Senate hearing on Capitol riot security breach gets underway

Former top Capitol security officials are facing a joint-Senate committee to testify about their handling of the deadly Capitol riot on Jan. 6 — when a mob of former President Trump supporters breached the government building. 

Steven Sund, the former chief of the Capitol Police, Paul Irving, the former sergeant-at-arms of the House, and Michael Stenger, the former sergeant-at-arms of the Senate will testify. 

The three stepped down immediately after the attack on the Capitol, which occurred as lawmakers were voting to certify the Electoral College vote for President Biden.​

Five people died in the mayhem, including a Capitol Police officer.

Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, ​whose officers​ responded to the scene, is also appearing.

The hearing is part of a joint investigation launched by the Senate Homeland Security Committee and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. 

The four will face tough questions on how much they were aware of plans to march on the Capitol in the days and weeks leading up to Jan. 6 and why the mob was so easily able to breach the lines of Capitol Police officers to gain access to the federal building.

There are also lingering questions about what delayed the response of National Guard troops. 

The Senate hearing is the first of many investigations into what happened on Jan. 6.

Attorney general nominee Michael Garland said at his confirmation hearing Monday that he will make an investigation into the events of Jan. 6 a priority for the Justice Department. 

More than 200 people have been charged for their roles in the rampage, including some who had ties to extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. 

Over 140 Capitol Police officers and roughly 65 Metropolitan police officers were injured in the siege.

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