to commit violence in the coming months.
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additionally, conducted briefings and stakeholder calls before and after the election and leading up to january 6th. to share that information. moving forward, i want to underscore the department is prioritizing combatting domestic terrorism, specifically in nia we're working very closely with our dhs colleagues in the civil rights, privacy office and our own intelligence oversight office. to carefully examine how we can address the complex and involving threat in a manner consistent with the constitution and u.s. law. my office is committed to developing more expertise on domestic terrorism, improving our analysis of social media to better characterize the threat and ensuring our assessments are received and understood by key decision makers. additionally the department has taken these steps since january
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6th and late january dhs issued our first national terrorism advisory system bulletin on domestic terrorism. it warned domestic violent extremists may be emboldened to act in the week of the u.s. capitol breach. domestic violent extremists which diverse set including racially and ethically motivated extremists would continue to exploit lawful, constitutionally protected protests and other events to pursue criminal behavior and commit acts of violence. also for the first time, secretary myorkas within the department's homeland security grant. let me close by saying we're unwaivering to combat this threat and protect the american
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people. thank you for your opportunity to appear before you today. i welcome your questions. >> thank you, ms. sanborn, you're now recognized for your opening comments. >> good morning, chairwoman klobuchar, ranking member blunt, ranking member portman and the members of the committees. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. my name is jill sanborn and i'm the assistant director for the counterterrorism division within the fbi. it is always an honor to be with you here in the senate. for those of you that i haven't met or you don't know, i actually started my career in public service as a senate page in 1987, thanks to a sponsorship from my home senator, senator max baucus. i wantlences for all of you who had to endure up close and personal the violence and destruction that occurred on
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january 6th. the siege on the capitol complex while you were carrying out your duties as our elected representatives was not just unacceptable and disturbing, it was criminal. i also want to offer condolences to our partners at u.s. capitol police for the loss of one of their brothers, officer sicknick. this is a loss to us all in law enforcement. violence designed to intimidate the population and influence the government is exactly what the fbi's counterterrorism division was designed to combat. the men and women of the fbi are not only dedicated to identifying and bringing to justice the individuals involved in the attack on january 6th, but also and equally as important and let me stress this, we're committed to working to prevent something like this from ever happening again. over the last two months, americans, the americans you represent from across the country have sent in over 200,000 digital media tips and reported more than 30,000 leads to our national threat operation center.
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with this support, we have identified hundreds of people involved in the attack and arrested more than 300 with more and more arrests every day. i want to reiterate something the director mentioned to some of your colleagues yesterday. as americans, we are all victims of this assault. and the american people deserve nothing less than our commitment to see this investigation through and to protect them from acts of violence like this in the future. the fbi's number one priority is preventing acts of terrorism. the greatest threat we face is the threat posed by lone actors, both domestic violent extremists and what we refer to as the home grown violent extremists. these actors are especially challenging for law enforcement because by definition makes them particularly difficult to identify and disrupt before they have an opportunity to act. the fbi has been investigating domestic terrorism throughout our organization's history, however today's threat is different than it was 100 years ago. and continues to evolve.
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between 2015 and 2020, racially or ethniccy motivated were responsible for the most lethal threat and 2019 was the most lethal year for extremist attacks since the oklahoma city bombing in 1995. however, in 2020, three of the four fatal domestic violent extremist acts were perpetrated by what we call anti-government or anti-authority extremists. one was perpetrated in portland and, in fact, this was the first fatal anarchist antiextremist act in over 20 years. 2020 also marked the first year since 2011, that there were no fatal attacks committed by the racially or ethically motivated. i think all of those explain how the threat is persistent and evolving. looking forward, we assess the domestic violent extremist threat will continue to pose an elevated threat of violence to
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the u.s. we expect racially or ethically motivated extremists and anti-government, anti-authority extremists will pose the greatest terrorism threats throughout 2021 and, in fact, leading into 2022. regardless of the specific perpetrator, the domestic terrorism threat remains persistent and that is why we must remain focused on countering it. i want to take this opportunity to reemphasize the fbi's mission to uphold the constitution and protect the american people is both dual and simultaneous and not contradictory. one does not come at the expense of the other. that said, when the person crosses the line from expressing beliefs to violating federal law and endangers the communities we serve we aggressively pursue those threats. before closing i want to mention the importance of partnerships in the counterterrorism fight. we simply cannot be successful without them. our investigations and disruptions rely on these partnerships. and they represent american lives saved in communities
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around the united states. for instance, in fiscal year 2020 alone, across the united states arrested 235 terrorism subjects. we also continue to expand our partnerships in academia, private sector and within the communities we serve. this is critical because nearly half of our cases are predicated on tips and leads from the community and our law enforcement partners. we in law enforcement cannot and will not tolerate individuals who use the first amendment as a guise to incite violence. that's true now as we work hard to hold those accountable involved in the events on january 6th just as it was last summer when individuals exploited peaceful protests as cover for their own violence and destruction. when violent extremists utilize explosive devices and attack law enforcement officers, the fbi investigates those unlawful acts regardless of the underlying ideological motivation. at the fbi we work every threat with the same level of rigor and
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dedication and that's what i hope you take away from my testimony today. thank you, again, for an opportunity to talk with you about the hard work our folks and our partners are doing every day to keep the country safe. we're grateful for the support that you have provided and continue to provide the men and women of the fbi. i look forward to answering any of the questions you may have. >> thank you. general walker, you are now recognized for your opening statement. >> good morning, chairman peters, chair woman klobuchar, ranking members portman and blunt and members of the committee. i'm general william walker, affectionately known as capitol guardians. i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the events of january 6th, a dark chapter in our nation's history. i was personally sickened by the violence and destruction i witnessed that fateful day and the physical and mental harm that came to u.s. capitol police officers and metropolitan police
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department officers, some of whom i met with later that evening and i could see the injuries that they sustained. it is my hope that the recollection, my recollection of the events and my presentation of the facts as i know them will help your committees in its investigation and prevent such tragic events from ever occurring again. first, i think it's critical to understand what the district of columbia national guard mission was on january 6th to include the civilian agency we were supporting and our request for support of other civilian authorities were handled. on december 31st, 2020, the district of columbia national guard received written requests from the district of columbia mayor muriel bowser and dr. christopher rodriguez. the requests sought national guard support for traffic control and crowd management for planned demonstrations in the district from january 5th through january 6th, 2021. after conducting mission
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analysis to support the district's request i sent a letter to ryan mccartney on january 1st requesting his aruvl. i received that approval in a letter dated january 5th with 320 guardsmen personnel to include a 40 personnel quick reaction force. the district of columbia national guard provide support to the metropolitan police department and the park police and united states secret service and other federal and district law enforcement agencies in response to planned rallies, marches, protests and other large-scale first amendment activity on a routine basis. the standard component of such report is the stand up of an off-site, quick-reaction force and element of guardsmen held in reserve with equipment, helmets, shields, batons, et cetera. they're postured to quickly respond to an urgent and
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immediate need for assistance by civil authorities. the secretary of the army january 5th letter to me withheld that authority for me to employ a quick reaction force. additionally, the secretary of the army's memorandum to me required that a concept of operation be submitted to him before the employment of a quick-reaction force. i found that requirement to be unusual, as was the requirement to seek approval to move guardsmen supporting the metropolitan police department to move from one traffic control point to another. at 1:30 p.m. on january 6th, we watched as the metropolitan police department began to employ officers to support the capitol police. in doing so, the officers began to withdraw from the traffic control points that were jointly manned with district of columbia guardsmen. at 1:49 p.m. i received a frantic call from then chief of the united states capitol police steven sun where he informed me
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that the security perimeter of the united states capitol had been breached by hostile rioters. his voice cracking with emotion indicated that there was a dire emergency at the capitol and he requested the immediate request assistance of as many available national guardsmen as i could muster. immediately after that 1:49 call i alerted the senior leadership of the request. the question would come from the acting secretary of defense and be relayed to me by army senior leaders at 5:08 p.m., about three hours and 19 minutes later. i had guardsmen on buses ready to move to the capitol. at 5:20 p.m., the district of columbia national guard arrived at the capitol and were being sworn any be the united states capitol police.
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we helped establish a perimeter to facility the resumption of the joint session of congress. in conclusion i'm grateful for the guardsmen from the 53 states and territories that supported the district of columbia national guard and helped to ensure a peaceful transition of power on january 20th. in particular i'm grateful for the timely assistance of the neighbors from virginia, delaware national guards that helped establish the security perimeter. i'm honored to lead these soldiers and airmen. many of whom left behind their families, careers, education, businesses, to help ensure the protection and safety of the united states capitol and those who serve in it every day. thank you for the opportunity to brief you today and thank you for your continued support of the national guard. i look forward to any questions you may have.
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thank you again. >> thank you for your testimony. we fully support the men and women of the national guard and we appreciate your work on that day and the service you provide the country and protecting the capitol and our country. i want to start my questioning by going back in time a little bit prior to the events on january 6th. in june of 2020 as violence was escalating in the summer protests, were you able to immediately receive approval to deploy the national guard to assist law enforcement at that time? >> the secretary came with me that week. i was in constant communicate
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with him when we were not together. >> so immediately received approval. were you able to immediately receive approval from secretary of the army to deploy on january 6 snth. >> no, sir. >> in your opening remarks you said that on january 5th, a memo was unusual. could you explain to the committee why it was unusual? what was the impact of the memo that you received on january 5th? >> so the memo was unusual in that i was -- it required me to seek authorization from the secretary of the army and the secretary of defense to protect my gaurts men. so no civil disturbance
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equipment could be authorized. the secretary of the army did tell me that i could have force protection equipment. we had hemets and shinguards with us, but that came from the secretary of the army. the secretary of defense told me i needed permission to escalate to have that kind of protection. >> that kind of protection even though you would be engaged in force protection to protect your men and women before you could do that you would have to get approval from the secretary of defense? >> the memo from the secretary of defense made clear that i needed his permission to have -- what it says, without my personal authorization the national guard is not to be
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issued protective equipment or guns. the secretary of the army told me to issue that equipment. so we were never going to have weapons or ammunition and we no longer have bayonets, but we do have ballistic protection equipment, helmets, and body armor. >> but that was unusual, correct? you were on the january 6th phone call where the chief was making an urgent appeal for help. and the dc police chief said it was a tepid response and he was shocked by it. what happened on that call? what was your recollection of the call? is that your assessment as well? >> yes, sir. it came in and we helped facility it. the deputy mayor from the
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district of columbia and dr. rod ri rodriguez and we called in and they pleaded for the district of columbia national guard to get to the capitol with all deliberate speed. so the army senior leaders said it could insight the crowd, so their advice, we wanted the secretary of the army to be on the call, but he was not available, but the army senior leadership expressed to the others on the call that it would
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not be their best military advice to have uniformed guardsmen on the capitol. >> so during the call, you're saying that optics was raised. so you said you were able to get immediate authorization in the summer of summer of 2020. was the issue of optics ever brought up when it was deployed in the summer of 2020? was that discussed? >> it was never discussed. in the week of june it was never discussed. july 4th when we supported the city it was never discussed. august 28th when we supported the city. >> did you think that was unusual? >> i did. >> so you mentioned troops that
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were ready to go, how many folks were in the armory ready to go once the order was given and at what time were they ready to go? >> it was shortly after the phone call. so at 15:00 i directed that the quick reaction force to leave the base, get to the armory at all deliberate speed. i had a police excort bring them. so in anticipation of a green light we brought them into buses so no one would see them waiting on the buses. that is why we were able to get to the capitol in about 18 minutes. >> what time were they on the buses ready to go?
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>> before 5:00, but at 5:00 i said hey, we have to -- there has to be an approval coming so get on the buses, get the equipment on, get on the buses and just wait. a few minutes after that we got the approval. i was on a secure video conference when it was conveyed to me that it was authoritied the employment of the nation guard. at 5:17 we wrote down we had approval and there was about eight people in the office with me. >> how many guardsmen were ready -- >> about 155. >> you could have sent them much, much earlier. what would have been the impact of sending those 155 around that 2:00 time frame. >> based on my experience. i have 39 years in the national guard. i was in the florida guard, i
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have been involved in civil disturbances. i belief that number could have made a difference. we could have extended the perimeter and pushed back the crowd. >> we heard from former law enforcement officials who stated that a lack of intelligence was the reason for the incident. do you think they were worned of a plot to reach the capitol, that was announced in advance in a number of open sources? >> i would not necessarily categorize is that way, sir,
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there is not an analyst that would not not want more intelligence, and i think i just painted a quick picture for you. the challenges faced are the immense about of rhetoric out there, and we're separating aspirational for intent. and in order to get to that intent we're thinking about private communications and encryption. we're faced with the challenge of the amount of data ena really trying to find, because of the volume and private communications, intent that would have given us the picture, potentially, to shed light on what some of them might say. >> i will defer to you, senator, and your colleagues and other over sight entities to determine what went wrong on january 6th. i don't feel i'm empowered or
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not to declare it failure or a success. and to echo the bureau's point we will also do more to better understand how we can identify the next steps that we see in social media with particular threats. >> clearly we need to do a better job and it will be explored in-depth by my colleagues. >> chairman klobuchar? >> thank you, i want to start by asking the same questions that i asked of the witnesses last week. based on what you know now, is there clear evidence that supports a conclusion that there was those who planned and coordinated the attack on the capitol on january 6th, does everyone agree with that?
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yes? no? >> we're seeing indications from our charging documents of people that coalesced together and made some plans. >> so everyone is a yes on this. does someone want to say if they're a no? i don't want to call on every. are you all a yes? okay. then would you agree it involved white supremacists and extremists groups in planning? is everyone a yes on that? >> i would say that we're seeing a wide range of and a lot to be identified still? >> does it involve some white supremacists and some extremist groups? >> some. >> was the event not planned by antifa? >> at this point we have not identified a specific individual that we have charged associating themselves or identifying with antifa. >> okay. would you all agree it was
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highly dangerous that had the potential to be worse if it wasn't for the heroic actions of the front-line officers? >> yes. >> okay, general walker, the chief said he was stunned at the response from the department of the army when former police chief sun requested assistance from the guard. what's your reaction to what he said? were you frustrated on that call as well? >> yes, i was frustrated. i was just as stunned as everyone else on the call. >> i understand and correct me if i'm wrong that the national guard is bet tore be prepared, called into action, and have a plan, that i know i heard from
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them, they said do you want to have the guard mobilized? and there was a discussion about having them mobilized? >> yes, we talked we're friends. sunday i asked are you going to ask for help pl he told me he was not allowed to request support. i said do you want me to share that and he said no, i can't even ask you for the support is what he told me. but he did say but if i do call you will you be able to support me? and i said yes, but i have to get approval from the secretary of the army and ultimately the secretary of defense. it is a federal question.
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>> so what we heard last week is that he had been denied by the sergeant in arms. we know they would have been better help if they were called in on the day. now it's the day, it's 2:22 and you're asking for authorization that you felt was unusual to get, is that right? >> i thought the delay was unusual. so we were already in support of the metropolitan police department, and when the metropolitan police department left the traffic control points what i wanted to do was take those guards men and move them to the capitol immediately. we would have been in support of the police department that was supporting the capitol police at this point.
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i keep imagining the scene, the whole world is seeing this on the tv. you have the police line breached. you have smarted indoes. you have insurrectionists going through the police lines, you're on the phone, everyone is seeing it, and they're not immediately approving your request. and you just said hey, i could have gotten them on the buses and ready to go, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> as you just testified you believe that would have made a difference to have them at the perimeter at a sooner point and i know the people in charge of capitol security felt the same? >> yes, ma'am. >> so you could have had them there earlier, hours earlier, if it had been approved, and then you had them on the bus and they were sitting on the bus for a short period of time waiting, right?
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you thought they just have to honor the question? is that how your head was working, you put them on the bus but you could not let them go? >> yes, senator. i just came to the conclusion that eventually i'm going to get approval. at that point seconds and minutes matters. i needed to be as quick as possible so i had the district of columbia police vehicle in front of the bus ready to get through any traffic lights. we were there in 18 minutes. >> 18 minutes. >> i arrived at 17:20 and they were sworn in as soon as they got there and they made a difference according to the capitol police. >> according to a lot of us. i keep thinking of the hours that went buy and the people who were ininjured. a lot has been reported about
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the quick response force. that force was set up as additional troops to support the traffic control mission as needed, is that right? >> yes, ma'am. >> and the quick response force could not be deployed immediately because they were not outfitted for riot control, is that right? >> no, they were outfitted. the quick reaction force was district of columbia, international guard, most of them are law enforcements and civilians. they were ready to go and they were outfitted with all of the equipment they needed. >> and they were out at and rues? >> yeah, i took it upon myself to move them without permission to the armory so they would be closer as well. >> okay, and who was on that conversation with you? you mentioned from the defense
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defendant? department? >> so lieutenant general michael flynn, the chief of operations for the army, the director of the army staff was on the call, lieutenant general piat. other senior civilian leaders are and high ranking general officers on the call as well. >> do you remember who was talking about the optics? the questions that senator peters asked you? >> yeah, during the phone call with the district of columbia leaders, the deputy mayor, chief sun, dr. rodriguez, and who was talking about optics was general philip and general piat. they said it would not be best to have uniformed guards members
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at the capitol during the confer ration. >> thank you, mr. salais. i know you were not on the call and you were the one they sent here on behalf of the defense department, but you were not on the call, do you have any idea why the delay occurred when senator peters has pointed out it didn't happen on other times. >> in preparation i have had the opportunity to talk to general walker. i had the opportunity to talk to general piat and other officers on the army staff. i also had the opportunity to speak to secretary mccarthy in preparation for the areaing so i could understand the details. >> so if you could just answer
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my questions, so many of my colleagues are waiting, why this happened. >> general piat told me yesterday he didn't say anything about optics. >> that he didn't use the word optics, or that general walker who just testified that they were concerned about this is wrong? >> general piat told me yesterday, senator, that he did not use the word optics. >> i will let general walker answer this. i think he is talking about is the general concern that they were more concerned about how this would appear and that it was in their best advice. what bears out his testimony is that they did not send the national guard there for hours, they didn't give the authorization. >> senator in fairness to the committee, general piat is not a decisionmaker.
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the on decisionmakers on the 6th of january was the secretary of defense to secretary mccarthy to general walker. that is the chain of command. there is a lot of staff involved in having discussions, but on that day that was the chain of command. >> i think we should give general walker a moment here to respond and then i will be done. >> yes, senator. the chain of command is the president, the secretary of defense, secretary of the army, william walker commanding general. can i just make a correction. i say lieutenant general mike flynn, it was lieutenant general charles flynn. but there was people in the room with me on that call that heard what they heard. >> okay. we'll have to follow up with more questions. i appreciate your testimony. thank you.
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ranking member portman, you're recognized. >> general walker will you continue to talk about your recollection, you don't mind? this morning you testified you received a letter from secretary mccarthy on january 5th, so just the day before the attack on the capitol and in that letter were you prohibited from deploying the quick reaction force without his authorization? >> i have the letter in front of me, and it does not but it is the secretary of defense that says i have to use it as a last resort. but the secretary of the army told me, and it's in the letter that i have, that i could not use the quick reaction force. i'll just read it. i withhold authority to approve deployment of the district of columbia quick response force
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and will do some only after a question from a civil authority. a quick reaction force is normally a commanders tool to help a civilian agency, but more typically to help the national guardsmen who are out there and need assistance. >> i think it is the very definition of a quick reaction force to be able to react quickly and when you have to go through that authorization including coming up with a concept of operation before the secretary, or as you say, the secretary of defense would approve deployment it seems to me toe be contrary to the term quick reaction force.
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>> and the secretary of defense said i could use it as a last resort. but the secretary of the army says that i could only use it after he gave me permission and then only after a -- so your chain of command is both of these gentlemen. you didn't have the authority to deploy based on the letter or the earlier memo that went from the secretary of defense, the acting secretary of defense to the secretary of the army? >> that's correct, yes, sir. i thought it was also od and prescriptive that you had to move the guards men from one traffic control point to another, did you find that unusual. >> 19 years ago i never had that happen before. so on that day the metropolitan police, as they would any other
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day, requested that a traffic control point move one block. one block over, traffic was no traffic was where they were so i wanted to move one block. i had to get permission. i told them i will get back to you. i exacted lieutenant general piatt who contacted the secretary of the army. i had to explain where that traffic alcohol point was in relationship to the capitol, only then did i get permission to move the three national guardsmen. >> that was through unarmed national guardsmen on traffic control and they were not allowed to move one block. >> you were talking about riot gear, that january 4th memorandum from secretary miller
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to the army secretary required the aroefl for the national guard to be issuing riot gear, is that correct? >> that's correct but the secretary of the army told me to go ahead and put it in the vehicles. so i give him credit for that. >> you said that earlier, you said to at least have it there so it was accessible. >> yes. >> but still you could not prepare for a civil disturbance without getting permission from the secretary of the army and the sec secretary of defense, correct? >> normally for a safety matter, a commander would be able to authorization his guardsmen to protect themselves with helmets and protective equipment. >> as i said earlier, i'm disappointed that we don't have someone from d.o.d. that was there. i think you're being put in a difficult position. why did the department of defense impose these restrictions on the national
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guard on january 6th? >> secretary miller wanted toic ma the decisions of how the army national guard would be deployed on that way. the event was a number of things that happened, and secretary miller as the acting secretary -- >> clearly he wanted to -- the question is why? and how unusual. don't you think that is unusual based on your experience at d.o.d. >> there is a lot of things that the department was criticized for. civil disturbance operations, that authority rests with the secretary of defense. if someone is going to make a decision about employing military members -- >> let's talk about the quick
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reaction force again then, you have a lot of experience with your background. we appreciate you being here. you were not making decisions that day. but based on your discussions with individuals, but isn't the purpose of a quick reaction force to quickly react to unfolding situations? >> it is. >> isn't it antithetical? >> i call our attention to the quick reaction force that day that was designed to respond to the traffic points in the metro stations. >> i don't know that that is true, did you not have a quick reaction force? you had police officers and guardsmen involved in the quick reaction force, right? >> yes. >> and would they have been qualified to respond?
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>> i think they would have been. >> i wish we had the people miccing the decision, mr. salesses. you're all we got to talk to d.o.d. today. did the attack on the capitol constitute a last resort? >> a last resort? >> you mean an immediate response? >> remember in the let ter said only as a last resort. do you think a last resort situation occurred? >> there was certainly a last resort situation that occurred, sir. >> so many did it take so long to authorize the use of the national guard in particular, the use of the qfr. >> i can relay what i obtained
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that day. if you would like me to go through the time line based on why the decisionmakers -- secretary mccarthy, if we go through the time line, clearly at 230 went down and saw secretary miller at 2:30. at 3:04 secretary miller made the decision to mobilize the entire national guard. that meant that he was calling in all of the national guard members that were assigned to the dc national guard. secretary mccarthy asked for, he wanted to understand the dynamics on the lawn, the explosives where shots had been fired, he wanted to understand
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how the guard would be sent to the capitol. would they be clearing buildings or doing perimeter security? how would they be equipped? shots had been fired. he was asking a lot of questions to understand exactly how they were going to be employed here at the capitol. and how many national guard members needed to be employed at the capitol. >> my time is coming to an end, three hours and 19 minutes from the first call, the plea, really with his voice cracking with emotion, he is saying help, we need help, now. three hours and 19 minutes and that can't happen again, do you agree with that? >> i do. >> general walker, if the restrictions on your authorities
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had not been put in place by d.o.d., what would you have done when chief sun called you at 1:49 on january 6th with an urgent question for national guard assistance? >> i would have immediately pulled off of the guardsmen supporting the metropolitan police department, they had the gear in the vehicles. i would have had them assemble in the armory and get on buses and go straight to the armory and report to the most ranking capitol police officer they saw and take direction. and let me add this, one of my colonels went to the capitol anticipating that we would be called. he and met with the deputy chief who said where is the national guard? how come their not here?
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and he said i'm sure they're coming and i'm here to scout out where they're going to be when they get here. that was the plan i would have sent them there immediately. once i hung up my next call would have been to my subordinate commanders to get everyone in this building and everyone helping the police to remission them to the capitol. >> how quickly could you have had people here? the guard had moved from andrews to the armory here by 3:30, is that right? >> yes, sir. >> how quickly was the colonel here? >> he came with the police so -- >> he was here immediately? >> yes, he was here immediately when the metropolitan police left some of the traffic control points, my colonel left with them anticipating that we were coming.
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>> there was certainly concern here immediately. in fact yesterday i saw a message that i sent mr. elder who was the director of the rules committee for me, and the message was could this information about the defense department and the national guard possibly be true? that's 3:09, already wondering where senator klobuchar and i and other senators were. could it possibly be true that the defense department was not sending the guard immediately. on the january 5th letter, that is described as secretary mccarthy relaying new restrictions from the acting secretary of the defense christopher miller. would that be accurate? whose should be new instructions and do you agree that general walker had more flexibility
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before those instructions than he did after? i think that is a yes or a no. do you agree he had more flexibility before those instructions than he did after? that is one question. two, is it fair to say those were new instructions or not? >> in fairness to general walker he can't respond to a civil disturbance operation without the authority of the secretary of defense. so absent these memos, general walker would have had to get approval to respond through the secretary of defense. >> let's talk about that approval process. i think you said a minute ago if you would like to go through the time line, i assume you're talking about the department of defense time line that i have in front of me.
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you mentioned 1504 as a reference point. at 3:19 that timeline says secretary of the army phone call with senaor schumer and speaker pelosi about the nature of the mayor's request. the secretary of the army explains acting secretary of defense already approved full dc national guard mobileization. is that right as of 3:19? >> that would be accurate, but if i could clarify what mobilization is. >> let go one step further and then i will let you do that. at 15:26, the secretary of the army phone call with mayor bowser relays no denial of the request and acting secretary of defense approval of the
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activation of full national guard. so in your time line within seven minutes, one is mobilization, the other is activation. >> senator those words are being used interchangeably. what secretary miller did at 15:04 on the 6th of january was authorize the mobilization or activation of the national guard. the dc national guard. all that does, sir, is provide for the national guard to be called in from where their homes are to come to the armory. that's what the mobilization activation order was. >> i wonder if that is what senator schumer and speaker pelosi thought it meant. you can't answer that only they could, and i also wonder if that's what the mayor thought it meant when they were told at 3:19 and 3:26 that the guard was being mobilized and the guard was being activated. i don't expect do you be able to
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answer what they thought, i know i would have assumed that meant the guard was on the way unless i was specifically told their mobilized but they won't be there until we make a decision hours later. at 4:32 the acting secretary of defense provides verbal authorization to remission the national guard to conduct clearance and perimeter operations. that's an hour and 10 minutes later. is that the moment when the guard was told they could move forward? >> yes, senator, it is. >> do you agree with that general walker? >> no, sir. i didn't get approval until a little after 5:00, and i got that from the secretary of the army that relayed it to me. i never talked to secretary defense miller or the secretary of the army. army senior leaders told me at
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5:08 p.m. that the secretary of defense authorizationed our approval to start. >> that's when he made the decision at 4:32 as general walker pointed out. he was not told that until 5:08. that's what -- >> how is that possible? do you think the decision in the moment that we were in was made at 4:32 and the person that had to be told wasn't told for more than half an hour after the decision was made? >> senator, i this i that is an issue. there was issues. communications that needed to take place, and actions that needed to be taken. all of that was happening at simultaneous times by different individuals and part of the challenge is some of the delayed
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communications probably put on some of the challenges of that day. >> if you have to have the communication before he can take action, and the communication doesn't occur for over half an hour, that is a significant problem for the future if we don't figure out how the communication and the action all happen as nearly to the same time as they possibly can. thank you, chairwoman. >> thank you, senator hassan. >> thank you, chairwoman klobuchar, and i want to thank all of our witnesses for being here today. i want to start with a question
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about the security. they have the support for national security events and the designated events received expanded federal support. factors used to determine the national special commuters designations include the attendance of individuals and the size and the significance of the event. in the hearing last week. the former officials in charge of security testified that dhs did not reach out to u.s. capitol officials about the joint session of congress as a national special security event. to your knowledge did any department of homeland security officials consider or recommend designating the january 6th joint session of congress as a national special security event? >> thank you, senator, no.
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to my knowledge no one did consider it also to my knowledge no one issued for such a designation. but you also don't need the question. they can initiate it. >> yes. >> so what is the process and were there any procedural issues blocking such a businessing nation in spite of the growing evidence available to federal security officials. >> i'm sorry, senator. i'm running the office of intelligence and we have a small role in the process. and i'm not qualified to speak about the whole process. it's fairly complicated. i'm hope that have secret
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service reach out to you, ma'am, if you would like me to follow up with that. >> i think it is very important for us to understand what the processes are. we have as we pointed out the vice president, the vice president elect, all members of congress in one location. at an event where there was clear intelligence that might turn violent and there appears to be no communication or effort by dhs to designate this in a way where the security is stood up ahead of time and i look forward to following up with you on that. according to a recent report, the fbi currently charged 257 people associated with the events on january 6th. of the individuals charged to date, how many were already under investigation by the bureau?
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ma'am, i can only recall from my memory one individual that was under investigation prior. >> is that because the fbi is limited in tools, this was a manpower issue? i'm trying to understand looking back now what might have made a difference in charging and being able to move against some of those individuals sooner? >> i think that is a great question. i think it is twofold. i think it is trying to gather the right negligence intelligence. that intent is very challenging for us because it happens on private coms an encryptions. the other aspect is of the people that we were investigating, predicating investigations, we don't necessarily have the ability to mitigate the threat they might pose by travel if we don't have a charge. i think you're tracking that we were aware of some of our
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subjects that intended to come here. and that worked in the majority of our already predicated cases. >> thank you, i look forward to following up with the fbi more about that. i have another question for you about the fbis information sharing practices. there was a report that some extremists were preparing to travel to washington and commit acts of violence. that report made it to a u.s. capitol police analyst, but it did not make the to the former capitol police chief, so i think it is important for us to understand if this was a failure in information sharing policy or practice. what's the standard policy for disseminating reports like that? >> a great question. i would like to segues into that that part of the reason we were able to get that intelligence report is we made it a national priority for all 56 field offices to collect what they
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could on the joint session and inauguration. i think we heard yesterday from the director and we saw it and also a leap portal that is across the communication. >>. >> who was the highest official in the fbi to be informed of the intelligence? >> i, similar to director ray, found out days after. i think it is important to caveat what that was. it was only because of the election message that it got disseminated to the task force officers. so thousands and thousands of
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tips come in like this every day and not all of them get elevated to senior leadership. >> but this was tips about violence at the united states capitol that we would have all members of congress, the vice president and the vice president elect. it is hard for me to understand why someone didn't pick up the phone and i would like to understand why any of the following were not informed of the intelligence. >> not to my knowledge, and i think you heard the director say this, any time an attack happens we're going back and we're going to figure out what we could have done better and definitely. i echo your feelings. >> one of the things before a major event that i want you to always do it figure out who the leadership is and they should be
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talking twice a day on the phone for the week leading up. that's standard practice in the states i'm particular with and especially for governors. it's stakes on january 6th, that that kind of sharing was now routine and it didn't happen. i hope very much that we will look back at this and develop kind of standard operating procedures so the leadership of security at the capitol, in all of the various agencies, are sharing the information personal to person rather than standard e-mails and the like. >> i will say that's the purpose of the command post, but 100%. we should figure out what to do differently. >> thank you, for the members of the rules committee we're following the order set forth by the homeland security committee.
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next is senator feinstein. >> thank you, madame chairman. i would like to ask this question, in august of 2017 dhs, office of intel and analysis, and the virginia fusion center issued a report days before the violent protests in charlottesville, virginia. it warned that the protests could be among the most violent to date. it warned that extremists and while supremacists, extremists, are calling on supporters to be prepared for and instigate violence at the 12 august rally. this was very similar to what we saw in the lead up to the january 6th insurrection. groups were actively planning to come to washington and commit violence, yet there was no
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similar report by the department of homeland security for this occasion. my question is why and what happened to change this procedure. >> before the election and then into the inauguration there was 15 separate unclassified reports that did discuss specific they there was a heightened threat environment. that they could come from loan actors or small sells. we thought those motivated by concerns about the election and grievances associated largely with covid-19 restrictions would also appear to be armed. and we also warned they could transition quickly from a peacetime situation into a
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violent situation. i reviewed the reports and i was impressed with how well the team did. they were well written and very specific. the point, senator, is that we thought we provided that warning. we did not have anything specific about an attack on the capitol to occur on january 6th. we did not issue a separate report. in hindsight we should have but we just issued a report on december 30th and we thought that was sufficient. >> i would like to ask that you make those reports available to this committee. >> happy to, ma'am. >> please, also, press reports that christopher miller issued a memo on january 4th presents the dc national guard from receiving
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weapons or protective gear interacting with protesters, or employing riot control agents without his personal authorization. do you know of any other instance where a defense secretary required personal authorization before allowing national guard troops to respond to an emergency? and i would like to put the letter from christopher miller, madame chairman, in the file if i could. >> yes, without objection. >> senator, i will answer that. i'm not aware of another letter from a secretary, but based on events in the spring and secretary miller being noon at the time and some of the things that happened, he issued that direction. that direction, i come back to the point that in order for
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national guard members to deploy in civil disturbance operations it requires the secretary of defense's approval. just so be clear there is no ability for the military to respond without the secretary's approval. >> if i may, madame chairman. i'm looking at a memo for secretary of the army guidance for the district of columbia's national guard dated january 4, 2021, i received it. and it responds to a memorandum regarding the district's request for support for the planned demonstrations from january 5th to 6th. and you're authorize authorizationed to approve the requested support for subject to my guidance below subject to
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consultation. and it points out a number of things that are not authorized. so this letter of january 4 i would like to be in the record because swrf there is a problem here. and i'm listening carefully to try and find out what the problem is. but there was certain reports that were not issued, and they were of an intelligence nation. if you could let this committee know, it would be appreciated. >> yes, we're happy to do so. the intelligence that we had
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articulated, that we knew people were coming to the dc area. we knew there was a possibility they would come armed and have potentially have conflict amongst themselves. what we lacked and i think you heard this last week as well, none of us had intelligence that suggested that individuals would storm and breach the capitol and that was the intelligence that we lacked. >> i think that remains to be seen, but i appreciate the comment and i think that's what this committee has to look for and make a determination whether or not there was, in fact, adequate prequestions, preinterest. and there is a record, and i thank you madame chairwoman. >> thank you. >> senator johnson you're recognized for your questions. >> thank you. before i get into my line of questions, mrs. sislova.
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we got intelligence that there was a possible plot to attack the capitol on thursday march 4th, is that a threat that you're aware of? >> senator we issued a bulletin last night co-authored with the fbi about extremists discussing march 4th and march 6th. is that what you're referring to? we released it last night around midnight, i think? yes. >> again, so the threats are on going. >> yes. >> general walker, to review the time line chief sund contacted you. at 2:15 the capitol was breeched
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i think you said you had available 340 national guard troops, is that right? >> half were on the streets helping the metropolitan police department, the other half would have came in to relieve them. so you had 40 in the quick reaction force? >> correct. >> so if this was all preapproved by the secretary of defense, and i'm indful of the considerations of military being involved in civil disturbances. i think that is part of the issue. some of the blow back that occurred with the spring instances, how quickly could you have gotten how many people to the capitol? >> 20 minutes. >> how many people? >> 150. >> okay. i mean that's important information to have. i think quite honestly what we need to do here is completely reconstruct what happened.
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and i mean completely reconstruct. we need eyewitness testimony from different vantage points. how many pointssanborn, how manf confrontation occurred during the riot? i mean, in other words, were these primarily at choke points, doors, windows, that were breached and then inside the capitol, again, outside the house chamber, or was there -- the capitol is 751 feet long. was that a 751-foot long line that -- that capitol police and other law enforcement were battling protesters? >> thank you for the question. i think we're still in the process of gathering that data. obviously the folks that we have charged, we've charged for breaching and getting inside so we at least know at some point they got through a choke point. the actual distance of how long that was is still part of what
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we're examining, sir. >> being a. but we've got all kinds of video, all kinds of photographs, so you obviously are examining that, and from that video you've been able to arrest 300 people -- 300 people have been charged. 18 have been charged with conspiracy and 40 have been arrested for assault on law enforcement officers, so have you looking at those videos maybe not been able to identify the people but have you counted the number of people that you want to identify, for example, that will probably be charged with assault? >> so we're still doing that, and that number increases just like the arrests every day and so we have identified hundreds of people that we're trying to still identify. >> okay. well, again, we've got 300 individuals who have been charged. 40 have been charged with assault. do you expect hundreds of people to be charged with assault or will those be disorderly contact, unlawful entry?
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>> yeah. >> give me some sort of sense of the extent of this. >> fair question, the charges have ranged from everything from trespassing to obstruction to definitely assault on federal officers. we have a fair number of those, and so the charges based on the actual behavior that the individual par took that day definitely vary. >> how many firearms were confiscated in the capitol or on capitol grounds during that day? >> to my knowledge we've not recovered any on that day from any of the arrests at the scene at this point but i don't want to speak on behalf of metro and capitol police but to my knowledge none. >> nobody has been charged with an actual firearm weapon in the capitol or on capitol grounds. >> correct. >> the closest we came was the vehicle that had had the molotov cocktails in it and when we did a search of the vehicle later on there was a weapon. >> how many shots were fired that we know of? >> i believe the only shots that were fired were the ones that resulted in the death of the one lady. >> okay. >> well, again, i appreciate the chair's comments about bipartisan, non-partisan
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investigation. you're seeking out the truth. that's what i'm trying to do. cognizant of how i was reacted to by offering an eyewitness account at the last hearing, i'll risk entering another piece of reporting into the record. this is from the "new york times." hopefully that will be viewed more favorably. the title is a small group of militants outsized role in the capitol attack. in that report it says federal prosecutors have said members of the oath keepers militia group planned and organized their attack and, quote, put into motion violence that overwhelmed the capitol. the reason i'm entering this into the record and read this quote it really does seem to align with the eyewitness account that i read portions of into the record last week. no conspiracy theory, just an eyewitness account in a knowledgeable observer. i didn't get to the point of the actual attack and i want to just read a couple of excerpts. this is the title provocateurs turn unsuspecting marches into
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an invading mob. again, these provocateurs are primarily white supremacist groups and then allowed shouts from behind quote, forward, do not retreat, forward and two other men standing across from one another on the high granite curbs on either side of the footpath yelled variations of forward, do not dare retreat. some made direct eye contact at people and pointed directly at them as if trying to cite them into submitting. a third man standing on a chair also shouting forward reached down and grabbed me by the shoulder and barked don't retreat, get back up there. it wasn't an expression of enthusiasm or solidarity but sounded like a military order. this guy was probably in his 50s. he looked furious with me. nobody seemed to be aware that the capitol was under attack. the tear gas caused pandemonium. there was still no stampede and people created or widened path and from the north a column of uniform younger man walked briskly towards the inaugural stand. they came within two feet of me.
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the camouflage uniforms were clean, neat and with a parent i couldn't identify. these were the disciplined uniformed column of attackers i had seen. there were a good three dozen of them moving in a single snake-like formation. they were organized and disciplined and prepared. we're taking the capitol. the first and second announced. you're going to get arrested, the second one called. miss sanborn, does that tie into with what you're uncovering as what you investigate what happened in the capitol that these day, you had armed militia groups that had conspired and organized to be there, maybe dozens. we don't know how many, but that they were organizing and knew how to use the mob to storm the capitol. is that kind of what you're seeing? >> we're definitely so far seeing a mixture of that, absolutely. we're seeing people that got caught up in the moment and the energy, et cetera, and made their way into the capitol and those are probably the ones that you're seeing the charges simply of trespassing and then we're definitely seeing that portion that you're pointing out which
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is small groups and cells now being charged with conspiracy that coalesced either on site or days or weeks prior and had sort of an intent that day and they, too, probably caught people up in the energy. >> one final comment. i would urge anybody that criticized me for entering an eyewitness account into the record last week to please read the eyewitness account to take a look at actually what the truth is. thank you. >> thank you. before i call on senator americaly, i just want to ask you miss sanborn one thing. these people that were assaulting the capitol in military gear and were pinning an officer between a door and were using bear spray on officers in the capitol, would you title them provocateurs? >> ma'am, it would all depend on the evidence behind the case, right, so as we're going through and figuring out what actually we know about each individual it
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would depend on the facts and what we know wholistically about that to put a label on that. >> do you think there were very serious violent people involved in this insurrection? >> 100%. a lot of officers were injured and a lot of damage was done. >> and were you describe the atmosphere as festive? >> absolutely not. >> thank you. >> senator merkley. >> thank you, madam, chair, and thank you all for your information. assistant secretary, if i understood your earlier comment you thought the quick reaction team was only for reinforcing assistance to those members of the national guard providing traffic control. did i hear your comment correctly? >> yes, senator, you did. >> thank you. major general walker, i believe that i heard your comments correctly that quick reaction team was there to respond as
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needed including protection of the capitol. is that correct? >> no, they were actually to provide support to the guardsmen out there. what i would have wanted to do is re-mission them and get them to the capitol immediately as a quick reaction force. >> i see. so they weren't necessarily planned to help protect the capitol, but you would re-assign them to that in that type of emergency. >> yes, sir. >> okay. thank you. that clarification. i was really struck by the complexity of the chain of command for trying to get a decision for response. it starts with the capitol police board which goes to the chief of the capitol police steven sund who goes to the commanding general of the d.c. national guard who goes to the secretary of army who then consults with people within department of army about whether it's appropriate which then goes
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to the secretary of defense and then consults christopher miller to decide to study that who then goes in order back to the commanding general of the d.c. national guard. this six-step process seems totally unsuited to the situation of responding quickly to an emergency, and just wanted to ask you, commander walker, if i'm reading this chain of command correctly and if -- do you share the view that this is way too complex for a moment when you need to respond quickly? >> so, senator, it's a long-standing process, but it -- it can work in minutes. so, for example, during the first week of june the secretary of the army was with me. i watched him call the secretary of defense and consult with the attorney general and respond back to me with an approval
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within minutes, so it's -- it's an elaborate process, but it doesn't always have to be in extremist circumstances we can get it done over the phone very, very quickly. >> if i understand right, it's normally an elaborate process done in advance and, in fact, the information came to you on january 1st. you got back a response on january 5th so this was before january 6, but it had to provision that this restriction that@6á÷ i think you've testifio was unusual, that required reconsultation on january 6th in a fashion that deeply inhibited the ability to move quickly. >> that's right, senator. >> okay. thank you. i wanted to turn to the undersecretary and you've been with the department for how long? >> 17 years, sir. >> for 17 years, and i think you were the depth undersecretary on
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january 6th, is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> well, i was struck by different reports that came from officials saying that there was a mood within the department, and i'll just quote one formal official report, quote, nobody wanted to write a formal intelligence report about that, and part of the fear that such report would be very poorly received by the maga folks within dhs, and to follow this up, bryan murphy, former head of dhs, and -- were you also the deputy to him as well? >> i was one of his deputies, yes, sir. >> he noted that dhs officials had ordered him to stay away from the threat of white house nationalism, that chad wolf and ken cuccinelli also had asked him to modify intel assessments to ensure that they matched up with public comments by president trump to downplay the
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threat posed by white supremacists. in your time at dhs, and it's very important that intelligence is unaffected by politics. it's like the root information. did you get a sense that there was kind of a troubling cloud as reported in various sources including from the former head of dhs, that there was a troubling cloud of political influence over the quality or the kind of determination of how intelligence was presented to officials? >> i can say that ina's reports did not change. we did not change our assessments based on any political pressure or interference. we did publish the homeland threat assessment. it's a publicly available document that does said that white supremacists are the most persistent and legal and lethal threat to the homeland. >> so did you ever feel any
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pressure or receive any encouragement even kind of a less informal way, i'm not talking about a written dock you'll, that you needed to be very careful about clarifying the threat posed by white supremacists? >> i did not personal receive that. >> and do you consider bryan murphy's report that that type of pressure was applied to be accurate or inaccurate? >> he has -- his is a whistle-blower complaint, and it's still being adjudicated. >> no, i understand, but i'm asking you. you were right there in the leadership. you never got a sense that there was any type of political influence like he reported regarding an encouragement -- >> i did not personally have that influence pushed upon me, sir. >> thank you. >> someone suggested that the reason that there were formal intelligence assessments regarding earlier events including the protests in portland but not such a -- a
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detailed presentation related to january 6th was because of this pressure to downplay to some degree the threat posed by white extremists. >> i would like to point out, sir, the two instances are very different. our support during some of the civil unrest, specifically in portland, were the direct request of our own dhs federal law enforcement partners, and in that capacity we were reacting to a pattern of violence that had shown itself for several weeks. our open-source team did an excellent job in many instances of providing specific information that kept those officers safe. they were reporting things like bricks may be used today as a weapon. another day it might be bug spray combined with leaf blowers or lasers. our work by contrast leading up to the election and january 6th is quite different.
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it's a different kind of an environment. there's not that pattern of violence. it is a different kind of assess meant, so i do suggest, sir, that it's impossible to compare the two. >> thank you for your testimony. >> thank you. >> thank you, madam chair. mr. chair. >> thank you, senator. the chair recognizes senator sinema for your questions. >> thank you, mr. chair, and thank you to our witnesses for being here today. during last week's hearing we heard about coordinated security planning efforts between law enforcement and federal partners for january 6th, including areas where planning could be improved. as part of this conversation the committees heard about intelligence shared by the fbi field office in norfolk, virginia on january 5th warning of extremists preparing to travel for, quote, war. we also heard from the former chief of u.s. capitol police that he never saw this report and that on january 6th he knew of no intelligence suggesting
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there would be a coordinated violent attack on the u.s. capitol. the head of the fbi's washington field office has previously said publicly that the bureau did not have intelligence suggesting the rally would turn violent prior to the january 5th report. however, on january 8th a podcast from the "new york times" outlined activity across multiple social media platforms showing coordination between groups ahead of the january 6th attack. the podcast highlighted social media conversations about coordinating travel, bringing weapons and using language like occupy the capitol and the revolution will come to washington. so my first question is for miss sanborn. was the fbi aware of these specific conversations on social media? >> to my knowledge, no, ma'am, and i would just sort of articulate why that is. under our authorities because being mindful of the first amendment and our dual-headed mission to uphold constitution,
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we cannot collect first amendment-protected activities without sort of the next step which is the intent and so we'd have to have an already predicated investigation that allowed us access to those coms or a leader, a tip, a report from a community citizen or fellow law enforcement partner for us to gather that information. >> so the fbi does not monitor publicly available social media conversations? >> correct, ma'am, it's not within our authorities. >> so my next question is for miss sanborn and then miss smislova. did the preparations of the january 6th rally follow the typical process of sharing information among law enforcement entis when confronted by this type of an event with a high potential for violence, and were there additional processes implemented to consider that as senator klobuchar pointed out, that this was an event with congress in session and the vice president and vice president-elect all gathered in one place. >> yes, ma'am, so a couple of
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things we did different than normal operations is we sent out and made this had a national priority for all of our 56 field offices to actively go out and ask sources, collect information on any threats that posed to the national capital region not only for the 6th but for the inauguration. that tasking is what led to the potential collection in the norfolk field office. we also, a step that we took that is different than our every normal course of day of business, both washington field office and headquarters stood up command posts so we activated our nc-3 which is a multi-agency task force that was 24/7 inside the hoover building inside salma hayak in washington field mirrored that in their field office. >> and, ma'am -- >> yes, ma'am. >> and dhs, in ha been on a heightened period of alert after -- before the election and then after the election. we also participated
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>> the command posts in the washington field -- the washington fusion center. in retrospect we may have been better off if we considered sending out some kind of terrorism bulletin but we did not do that before january 6th. >> this is a question for both of you. the fbi field offices did have intelligence outlining a threat to congress. we know that conversations were happening on publicly available social media, and dhs was tracking the travel of some of these suspected radicals. so given all of these pieces, what in your opinion broke down, and what got in the way of law enforcement properly planning to meet these publicly articulated threats? >> i'll start. i think exactly the processes we had in place and we followed and i think that's the good news. as you heard the director yesterday and i would echo, any
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time there's an attack we in the fbi want to .1,000 and we want this never to happen again and we're asking the questions that you're asking. is there something we more we could have done and that's something we're looking back at. i think the information we, we worked quickly to try to get that out in reporting and share is in multiple ways, verbally, e-mails and putting it in portals and 100% you can rest assured we're asking the same as we want to continue to improve and get better. >> ma'am, we also at dhs are completely dissatisfied with the result of our efforts leading up to january 6th. we're re-examining how we distribute our information, how we coordinate with our partners. we thought that it was sufficient and clearly it was not. we are also working much more
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focused on plan applying more resources to better understand this particular threat. we're also looking at how we can better understand social media to get those tips and maybe get better insight into what this ad versery is doing uncertain difficult threat for us in the intelligence community to understand. it is -- it will require more partnerships with in traditional partners and with our standard state and local partners and you'll see that we'll reinforce our already good partnership with the fbi. we will do better. >> thank you. >> following up on that last comment around local partnerships, i wanted to go back to miss sanborn. on january 5th the fbi did receive information that armed protests were being planned at capitol buildings in all 50 state capitols. could you just briefly in the time we have left share how that intell was acted upon and how it was shared across the country. >> ma'am, i don't recall off the
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top of my head. i'd have to get back to you on the mechanism that we did to share that information. >> so based on that response would it be fair to assume that it was not a particularly high priority that there were armed protests planned at all 50 state capitols across the country? >> no, it 100% was a high priority and it definitely for our mission and our focus we were not on the 6th only focused on the national capital region, we were focused on the whole country. it 100% was a very important focus for us. i can't remember the mechanism of the document or whether it was an email or joint product how we passed that information but we were concerned with it and i know we disseminated it in some form and i owe you that. >> thank you. so i'll just have my team follow up with you. mr. chair, i see that my time has expire. i yield back and thank you. >> thank you. senator padilla, you are recognized for your questions.
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>> thank you, mr. chair. first a comment and then a question for the witnesses. i understand, you know, there's a lot of people they would hike to see a reconstruction of the events of january 6th and how they came to be. for anybody generally interested i turn your attention to the house impeachment managers presentation to the united states senate from february 9th through the 13th. my questions today though are in some ways a follow-up to yesterday's judiciary committee hearing where we heard from fbi director chris wray. and a quote from his testimony yesterday. quote, we are not aware of any widespread evidence of voter fraud. much less that would have affected the outcome in the presidential election, end quote. and yet former president trump
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and other people with influence continue to spread lies and disinformation about the november 2020 election was stolen. former president trump continued this effort most recently at the conservative political action conference on sunday, falsely claiming, and i'll quote from him, we did even better in the second election that we did in the first. you know, i won the first. we won the second. we did much better. prior to joining the united states senate i served for six years as california secretary of state which includes the responsibility of serving as california's chief elections officer for the most populace state in the nation. i know trump is lying. we all know trump is lying. fbi director wray told us yesterday that one of the biggest challenges that the government faces in confronting
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domestic terrorism is separating the signal from the noise. this was particularly true in the lead-up to the january 6th insurrection. when people of influence, particularly former and current elected officials continue to spread lies and disinformation about election integrity, i would imagine that creates a lot more noise, unnecessary noise, counterproductive noise, dangerous noise for you all to have to sift through. i suspect it also served to radicalize some number of people to actually take action including violent action just as we have seen for years with jihadist propaganda and other forms of foreign terrorism, so my question for each of you, two questions, actually.
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one, does the perpetuation of disinformation about the 2020 election make your job harder and how? second, what kind of message does the january 6th insurrection send to other domestic violent extremists and our foreign adversaries as well? >> i'll start. i think i'd start with pinpointing the specific thing that drives somebody to mobilization is very, very, very difficult, and it's probably more complex in the domestic violence extremist space than any of the domestic terrorist space and why that is is we found in our investigations is domestic violence extremists not only are potentially doing what they are doing in an insular
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manner, but it's a combination of an ideology that they have and what makes it different is a very unique personalized grievance, and when those things combine that appears to be what pushes them to mobilization and so for every single individual we're trying to find that, but it's incredibly hard, and it relies a lot on their ability, you know, post-disruption to explain that process to that, and so that's something that we're trying very hard to get to the bottom of on each of these cases. >> and, sir, we -- we did warn in our national terrorism advisory system bulletin that we assess perceived grievances that are fueled by false narratives could continue to mobilize or incite people to commit violence, so to that extent, yes. false narratives are a difficult -- are difficult. >> senator, the department of defense does not do domestic
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intelligence on u.s. citizens, but there's no tolerance for extremists in the ranks of the defense department. secretary austin within the first few weeks of taking over as the secretary ordered a stand down in the defense department, a one-day stand down to examine extremism, educate people and make sure we're doing everything that we can to root that out. >> senator -- >> i'll spare you for a second because i want to make sure i get some clarity here. now i know these issues is complex. your work is tremendously complex and challenging, but answer to the first question based on what i hear, tell me if you disagree, the question being does this make your job harder? the answer would be so far yes, yes, yes. is that correct? >> it's two-fold, right. any more volume makes it harder and the more variety of things that inspire people definitely makes pinpointing it to a
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specific one challenging so variety of inspiration combined with amount of rhetoric out there definitely are two things that add. >> okay. and in the limited time i have left i want to make sure to address the second question which is what message do you believe this is sending to other domestic violence extremist let alone foreign adversaries? >> we do assess that the breech on the capitol could inspire others to act if that's what you're asking, sir. >> i agree. any time an adversary is successful others pay attention so we're worried that this would be an inspiration. >> i agree with that. >> i agree as well, sir. .>> thank you. thank you, madam chair. >> just before i recognize the next member from my committee. witnesses, you've been here for a long time so what our plan is
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to give you a little -- in the future here, the near future, a chance to stretch a little bit. i'm going to recognize one more senator from my committee, chairwoman klobuchar will recognize one from her committee and then we'll give you a five-minute break. with that, senator rosen, you are recognized for your questions. >> thank you, chairman peters. i appreciate you and all the other senators on the -- on the rules committee for putting together this joint hearing. it's really important and appreciate everyone for being here. you know, in october 2020 dhs warned that, and i quote racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically white supremacists will remain the most persistent and legal threat in the homeland, unquote, and that, quote again, violent actors might target events related to the post-election period, unquote. according to a former dhs assistant secretary for counterterrorism and threat prevention, the office of
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intelligence, analysis or ina was aware that the potential for violence on january 6th and i quote again, but, quote, for reasons of fear did not want to formalize reports. we know senator merkley asked you this question and the day before the attacks ina sent a national summary to national law enforcement partners stating there was nothing significant to report, nothing significant to report, and so if dhs assessed white supremacists to be the most lethal threat to americans and if ina was aware of domestic violence extremists mobilizing to cause violence on january 6th then why didn't the department issue a formal intelligence warning that violence would occur, and i ask this of miss smislova. >> yes, yes, ma'am. first, we have heard of that report that we sent out that said nothing significant to report and we can't locate that
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so i have no idea where that notion came from. >> can you follow up and see if you can find that? >> we've looked, ma'am, for a while, so we -- we don't have a copy of that report. that would be an official report that ina sent out. it is possible, ma'am, that where it came from was maybe a phone call or something where we said we had nothing additional to report. we did view the work that we had done prior to january 6th as being sufficiently specific in warning of a possible threat. some of the reports were did distribute you just quoted from yourself so it was our belief that those warnings were enough. obviously they were not. we are working very hard now to do two things, one, get better specificity and insight into this particular threat and then secondly u.n. better how our
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customers receive our products, read our products, who gets our products. it is unclear to us why they were not received and we were not better prepared for a possible attack. >> thank you. did ina share any intelligence products with national fusion centers relaying information about possible violence on january 6th, and is capitol police part of the d.c. area fusion center? >> yes. we talked specifically to the capitol police in early december, made sure that they were in receipt of all of our products, and they received, again, the one we put out just a week before the attack that we co-authored with fbi national counterterrorism center. we know that all of our products do go to the national network of fusion centers, and we in fact participated in a phone call that was sponsored by the national network of fusion centers the day before on january 5th where we all
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reiterated our concerns that we were in a heightened threat environment, that this particular adversary could mobilize quickly and they most likely small cells, lone offenders, they would most likely come armed and they could -- were interested in attacking specifically government buildings and large gatherings. >> well, i appreciate that, but it seems like we weren't exactly red, so moving forward i know -- >> correct. >> i know that you alluded that you're going to try to figure out where your product goes and who talks about it but how are you going to specifically elevate ina's assessment that white supremacists are the most loathal threat to and make sure that that intelligence reaches our local law enforcement ahead of possible attacks so that we can prevent any loss of life certainly or any kinds of things? >> yes, ma'am, and the department is committed to doing
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that. our secretary is very committed to coming up with a whole of dhs approach to better combat domestic terrorism. we are working across the department to understand how to better articulate the threat and deliver the threat and how to mitt tate it with our state and local partners. >> thank you. i want to move on because the day before the insurrection the fbi issued an internal warning that extremeists planned to take part in violence on january 6th. last week i asked metro pd about the intelligence failures leading up to the attack. the acting chief of police conte told me the fbi email and alert bulletin warned about potential violence at 7:00 p.m. the night before the attack. mr. conte told me, again i'm going to quote here, would i certainly think i that something as violent as an insurrection at the capitol would warrant a phone call or something, unquote. but yesterday fbi director wray said his information was
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provided to local law enforcement multiple times and in multiple forms, so miss sanborn, it sounds like either mr. couldn'te or director wray was mistaken. so can you corroborate director wray's statement, and if indeed the warning was only sent in warning, why didn't the fbi go a little bit further? why did they did not alert local law enforcement about the possible violent insurrection in a manner more consistent with the gravity of the threat on our homeland? >> yes, ma'am, i appreciate the question. i think i'll start with the information we received just to correctly characterize what it was was information off the internet, unattributable to a specific person. that being said the content and the suggestion of what may or may not happen was concerning enough that based on our prioritizing this is a collection priority for our 56 field offices. they quickly wrote that up, and within the hour had that information to the washington field office. they wrote it up in a document specifically for dissemination to state and local partners, but
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really they tried to belt and suspender that together. they wanted to make sure we didn't rely on the dissemination of a product, that we also followed up with an email so it went out in an email to all tasks force officers on the washington jttf fask force and there's numerous of those from the national capital region that received that email. still on top of that they didn't want to rely on just the email and the writ erin document. in one of the command post briefings that they were doing back then every couple of hours they specifically stoodp and talked about this to try to have a common operating picture of what this information was, and then still to go a step further and not rely on just that and make sure that we broadened the visibility not just to the national capital region but opened that aperture to the whole country for our state and local partners we posted that situation information report on what we call the leap portal which is available to all state and local partners and why that is significant it gives them awareness but it also gives them the opportunity to maybe even
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potentially add collection to what our piece that we got from the social media posting online. >> thank you. i know my time has expired so i'll take this question offline. but we're encountering so many online threatening posts we need to maybe change the definition of specific threats and raise them up. >> thank you. very good thoughts. next senator warner from the rules committee. >> thank you, madam chairman, and let me also agree with you and senator rosen that the pollenization that takes place on social media platforms and on the dark web need to be pursued. i appreciate miss sanborn's response that they do not arbitrarily collect off of american citizens if there's not some nexus but i do think it's important and i think that others mentioned that domestic
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violence extremists didn't start with january 6th. they didn't start with donald trump. they are not going to end with january 6 or end with donald trump. in my state we saw a few years back the unite the right rally at charlottesville where many of these same groups and affiliations came together in another violent effort where one protester was killed and fortunately lost a couple members our state police. director wray has repeatedly said in testimony before the intelligence committee the worldwide threat assessment that domestic violence extremists are a major national security threat to this country. i personally believe that that message was downplayed during the previous administration because they didn't want to hear it, and what i'm going to start with, miss smislova and
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assistant director sanborn, it's great to see you again, is that recognizing the constraints that are placed upon you in terms of collections and that also acknowledging that this threat has been around for some time and the phone in particular has acknowledged that it is an extraordinary major severe threat, what have you both been able to do in engaging in open source intelligence and independent research communities to better identify these dves? i know in the run-up to the january 6th insurrection there was research done by harvard's john donovan and elon university megan squire and other researchers that pointed to the fact that the dves and affiliated groups, also working in conjunction with groups in europe, were planning this effort, so how are you both dhs
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and fbi utilizing these independent researchers, open-source activities and -- and making sure that we've got a better handle on it recognizing the appropriate constraints and what you can do directly? >> yes, senator, thank you for that question. we just last week met as inside ina to discuss contracting with some of those experts outside. we are aware that we need to invest more in our understanding of domestic terror. we understand as well that it will require a different approach than a traditional intelligence community approach. we must use different sources to understand this threat. we are looking to get outside experts and invest more in house. we're secondly looking at how to better understand the social media world so that we can better focus on where we might
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actually find specific and inciteful information about what the adversary is thinking about. we are additionally working to partner more with our state and local colleagues who we know have a different perspective of this threat and have more information in some cases than we do, and we are also again partnering more across the department and with our federal partner, increasing our relationships with fbi. >> miss sanborn? >> thank you, senator. nice to see you again as well. i would try to say what we're trying to do and put it the in three pockets for you, increasing our private sector outreach is 100%, i have a section just inside my division, that does nothing but partner engagement. we've found that the better we educate them on the threat that we're facing and painting a picture of what those threats are, they are better able to pay attention and collect and refer information to us, and that is helpful, and i think that's why when we talk about the fact that 50% of our tips and leads to
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cases or predication for our cases come from that relationship and that education. we're also the same as my colleague said using the state and local partners so we leverage the fusion centers a lot in their ability and their expertise and the orange county fusion center in california is a great example of leading sort of the analytics of social media and leveraging thunder bay, per tease to predicate cases and they were actually behind the predication of the base that they disrupted and last i would say is chal challenging themselves for better collection inside, trying to point our sources and collection to be in the right places to collect the intelligence that we need, and that is what led to the norfolk s s.i.r., that is us pointing our collection in a space that gathered that information. >> i have to tell you, respectfully i'm pretty disappointed with both of your answers. this is not a new threat. we've seen since the 2016 election how foreign adversaries
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manipulate social media, we hear repeatedly dhs and fbi that we'll get better at collecting. we saw the unite the right rally in charlottesville. we heard people say we're going to get better at collecting information and better partnering. neither one of you referenced. there's literally a host of experts at academia and organizations and others that are monitoring the dves and their activities. oftentimes in their connections to anti-government groups in europe, again oftentimes amplified by russia and then we're always going to get ready and then we're somewhat surprised to see the kind of chaos that took place on january 6th. we can't always be saying we're going to do better next time when this threat has been around for years. it is not going to disappear
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with donald trump. there's never been somebody that was as active as encouraging these kinds of individuals, but we've got to pick up our game and i do think the academic researchers are a tool that we better developed and we need to work with our partners and my time is running out. director sanborn, i had a number of conversations with fbi officials both january 5th and january 6th where i was constantly reassured don't worry, we think from the fbi standpoint we've got this pretty well under control. that not the case, and we now have the capitol of the united states desecrated and for our adversary, from an intel standpoint, to the xi jinping of the world the images of the marauders across the world is a price that we'll be paying for
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many years to come. thank you, madam chair. >> thank you very much, senator warner, and thank you for your work as chair of the intelligence committee. we're now going to break five to ten minutes, so we will be back at that moment. thank you. members of this joint hearing taking a break here. they are expected to resume shortly with more testimony from national security and counterterrorism officials on intelligence-gathering related to the january 6th u.s. capitol attack. live coverage here on c-span3.
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>> i'm going to start with you. i wasn't going to start here but i am after what i just heard. so chief conti had said that he was stunneded at the stunned from the department of the army when former police chief sund requested assistance from the guard. what's your reaction to what conte said? were you frustrated on that call as well? >> yes, i was, senator clone charm. i was frustrated. i was just as stunned as everybody else on the call. >> and i understand and you correct me if i'm wrong that with the national guard it is much better to prepare them and call them into action and have a plan which i know that i heard from mr. salesses that people tried to do, they called the chief and called the people and said you want to have the guard mobilized, and there was a discussion between you and sund leading up to january 6th in which this was discussed, and you didn't get a clear direction to have them mobilized, is that
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correct? >> yes, ma'am. so i talked to chief sund on sunday. i talked to him saturday and sunday. we talk. we're friends. i've known him for a long time. >> nice. >> so on sunday i asked him are you going to request d.c. national guard help and if you do i need it in writing and it has to be formal because the secretary of defense has to approve it. he told me he was not allowed to "support and i asked him if he wanted me to share that and he said no. i can't even ask you for the support what he told me. >> mm-hmm. >> but he did say but if i do call you, will you be able to support me. i said yes, but i have to get approval from the secretary of the army and ultimately the secretary of defense because it's a federal request. >> exactly. >> and so as we've heard from chief sund last week he had been denied by the sergeant-at-arms, and that's a subject for last week, but the subject for today is given all that and we know we would have been in much better shape if they had been called in
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ahead and if they had authority but now we're to the day and it's 2:22 and you're on the known with them and you're asking for this authorization which you felt it was unusual to get, is that right? unusual that -- >> i thought the delay was unusual. >> yes. >> and so we were already in support of the metropolitan police department, and when the metropolitan police department left the traffic control points, what i wanted to do was take those guardsmen and move them to the capitol immediately, and my logic was we were still in direct support. we would have been in support of the metropolitan police department who was supporting the united states capitol police at that point. >> so i just keeping imagining the scene. the whole country, the whole world is seeing this on tv. you've got the police line breached at this moment. you have -- you have smashed windows. you have insurrectionists going
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through the police lines. you are on the phone. everyone is seeing this on tv and they are not immediately approving your request, and in your recent testimony you just said, hey, i could have gotten them on the buses and red to go. is that correct? >> that is correct, senator. >> and as you just testified in response to senator peters, you believe that would have made a difference to have them at the perimeter at a sooner point and i know that people in charge of capitol security felt the same. >> yes, ma'am. >> and so you -- you could have had them there earlier, hours earlier if it had about approved and then you had them on the bus and so they were actually sitting on the bus for a short period of time, right, waiting, because you thought they have just got to honor the question. is that how your head was working so you actually put them on the bus so they were ready to go and you couldn't let the buses go. >> yes, senator. i just came to the conclusion that eventually i'm going to get
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approval, and i didn't want -- at that point seconds mattered, minutes mattered and i needed to be ready to get them there as quick as possible so i already had the district of columbia national guard, military police vehicle in front of bus to help get through any traffic lights. >> mm-hmm. >> so we were there in 18 minutes. i -- i arrived at 17:20. >> yeah. >> being a. >> and they were sworn in and made a difference according to the capitol police. >> well, according to a lot of us, and i just keep thinking of the hours that went by and the people who were injured and the officers whose lives were changed forever. a lot has been reported about the quick response force that was waiting at andrews air force base to be deployed to d.c. just in case. now that force was set up as additional troops to support the guard's traffic control mission as need. is that right? >> yes, ma'am. >> and the quick response force
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couldn't be deployed to the capitol immediately once the violence began because they were not outfitted for riot control. is that right? >> no, ma'am. they were outfitted. so -- so the quick reaction force was district of columbia air national guard security forces squadron. most of those guardsmen are law enforcement officers in their civilian positions. >> got it. >> so they were -- they were ready to go, and they were outfitted with all the equipment that they needed. >> and they were out at andrews. >> and they were at andrews. >> and i just took it upon myself to move them without permission. i just moved them to the armory so they would be closer as well. >> okay. and who was on that conversation with you? you mentioned from the -- from the defense department. i know who was on there from the police in d.c. >> so lieutenant general michael flynn, he was -- he was in charge of operations for the army, the director of the army
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staff was on the phone -- was on the call, lieutenant general pyatt. there were other senior civilian leaders from the united states army and other high-rank general officers were on the call as well. >> okay. and do you remember who was mostly talking about the optics, the question that senator peters asked you and their concern about it? >> yes, so during the phone call with the district of columbia -- the district of columbia leaders, the deputy mayor, chief sund, dr. rodriguez who was talking about optics were general flynn and general pyatt and they both said it wouldn't be in their best military advice to advise the secretary of the army to have uniformed guards member at the capitol during the election confirmation. >> thank you. >> members of this joint hearing taking a break here. they are expected to resume shortly with more testimony from
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national security and counterterrorism officials on intelligence-gathering related to the january 6th u.s. capitol attack. live coverage here on c-span3.
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members this joint hearing taking a break here. they are expected to resume shortly with more testimony from national security and counterterrorism officials on intelligence-gathering related to the january 6th u.s. capitol attack. live coverage here on c-span3.
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the committee will come back to order. senator langford, you're recognized for your questions. >> thank you very much for this. witnesses, thank you. i appreciate your engagement. we're trying to all fill in blanks and none of you have all the answers on this. we're not expecting the panel to cover everything. i appreciate the gaps that you're helping us fill as we go through this conversation together. i want to ask you a couple questions about the i.c. i've read through some of the sensitive information that was sent out to law enforcement in advance of january 6th. help me understand someone that's getting that report, obviously, many of these folks that are getting the report from capitol police and others, i think reports like this similar every day. if i look at the reports prior
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to january 6th that are coming out from intelligence, i have a hard time looking at it and getting the context of how is this different than normal. so help me understand for those reports, for someone who is reading these reports every day, how would they understand the context of what you're seeing or what the folks are seeing on the ground that's different than what they had seen three months before, six months before, a year before. >> yes, sir. that is a great question. and that is one that we are now reassessing. it was our view, again, when i prepared for this hearing and i looked at all of the work that we had done specifically talking about the extremist that is would be motivated by the dissatisfaction with the election results and also unhappy with some of the restrictions related to covid-19, the reports are quite good. they're well-written. they seem to summarize pretty
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succinctly. i look at them and proud of the team, which has produced twice as many reports on domestic terrorism this last year as they did the year before. but to your point, it might be hard to see that trend over time and the noise. so looking backwards from, you know, now what didn't happen, right, we are examining -- should there be different types of reports, should we use some of the tools that dhs has such as the national terrorism advisory system. we have restarted the counterterrorism advisory board which was occurring monthly under the previous administration and have fallen off for a variety of reasons the last few years. we've restarted that. secretary mayorkas is challenging us all to do a better job when it comes to combating terrorism, domestic terrorism. so i guess that's a long way, sir, of saying we're taking a
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look at our -- the reports that we have done. we will be engaging very directly with all of our stakeholders asking them what we could do better, asking them how they might better receive the information, should we put it in a different format, is there some way that we should remind them that this is an alert and it is hard with the volume of information that we receive daily. >> you're getting a tremendous amount and that information continues to be able to flow. when i look at the reports and look at the bottom line up front that's at the beginning of it, it all seems very standard to me. there doesn't seem to be an elevated risk. there's some details that come afterwards, if you're reading through it, you could elevate it. as you've heard some in the media have pulled out specific statements buried in a report and say, well, how could you have missed this. but up front, it looks standard, here are the risks, here are the things that we're seeing.
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there doesn't seem to be something that would say, this is higher than normal. if i can use the intel term, it seems to be chatter. even in the report itself, it identifies multiple places. this is one person on a social media site and they had one comment that they made on it. that would make someone think this is one person out there saying this doesn't look like a movement that's happening. so if that was accurate to say we're hearing from chatter on that, there has to be some way to note that for the future, to say elevated, more so than normal, higher than it was a week ago, some way to show a trend line. all the way through to say it's increasing in awareness on this. that is something that is fixable. my challenge from serving on the intel committee is seeing different reports that come through that are so carefully scripted they say nothing. so getting as many pieces of raw information as possible, which are in some of these reports. but then to also make sure that the assessment and is the
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statements are very, very clear will help everyone in the process. we do reach moments where it becomes politicized that we have to turn down the volume of that particular word at the end of it they don't say anything. can i ask you a question on this as well, for any of the operations that washington, d.c., has or that you know of for other national guard members, you had obviously soldiers that were involved scattered around the city helping with traffic duties and such during the day, do you get the threat assessments in advance the same as what capitol police would get? obviously, you're assisting metro police. would you get the same threat assessments that they get as they're leading up to the event so you would have that for that event as well? >> we do. we see finished intelligence products. >> are those helpful to you? >> they are. >> is there anything that you're missing when you go through those reports that you wish was there? >> no, sir. >> we would love to see 20/20 into the future. i get that completely.
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you've made several comments through the course of the day today that i've noted and in your statement yourself where you stated the january 5th letter withheld authority for me to employ the quick reaction force. i want to ask a question for the folks that were actually on traffic duty and such that were helping out that day and standing side by side with metro police to help them, were those folks armed with less lethal implements to be able to help in case there was a riot situation or an unruly crowd. >> they were equipped with force protection, helmets, shin guards, body protection. >> were they wearing those or were they in the vehicles? >> they were in the vehicles. >> my understanding, those weren't military vehicles that day. they were to be unmarked vehicles, is that accurate? >> yes, sir. they were gsa vehicles. >> got it. there was no overhead for your folks that were out that day.
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my understanding is there was a request from the mayor to not have military vehicles, to not have helicopters up in the air that day in support. would that have typically been something that you would have asked for in the past to have some kind of overhead for a day like that? >> we would not have needed helicopters or any kind of air support for a mission like that. just simple traffic control. and the quick reaction force was available to support them if they needed it. >> they are physically how far away? as far as minutes. i don't have to say where they were exactly. >> about 25 to -- about 25 minutes away. >> so quick reaction force was 25 minutes away. even if it was go, we need you respond, it's 25 minutes on a good traffic situation to be able to get there, barring what's happening with the crowd? >> well, we would have had a police escort. they have military police and security forces. both have marked police vehicles with the emergency equipment,
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lights sirens. >> that's 40 individuals, is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> thank you. thank you, you all. thank you, senator. next up, senator king from the rules committee. >> thank you very much, and thanks for holding this hearing. a quick question for you. i know the defense department has its own service, the dia and this is a question for the record. i would appreciate it if you would check and provide to the committee whatever there are in the way of intelligence products that were available to the department of defense in the week prior to and the day -- particularly the day prior to january 6th. and they can be submitted in a classified setting if there are issues of sources and methods. i don't know if there's any such material. if there is, i hope you will make it available to the
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committee. general, you're an important witness today because you were in the midst of all of this and you were in touch. and what we're really struggling with here is why that long delay. and you've testified earlier that in the summer, the delay was a matter of minutes. this time, it was a matter of three hours, 19 minutes. the question is, was the delay caused in your judgment from being on these various phone calls by anything remotely resembling politics and a desire not to interfere with this particular group, or was it because of the -- i think the world blowback has been used, the concerns about what had happened in the summer and the criticism that the guard had taken for its actions at lafayette square or other parts of the protests of the summer. what do you think was going on here in terms of why this matter
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took so long to respond to? >> so, senator, i think it was a combination of both. in my judgment, it was two factors. i had the benefit and comfort of having the secretary of the army colocated with me during the summer. he was right next to me for pretty much that entire week, the first week of june. and i was in constant communication with him. i had his phone number, he had mine and we communicated regularly. i didn't have that benefit for january 6th. so there was some concern. i don't think it was so much of what the district of columbia national guard and guard nation did for june. i think it was more the word that i was -- i kept hearing was the optics of it. and there was concern that it could enflame the protestors. so a uniformed presence of guardsmen, u.s. army, u.s. air
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force uniforms could enflame the protestors. that was a concern as well. that was a thought by army senior leaders. >> and the optics that you mention, that's sort of in this context become a bit of a pejorative term. what they were worried about, my understanding is, was the visuals of armed troops and military vehicles and barriers surrounding the united states capitol. ironically, that's what we ended up with. is that the concern that you discerned in those conversations? >> senator, nobody was talking about being armed on january 6th. we were talking about physical presence, civil disturbance equipped guardsmen to form a line together to restore order and event the capitol both from being breached. >> but there's no question that the day before or the days
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before the city made it clear they did not want the national guard at the capitol, is that accurate? >> no, sir. the city doesn't have standing at the capitol. the city -- the mayor's request and the director of homeland security requests did not talk about the capitol at all. >> okay. so the request from the city was directed toward the traffic control and those kinds of things, away from the capitol? >> yes, sir. >> let's move from history to where -- what we learned from this. in your view, should there be changes in the process or changes in the chain of command in an emergency situation to enable the national guard whether it's you here in the district of columbia or a national guard unit in new york or san francisco or austin, texas, should this be something that we're concerned about, the
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three hours of reaction in a true emergency situation seems to be something we need to figure out how to avoid. >> if i could answer it two ways, i think you should be concerned that the chief's son was not allowed to contact me and ask for help in advance. so then we could have had the right forces positioned to support the capitol police and protect the capitol. that's one. number two, the request didn't take too long. the response to the request took too long so i think there needs to be a study done to make sure that that never happens again. it shouldn't take three hours to either say "yes" or "no" to an urgent request from either the capitol police, the park police, the metropolitan police department. in an event like that where everybody saw it, it should not take three hours.
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but before that would have happened, i think the capitol police should have been empowered to request national guard assistance in enough time that we would have been there ready to have a large, quick reaction force sitting at the armory, possibly closer to be ready to respond and not be late. >> so the limitation on the capitol police's ability to work with you prior to the event was an issue. i want to get to the larger issue of being able to react and should we have contingency plans should there be an after-action report about those three hours and how to empower the local leadership such as yourself to react in an extraordinary emergency so that you don't have to go through whatever it was
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that caused the delay, whether it was communication or chain of command or consultation. but clearly, again, this could be an emergency in another city under entirely different circumstances. don't you think it would be prudent for us to have a contingency plans that -- >> of course, yes, sir. >> -- more expeditious. >> emergency authority to act in an emergency, to witness what occurred and to be able to respond, yes, i think going forward, somebody should consider at the department of defense should consider how the district of columbia national guard is able to respond in a much more expeditious manner. >> or the national guard in other parts of the country. thank you very much, general, for your testimony. thank you, madam chair, for this important hearing. >> thank you. during today's testimony two memos have been discussed, one on january 4th and one on
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january 5th from ryan mccarthy to major general william walker. one of those documents have already been entered into the record. without objection, i would like to enter the memo dated the 5th of january, 2021, from ryan mccarthy to general walker. without objection, that will be entered. with that, senator carper, you are recognized for your questions. >> thanks. can you hear me, mr. chairman? >> i can, loud and clear. >> thanks so much. thanks to our witnesses for joining us today. i've been a member of this committee for 20 years and one of my favorite memories of serving on this committee came at the end of the tragedy and that was the attack on 9/11. and a bipartisan commission created -- the co-chairs were one of my mentors in the house
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of representatives, congressman indiana and a governor from our neighboring state of new jersey. tom cane. and the republican -- the two of them provide great leadership. the panel included former secretary of the navy and they worked together on the heels of 9/11 and produced i think something like 41 -- unanimously, 41 recommendations. 41. and we -- i think about 36 of them which is pretty amazing when you think about how hard it is to get stuff done here today. but i have a question. i think we need to create a 9/11-style commission to look at the failures that led to the attack on our capitol on january 6th. a question, do you agree with the need for a commission, a
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9/11-like commission, nonpartisan commission. do you agree there's a need to analyze what went wrong? >> you broke up a little bit, but i'm asking -- >> i can barely hear you. >> i think you -- you're breaking up a little bit. do i agree that something similar to a 9/11 -- >> yes. >> i would say it this way. i've been involved in numerous lessons learned and i think any time we can look back and learn, it's value-added. >> how can we ensure that a new 9/11-style commission examines the root causes, not just the symptoms of problems, how can we make sure that that it would
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examine the root causes? that includes the threat -- >> set up to do a good job -- >> i was looking at the symptoms of the problem, but the root causes. >> i don't have any specific examples. i've never been involved in picking sort of the road ahead and picking and collecting the team that does the review. but i have benefitted from the review. >> members of the congress make clear if there were to be a commission, it focus on the root causes and make sure that the leaders of that bipartisan commission be committed to examining the root causes. second question, if i can. this is a question related to --
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a part of our conversation from last week's hearing focused on raw intelligence from the fbi. i believe it was shared by email the evening before on january 5th with a lower level person. and it was not shared with any senior official, even though we've seen the actual intelligence that something awful that was going to happen the next day that -- >> senator carper, it's a little hard to hear you. you might want to speak a little louder and slower or something. it's not you, it's -- yes. go ahead. >> usually it's me. but i guess my question is, what happened? somebody new, and they sent an email the evening before the
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event. why would somebody pick up the phone and call a senior official and say, we have this information and we're 12 hours away, we need to do something. could you just shed some light on how exactly we missed some of the warning signs until the very last minute? >> thank you for the question. i think i'll start with the piece of information we received, again, was a nontributable posting to a message board. very raw, very unveted. we didn't receive that information until very late on the afternoon on the 5th and almost into the evening. because of our emphasis on we need any intelligence, even though it was raw, unattributed and unveted, the norfolk office wrote that up specifically in a document following our processes to disseminate that. so a situation information report is for the intentional
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purpose for sharing that with state and local partners. not only did they write that up, because they knew how important it was to get that information out into hands of folks who might need it, our state and local partners, within 40 minutes, they sent an email to the washington field office with that information and washington field office also then followed up with an email to all task force officers. and so several different mechanisms happened here and we like to use the phrase belt and suspenders. we didn't want to make sure that one method of communication failed. we wrote it up in the document for dissemination. we sent it in an email to officer in the region and that includes washington metro as well as capitol. but, again, not wanting to rely on those two mechanisms only, it was then briefed verbally in a command post that we were doing briefings every couple of hours so that every agency in that post have what we call a common operating picture, knowing what all of us knew at any given time. it was briefed at 8:00 p.m. on
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the evening of the 5th and taking it one step further because we didn't want to limit it to just the capitol region, there's collection opportunity out there for all partners to help us. we loaded that suspicious information report into what we call the leap portal and that is accessible by all state and local partners. we really tried in various ways to make sure that we did not rely on one communication mechanism and really tried to rely on several so that the information would get to the right people. >> i'll close with this. i don't know that anybody picked up the phone and said, we got a problem here. we're 12 hours away from seeing that problem up front and in person. we need to do something. seeing the emails and that sort of thing, if somebody picked up the phone and said, we need to do something, i'm not sure that --
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>> thank you very much senator carper. next, senator ossoff. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you to the panel. general, thank you for your service. in response to senator king a moment ago, he noted your testimony from earlier today that you had seen the requisite authorities granted for the d.c. guard in a matter of minutes in the past. this time, it took over three hours. can you please break down which concerns you believe were political, which you believe were optical, and what's the basis for your assessment that the three-hour delay was a function of political and optical concerns? >> well, i don't think it was so much political. it was -- let me focus on the optics because that's what i heard. the word optics and the word that having uniformed presence at the capitol could enflame the
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protesters. that's what i -- >> who made that statement? >> that was senior leaders in the united states army, general flynn and others. they got back to me saying -- and that was on the phone call with district of columbia senior leaders that it wouldn't be in their best -- it wouldn't be their best military advice to send uniform guardsmen to the capitol because they didn't like the optics and they had also said that they thought it could enflame. what they wanted to do was send guardsmen to relief police officers in the city so more policemen could get to the capitol. >> that was the call at 2:30 p.m., is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> and you conveyed to those on that call who included the mayor of the district of columbia, the secretary of the army, the acting secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs, the fact that the u.s. capitol police chief's tone had been as you described in your
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testimony, frantic, that he informed you at 1:49 p.m. that the security perimeter of the capitol that had been breached, that the vice president was still on the premise. >> i never said all that. what i relayed -- it wasn't to the chairman. what i relayed to the army leadership was the call that chief sung had we me at 1:49. and it was an urgent plea and his voice was cracking, he was serious. he needed help right then and there, every available guardsmen. at the 2:32 call, that's when the deputy mayor was on the call. the director of homeland security, chief sung and others to include the chief of the united states secret service uniform division was on that call as well. so we dialed in, trying to get
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the secretary of the army on the call. but he wasn't available. so army -- the g-3 for the army, general flynn, joined the call and the director of the army staff joined the call as well. and during that call, chief sung pleaded to have national guard support at the capitol immediately. that was he enforced by chief conty, we needed them right there. the capitol will be breached. >> thank you for the clarification, general. between 2:30 p.m. and 4:32 p.m., what were the internal deliberations of the department of defense to determine whether or not to grant the request? >> senator, there was discussions secretary mccarthy,
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who was the secretary of the army at the time, asked and what was the national guard going to do on the capitol, specifically -- >> could you get a little closer to the microphone. >> yes. he wanted to understand how the national guard was going to be employed coming to the capitol. obviously the environment because they had heard the gunshots had been fired, it was a dynamic environment. what he was trying to understand was what was the national guard going to do when they came up here. were they going to be asked to go into the building and clear the building? were they going to be part of the outside perimeter. he was trying to understand that. he went as far as going to the metro police department at 4:10 to sit down with them and make a clear understanding of how they were going to be employed. after that meeting at 4:10, he went back to the acting secretary of defense, and he approved the deployment of the national guard. >> he was aware while he was conducting this analysis that the nature of the chief's
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request as relayed through the general had been frantic, that the perimeter of the capitol had already been breached, that member of congress' lives were at risk. >> i would assume he knew that, senator. >> thank you so much. i have to reflect for a moment that ultimately responsibility for securing this falls to the united states congress. i was dispirited speaking with the former chief in our last hearing when he described that there was no individual responsible for the security of the united states capitol. that an urgent request for support from the guard required concurrence with the two sergeant at arms and there was an unwieldily command structure imposed within the executive branch as well. general, based upon your military experience, is there any reason why the united states capitol police could not
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generate the capabilities to independently provide the kind of quick reaction force that the troops under your command would have so that this institution, the united states congress, is not dependent upon swift decision-making by the secretary of the army or concurrence between civilian and military leadership when the lives of members of congress and the vice president are at risk. >> well, yes, sir, senator. the united states capitol police would develop that capability. they certainly could. >> thank you, general. and a final question for you, had you conducted any exercises that included simulations of civilian military, joint decision-making, simulations of command decisions involving
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contingencies that threatened the functioning of the u.s. congress, joint sessions of congress, outside of the context of specific preparations for specific national special security events? >> no, sir. >> might exercises have improved the capacity of the overall command to respond to an event like this? >> we were prepared to come to the capitol and help the united states capitol police secure the capitol. here's what we do. we practice and rehearse civil disturbance. we're well exercised in that capability. it is a mandate that all national guard practice civil disturbance. we're equipped for it. we train for it. and we're prepared to do it when called upon. so, if we would have -- if we had been approved to do it, we would have got there and helped the united states capitol police.
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>> understood, general. i have no doubt that the forces under your command were appropriately trained and qualified -- >> and equipped. >> have any exercises been simulated that would show the requests you need to make at the secretary level in order to allow your troops which were properly trained and equipped -- >> they're already there. that's a process that's well rehearsed and practiced. we do it, most of all with the metropolitan police department. they're our primary customer. if you recall when the monuments were attacked in the summer, the department of interior, on behalf of the united states park police exercised that same request. the secretary of defense authorized the district of columbia national guard to respond to monuments in the city and help the park police protect those monuments. >> thank you, general. >> it was the same process. >> thank you for your testimony.
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thank you, madam chair. >> thank you, senator. senator paul, you're recognized for your questions. >> i think there's a danger in analyzing this with spending too much time on january 6th than not enough time on the days and weeks and months leading up to this. i think on that day, it would probably be superhuman to have gotten the national guard there in 20 minutes or 30 minutes. you might have. but i think the capitol would have been breached and we would have been coming in after the fact no matter how good you were. i think really, there's a judgment question about whether or not we should have had more people there. we all agree there should have been more people there. but this is the judgment that should call into question predating that. should we have had more capitol hill police there. there were over 1,000 capitol police that were off duty or not here, that could have and probably in retrospect, better
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judgment would have had them in there and we might have prevented this from happening. so i think we can talk all we want about january 6th, but really it's the decision-making leading up to that. someone made a bad judgment call and we need to be better prepared. if we want to fix this in the future, it isn't about calling the national guard out quicker, it's about having 1,000 people standing there before the riot so the riot doesn't happen. we can get too bogged down on the details of january 6th and forget about what could have actually fixed this. in the investigation afterwards, did the fbi or any intelligence gathering entity of government subpoena, request or issue a warrant for nonindividualized phone and credit card records for anyone on capitol hill on january 6th? >> i don't have the specific answer to a specific subpoena. i know that we've issued lots of subpoenas and lots of search warrants as a result of each of those -- >> my question is not towards individuals. if you see john smith on a
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video, i'm fine with looking at his records. did you have a generalized collection of data about people who were on the hill on january 6th? >> not that i'm aware of. i know that we have used data -- this is reflected in some of the charging documents that had geo location data. i don't know the background for what the underlying predicate was for that search warrant. we obtained geo location data. >> if you gather everybody's data and start looking for people who might have done something wrong as opposed to the traditional law enforcement where we think john smith is on a video breaking into the capitol, now we want to look at his records and see if there was there to help prove he was there, i think that's a reasonable request. but we have had articles written about the bank of america sharing all of people's credit card information. what i need to know is, did you request it? did you subpoena it? did the bank of america just decide they don't care about the privacy of their customers and upload everybody's data? these are important questions.
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the fourth amendment is out there to protect against generalized searches. you know the importance. most people in law enforcement know the importance of you individualize. we're all fine with that. but there are even reports that elected members of congress' phone calls, records, as well as credit card credits are in some of this data. have you heard that or seen that? >> i don't have any specifics on that, sir. i'm happy to follow up. >> all right. if we want to get the answer, we need to direct it to the director of the fbi? >> you can direct it. i'm happy to follow up and answer the question for you. >> you have not personally seen any of that or seen any cross-referencing of records between a general category to try to find individuals as opposed to having an individual and looking at data. >> i don't know what went into the background for the application for the search warrant. i would like to follow up and get you that detail. i know we did receive information from private partners. i would like to follow up on
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that specific detail about bank of america for you as we will. >> but you don't know the answer? >> i do not. >> okay. well, i think it's very important, everybody wants to get to the bottom of this. it's important that we not have a huge dragnet, everybody that went shopping on january 6th in d.c. is a suspect and going to be charged with a conspiracy that could be 20 years in prison. as we do the investigation, it's important that those who committed violence are treated accordingly and given significant penalties. i think it's important that we -- those of us who have been for criminal justice reform, for poor, underrepresented people in our cities, also want the same kind of justice here that we're not charging people with crimes that are 20 years for doing something that was admittedly wrong and they should be punished for. but there's a difference between assaulting a policeman and causing bodily harm which i think requires jail time and, you know, being present at the capitol and i worry that if we're going to look at everybody's phone shopping records and 20,000 people were here, i hope that's not what's
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going on as it were looking for anybody in d.c. and we're just going to develop a case out of nothing without having seen them actually commit some sort of crime. >> yes, sir. i understand. i would like to follow up on both of those, again, i'm not clear on what went into the application for the phone data. i know we have phone data. i am aware of the bank of america situation. >> and my suspicion is it was gotten a generalized way. the warrant requirements allow the fbi to gather this. it's something i object to. but gathering things in a large way, not specific to an individual, not specific to probable cause and not specific to someone alleged to have found a crime, but more a dragnet of, hey, let's look at all the phone data on capitol hill and i want you to know that there are some of us in this country who don't like that.
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>> senator hawley, you are recognized for your questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman and madam chair. thank you, witnesses, for being here. general walker, let me start with you, if you could. you've testified to several senators today that you faced restrictions for the deployment of quick reaction -- of the quick reaction force that you had assembled and those are restrictions that you had not had to deal with before. is that broadly correct? >> that is correct. >> what is your understanding for why those restrictions were put in place? >> senator, it was never really explained to me. so i'm a major general. i don't question the people above me. the secretary of the army is the secretary of the army. secretary of the defense is the secretary of defense. so all i know is that it was -- i had restrictions that were unusual to me. i hadn't had them in the past. >> let me ask you about your
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response to this. you said something earlier to senator portman that caught my attention. when he was asking about this same issue, you said that -- and i'm quoting you now, several things happened in the spring, end quote, that may have led to these changes. what are you referring to there? >> there was a number of incidents happening in the spring where we had helicopters flying above u.s. citizens, we had spy planes flying over folks who were protesting. we also had law enforcement officers that were in military uniforms which sometimes confused people. so when the new secretary came in, he wanted to make sure that he had guidance on making decisions. i will point out, senator, that the secretary of defense is the only authority to order military personnel into civil disturbance operations. that's the secretary of defense. this is more clarifying information because it talks
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about not just civil disturbance. it talks about using helicopters, using planes, using types of equipment. that's why the memo was published was for that reason because of the events in the spring. the secretary of defense wanted to have that authority vested in him. it was a very clear chain of demand that went from the secretary of defense to the secretary of the army to general walker. >> thank you for that answer. if i understand you correctly, the events of the spring, we had the attack on the white house, 60 secret service officers were injured, the president had to be evacuated into a bunker, church across the street from the white house was lit on fire, we had the incidents in portland, oregon, where 277 federal officers were injured at the federal courthouse there. we had rioting in various other cities across the country, including washington. this was politically controversial, the use of the national guard in some of those incidents, the use of the national guard here in washington, d.c. "the washington post" even
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reported on this. for instance, june the 4th, 2020, helicopters, d.c. officials push back of show of federal force on city streets. from january 4th, national guard activated for d.c. protests were more restraints than in june. it's the picture here, if i got this right, that we had these -- we had riots, we had civil unrest in the summer, the national guard was involved in some of these to some extent. that was politically controversial as journalists at the time documented. i'm sure people watching this are familiar with. that then led in some way to this reaction where we're going to be careful. we're going to be more careful. we're going to put restraints on how we deploy the guard that we previously haven't before. do i have that correct? >> you do, senator, that's exactly what happened. just to call on the mind that we had a new secretary too. secretary miller came in.
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he was aware of the events and he wanted to make the decisions at his level. >> right. got it. i think that's helpful. i think that's very helpful clarifying testimony. i think that's something that this committee -- committees and congress is going to have to grapple with as we go forward. there was a political reaction to events from over the summer. and that political reaction resulted in restraints being put on guard deployment that ultimately ended up being dangerous on the day here, on january 6th. can i come to you for a second and follow up on something that senator paul was asking about. i had the chance to talk with director wray yesterday in the judiciary committee, in a wide-ranging hearing there. one of the things i asked him about were these reports about private companies who have conducted broad searches of their customer databases and then turned over, according to reports, turned over this information voluntarily. he said he didn't have any -- he didn't know one way or the other. i heard you give a similar
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response to senator paul. you said you would follow up with him. can i ask you to do the same with me with specifics on that. >> absolutely. >> thank you. let me ask you a little more broadly, to your knowledge, has the fbi requested or required private companies to turn over metadata in order to identify individuals who may have been present in the capitol region or engaged in violence on the 6th? >> anything we would have requested from any of those companies would have been via subpoena or search warrant. via lawful process. i would have to get you the background of when we may have asked for that or not. i'm not positive of the situation. i would reiterate, if we obtained that, it would be from a lawful court order or a subpoena. >> director wray gave me a similar answer yesterday. he said he did not know of the specifics. that was his language. he didn't actually know if there had been any such requests or not. i think he went on to say he wouldn't be surprised but he just didn't know. you're telling me you don't have any additional knowledge of the
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specifics? >> i'm not aware of a situation where we asked it, whether or not somebody offered it. both of those are things i would like to follow up. any request would have come with legal process, whether it was offered to us voluntarily, that's where i would like to follow up. i know you specific mentioned bank of america to him yesterday. i am aware of that situation and would like to follow up with you on it. >> you're not aware of any requests made by the bureau. >> not outside legal process. >> okay. got it. are you aware of any of these methods that have been reported using metadata, cell phone location data, financial data, were any of these used by the fbi during operation legend or any other investigations over the summer related to civil violence then? >> i'm not aware. that would be my counterpart but would be happy to follow up. >> that would be great. i appreciate that. thank you for being here and for your service. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator cruz from the rules committee. >> thank you, madam chair.
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thank you to each of the witnesses for being here. thank you for your service helping keep this country safe. as we look back on the terror attack that played out on the capitol on january 6th, it is apparent that far more should have been done to keep the capitol safe and to stop the attack beforehand. there were multiple factors that led to that not being done and to their not being a sufficient law enforcement presence to prevent violent criminals carrying out that terror attack. on january 5th, the day before the chat, the district of columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without media notification to and consultation with mpd of such
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plans are under way. and the tweet that she sent attached a letter that she sent to the department of justice and the department of defense. that letter in turn read as follows. as the law enforcement agency charged with protecting residence and visitors throughout the district of columbia, the metropolitan police department is prepared for this week's first amendment activities. mpd has coordinated with its federal partners, namely the u.s. park police, u.s. capitol police and u.s. secret service. all of whom regularly have uniformed personnel protecting federal assets in the district of columbia. this week, mpd has additional logistical support of unarmed members of the d.c. national guard who will work at the direction of and in coordination with mpd. the district of columbia government has not requested personnel from any other federal law enforcement agencies to avoid confusion, we ask that any requests for additional
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assistance be a coordinated using the same process and procedures. we are mindful that in 2020 mpd was expected to perform the demanding tasks of policing large crowds while working around personnel deployed in the district of columbia without proper coordination. unidentifiable personnel, in many cases armed, caused confusion among residents and visitors and could become a national security threat in no way for mpd and federal law enforcement to decipher armed groups.uhq to be clear, the district of columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without media notification to and in consultation of mpd if such plans are under way. the protections of persons and property is our utmost concern and responsibility. mpd is well trained and prepared to lead the law enforcement coordination and response to allow for the peaceful
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demonstration of first amendment rights in the district of columbia. signed mayor bowser. hindsight is always 20/20. but to what extent did the district of columbia's explicitly asking for no additional federal personnel impact the decision-making of your respective agencies? >> senator, i'll go first. in my oral statement this morning, i mentioned that letter because it did, it was a communications that they were looking for no more support. on top of that, senator, we also contacted all of the federal law enforcement organizations, secret service, the park police,
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and capitol police. if additional support was going to be needed, that we would provide that support. we did that over the weekend. we received the letter on the 5th and it was clear that there was no additional support needed for our law enforcement partners or the city. the district, rather. >> well, let me follow up on that. mr. sung who testified last week said that he had requested the support of the d.c. national guard on january 6th. but that the army secretary denied his request saying, quote, i don't like the visual of the national guard standing align with the capitol in the background. is that accurate? >> senator, i'm not aware of the secretary of the army talking to the chief about the d.c. national guard in the capitol. it's been reported by others that there were other folks who
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made that contention to the d.c. -- the capitol police. but i'm not aware of the secretary of army doing that. in fact, nobody in the chain of demand disapproved the request on the 6th of january from the capitol police. nobody disapproved it. >> so the various authorizing memorandum from january 4th and 5th suggests that the national guard was strictly restricted on the 6th. while ryan mccarthy, the former secretary of the army, approved the d.c. national guard to support mpd in some ways, he expressly withheld authority to employ the quick reaction force and lacked authority to authorize the issuance of weapons and riot gear. could you please explain what you understand to be the restrictions placed on the guard? >> senator, again, there's a
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very strict chain of command for the d.c. national guard. it runs from the secretary of defense to the secretary of the army to the d.c. guard commanding general, general walker. any time the military is going to deploy to civil -- a civil disturbance operations, it requires the secretary of defense's approval. the memos that were published on the 4th of january and respectively on the 5th of january, those were to provide additional guidance to, number one, the memo on the 4th from the secretary of defense to the secretary of the army. he wanted to make decisions if the national guard was going to be employed in any kind of operation that required helicopters, bayonets, the things that are on the letter. subsequently, the secretary of the army published the letter on the 5th stating that this is how he expected the d.c. national guard to be employed at the traffic stops, the metro stations, and if the qrf that
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was positioned at andrew air force base was going to be used, he wanted to understand exactly how that was going to be used through a concept of operations. that's what those documents -- >> could you answer the came question and in particular whether you had the authority to employ a quick reaction force prior to the january 6th and would that have potentially made a difference on january 6th if you had been able to do so? >> senator cruz, i would have had that authority prior to january 6th to employ a quick reaction force. so the secretary of defense, his letter authorizes me to use the quick-reaction force and it says only as a last resort. where the secretary of the army, his direction to me with holds the authority to use the quick-reaction force and he will only authorize that and only
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after he has a concept of operations sent to him. a conops sent to him. i have never seen that before. >> i would ask unanimous consent that both the tweet and the letter from d.c. mayor bowser be entered into the record. >> without objection it will be entered into the record. >> thank you. >> i think that we are starting to wrap up this hearing. i want to thank the witnesses, again, for your testimony. but i have a couple quick questions and i know chairwoman klobuchar has a couple and we'll have some closing comments. my -- i guess i'll start with the two questions, i'm going to start these questions where i started my questions initially with the events that happened in the summer of 2020 where authorization happened very quickly for the national guard,
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there was no delay, you were immediately deployed, general walker, and, yet, it happened differently prior to -- on january 6th. and part of that is some of the surveillance. my first question for you, it's been reported that the fbi deployed its state of the art surveillance plane to watch the protests that occurred in washington, d.c., over the summer in response to the death of george floyd. how do you explain the difference in how the fbi responded to the black lives matter protest compared to the pro-trump protest? >> i don't have any specifics on the plane. it's just not my purview of something that i cover specifically as the assistant director of counterterrorism. what i can tell you from the counterterrorism divisions' approach to both of those was not different. we go after the violence and what we saw all summer long was violence and people using the guise of first amendment protected activity to conduct violence. we opened hundreds of cases and
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arrested close to 100 people throughout the summer and their activities. our approach to both instances was equal opportunity. if you're going to do violence in the united states and break federal law, the fbi is going to investigate. >> certainly, i understand that. and you should. there's no quarrel there. where would get the answer on use of a surveillance plane and not on january 6th? >> i'll take the question back. i think it would be best posed for our critical incident response group. i'll find somebody that can follow up with you. >> i appreciate that. general walker, you were asked about the helicopter and with -- in relation to january 6th and you said that's not normally something we would use and i believe -- i don't want to mischaracterize, you said it wouldn't be necessary. what i did get from it, it's not normally used. and yet it was used in the summer protests. why was it used there and not guilty on january 6th?
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>> how do we explain that difference? >> so it is my understanding -- one of my deputy commanding generals put the helicopter up, ultimately it's still me. but the request was made to get -- i believe the request was to be able to observe and report the crowd size. it was at night, that night. versus a daytime operation. and so that's why the helicopter was there. i just want to correct the record regarding the rc-26 that was mentioned. the district of columbia national guard never requested an rc-26 flyover the district of columbia. so the difference between the summer and january 6th was the secretary of the army was right next to me for days at a time. when it came time to respond to the white house, the secretary
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moves with me, the monuments, the secretary of the army was with me. he either came to my headquarters, he rode in the car with me, our i rode in the car with him. i was present when he called the secretary of defense and the attorney general to request approval for requests that the city made. so the city wanted us to conduct additional traffic control points, blocking vehicles. the secretary gave me a verbal and then contacted the secretary of defense and the attorney general and it was done. so those are just some of the differences that occurred. and i didn't have the secretary of the army with me on january 6th. >> the secretary was with you during the summer. those were large gatherings. all of the evidence pointed that this was going to be a very large gathering and we know that some -- based on social media, that the capitol and members of congress was going to be a target. is there a reason that you know of that the secretary of army
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was unable to be with you on that day? >> i don't. but the secretary of the army is the secretary throughout the entire army. i do not know why he was not with january 6th, as he was during the summer. >> very good. miss sanborn, finally, i'll wrap up here. miss sanborn, could you please commit that in the future, the fbi will provide any threat reporting even if it is not yet corroborated or fully analyzed relating to the security of the capitol to the u.s. capitol police, sergeant of arms and congressional and committee leadership? >> i believe i can do that, sir. yes. >> great. thank you. >> very good. thank you, all. and i know it's been a long day and you probably want some lunch. and i really appreciate your
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patience today. i wanted to end with some ideas and constructive ideas which is why we're doing this hearing and how we can best do that. any of you can take this. but this is just based on all of the experience you've had. we have a unique situation here at the capitol where the chief has s reporting to this police review board. you, general walker, may be most familiar with it. but they're reporting to the sergeant-at-arms, the two sergeants at arms and the architect of the capitol. it's three of them. in fact, just today, senator schumer announced a new sergeant-at-arms, karen gibson, while you guys were sitting there. so there is something about the structure which may work for requesting resources or making decisions, but certainly didn't work in this context where the chief, the then chief sund was leading up to it, asking them,
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probably not able to do exactly what he may have wanted to do at the time. and then the most ridiculous of situations during the insurrection is actually calling them for their advice and authority while they are individually guarding the members and safely getting them to other places in this crisis situation. and just your views on whether or not that is an ideal situation, this is called a softball, general walker, that is whether or not this is a -- an ideal situation and maybe miss sanborn for trying to make decisions in a crisis, as we look at changes that we can suggest and make here at the capitol. >> so the sergeant-at-arms, both of them, were briefed by me personally in 2018 on what it takes to request district of columbia national guard support. i sat down with both sergeant-at-arms, myself and
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brigadier general dean and others in their office and explained the -- the six-step process and left them with a powerpoint presentation. i also briefed chief sund and his predecessor. i had them come to the armory and explain in detail what it takes if you ever need district of columbia national guard support. what i think might be helpful in the future is that -- that that is practiced, that you come up with an event. what we need district of columbia national guard support, you pick a day and say -- then we exercise it and then have the district of columbia national guard actually come out in an exercise, here's where we would go, here's how we would support the united states capitol police. but both sergeants-at-arms understood what it takes to
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request district of columbia national guard support. >> mr. salas, do you want to add anything to that? >> thank you, senator. yes, i do. i work on a regular basis with the capitol police board. i just met with the new team on monday, in fact. the challenge, candidly, is contingency operations and events. it really needs to be one person in charge of making decisions. to have four people that have to either agree or come together and have the -- i just don't think it's a very workable solution. i also deal with all the capitol police requests that come to the defense department. normally we have -- we get the requests actually at the last minute most of the time because it takes all four of them to sign documents to give us the request. for example, right now we have the national guard on the capitol today, supposed to end on the 12th. we're trying to figure out would the capitol police board, what's going to happen after the 12th.
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we need an answer in the defense department so that we understand -- >> exactly -- >> -- so the secretary can review and make a decision on how that support will be continued. >> i would agree with that. >> i justed like to add something else if i could. >> sure. >> i do think that all of us now because of the unique environment that we're in as we talked about extremism, i know we talked a lot about intelligence assessments and those types of things. and they're critical to this effort. really being able to predict. but i think we also need to anticipate when we see large crowds gathering in the national capital region, they're all permitted by the park police, so we know when they're going to be here. we ned to do a better job anticipating that kind of activity so that we think about the most likely and most dangerous scenarios that we face. with that, we need to plan together, we need to train together, we need to exercise together. we need to have an integrated security plan here for the ncr. as i mentioned in my opening statement about the number of
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law enforcement organizations that we have here in the ncr and the different jurisdictional responsibilities, we need to bring them together so we know how that we're going to operate in these complex environments that we're facing right now. and then we need to understand the critical capabilities that each of us can bring to that. we need to make sure we have prarranged agreements to provide capabilities in a timely fashion. the challenge is when you start from zero and you're faced with the challenges that we were faced on the 6th, collectively, that's a very difficult position to start from. i think if we work at some of those things, i think we can be much more effective. the department of defense really looks forward to working with people on that -- >> yes. and i had a very good meeting with the head of the joint chiefs. he actually gave one of the highest civilian honors to one of our heroes here. and i was able to talk with him about this. and i think this is a moment --
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i thought that miss sandberg said she's always learned and improved. it's national guard an environment like this. i know it's not easy. we ask these questions especially when people think, yeah, okay, maybe we messed up this part of it, but how about those guys? we know there's things that can be done better. and so i really appreciate that. i don't know if the two of you want to add anything to my question, and that will be it for me. >> nothing to add, ma'am. >> okay. >> no. >> okay. very good. >> well, once again i'd like to thank our witnesses for joining us here today. this was a very long hearing, i appreciate your perseverance and dealing with certainly a number of very tough questions. and we all appreciate your answers. there's no question from what i've been hearing over these last two, two hearings, is that there was serious breakdowns in our intelligence gathering and security planning that resulted
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in significant violence right here on the capitol grounds. the three-hour and 19-minute delay in authorizing the deployment of the national guard to respond to the capitol to quell the violence was one that left police, members of congress, staff, and the public in danger, and is without question completely unacceptable. the breakdown in communication in the chain of command within the department of defense that contributed to this delay, a stark difference from the department of defense's response during the summer protest is concerning and should never, ever happen again. i remain concerned that our national security agencies are simply not adequately focused on domestic terrorism which we all agree is the number-one terrorist threat to our homemade. the potential for violence was well known and widely disseminated all across social
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media platforms in the days leading up to january 6th. yet the very agencies responsible for monitoring and evaluating those threats failed to utilize every investigative tool to gather the readily available intelligence warnings of violence and a failure to assess this intelligence. the intelligence community's failure directly contributed to the law enforcement's inadequate preparation on january 6th. and i understand the fbi and the dhs' commitment today to doing better in their intelligence collection and monitoring this threat, which i appreciated. we need to see these improvements. it has to be demonstrated in a meaningful way. it's not enough for agencies to simply promise to do better. congress must make reforming our counterterrorism efforts a top priority. we need to take a hard look at reforming the dhs office of intelligence and analysis and requiring both dhs and fbi to
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provide more concrete information to law enforcement so that they can take actions to protect our communities from this violent and deadly threat. following today's hearing, i will continue my investigation, and we'll continue to interview other officials and experts as we work toward additional problems and potential solutions. and i'm committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, across multiple committees, to ensure we are setting policy that will provide the foundation for our national security agencies' threat and treat systems threat with the seriousness that it certainly warrants and help protect americans all across our country. so with that, i close, and thank you again, chairwoman klobuchar, for working with me on this hearing today. >> thank you so much, chairman peters. and i also thank our rankings blunt and portman. we have done every part of this
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hearing together and agreed on witnesses and agreed on how we were going to proceed. we felt that was a very, very poornt -- this is a political environment enough without politicizing this. and we have tried our best to be constructive. now we've had two hearings, and we all know -- we've had some consensus on many things, we've had consensus from our witnesses that there is significant evidence that there was an element of this that was planned and coordinated involving white supremacists and violent extremists. people intent on doing damage on not only just to this building as we are reminded as we stood on the inaugural stage with now-president biden, with spilled spray paint at the bottom of the columns and still surrounded by what had just happened there only two weeks before. they were intent not just on
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destroying the physical building that we work in but also our democracy that brought us to that moment. and as an aside, i really was proud of the work that senator blunt did in planning that inauguration but also the work we did that night when at 4:00 in the morning it was just the two of us, and vice president pence walking with two young pages that had the mahogany box with the remaining ballots in it to go over to the house. people were doing their jobs. just as you do your jobs. and so as i said earlier, i thought this was best summed up by ms. sandberg when she talked about their after actions. when they look at as i know i did when i was a prosecutor, sometimes with law enforcement, sometimes about cases, sometimes about why a domestic violence case -- domestic violence as in the home got to the point that it did, and we would look back
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at decisions that had been made. now back then we could do it in roommates just with ourselves. and that's a lot easier than this. and i'm sure you're doing that in your own agencies. but we have a public duty of oversight and a public duty to get this information out. and sometimes around this place, the only way we can get the change and maybe the resources that you need, miss sandberg, that director wray was talking about or the work that you were talking about, the man with the hardest name at this hearing, salesses, that you were talking about to be able to bring people together that we ned to for the planning ahead of time so we don't get to that moment of chaos. not only chaos at the capitol, but chaos that, of course, general walker encountered when he was trying to get a decision that day. and so a lot of this is stepping back, planning ahead.
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i personally think that it's been very difficult during the pandemic for people to meet like they used to meet when they were planning ahead. and thankfully with the recent announcements we've had, we hope to be through that so people can once again be meeting face to face and across jurisdictions. i think that would make a difference. as we look at the changes which chairman peters so well laid out, i think additional ones, again, which i keep harping on is that -- the capitol, the police board, i just think having been in law enforcement myself, this is just a recipe for disaster to have crisis decisions made by a group of people on the scene or even leading up to it. i also think we know that as we learned after 9/11, as was pointed out by some of our senators that you can learn from horrible, horrific events and do better with sharing
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intelligence, that maybe old ways people were getting used to with sending emails or speaking up in a meeting, maybe the right people weren't in that room, or perhaps they're not looking at all the information because they're overloaded and you have to find a way to triage it so they actually realize something's important. i personally think with everything that went on in the last year, there was some underestimation of the potential violence of these particular groups which we now know all too well. and i also want to thank everyone involved in law enforcement, not just for keeping us safe that day, but for the work that they are doing all across the country to bring justice to those like officer sicknick who lost his life and those who were injured in terms of pursuing these cases. some of which are straightforward, as they put it on their own facebook page, but some of it which are a lot harder to figure out what the coordination is and what happened. so we all know there are still questions coming out of all of
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this. again, some of them i'm sure very difficult because a lot of people were trying to do their jobs that day, and mistakes were made. but we do have to get to the bottom of some of this at the same time not losing track of our intent. there may be longer investigations that go on all of this, but our intent right now is to make sure that we make smart changes getting the people in place at the capitol, senator peters and i don't control that, but we can give advice based on what we hear. and also making those structural changes that can make it easier for you all to do your jobs to keep this country safe and for us to do our jobs, as well. so thank you very much, and we will keep the record of this hearing open for two weeks. and the hearing is adjourned. thank you.
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