Security officials testified Tuesday that they believe the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 was a "coordinated attack" as they were pressed by senators over the circumstances leading to the security failure.
Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger and former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, as well as Metropolitan Police Department acting chief Robert Contee, appeared before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday, in the first Senate hearing to examine the "security failures" that led to the breach of the U.S. Capitol last month.
Committee Chairman Gary Peters, D-Mich., questioned the officials over whether they believed there was coordination with regard to the attack.
"These people came specifically with equipment. You’re bringing climbing gear to a demonstration, explosives, chemical spray – you’re coming prepared," Sund testified. "The fact that the group attacked our West Front 20 minutes before the event at the Ellipse ended – they were planning on our agency not being at full strength at that time."
Sund was pointing to former President Trump’s rally, which took place at the Ellipse near the White House just before the riots began.
Sund added that U.S. Capitol Police were "dealing with two pipe bombs, specifically set right off the edge of our perimeter to draw resources away."
"I think there was a significant coordination with this attack," Sund said.
Contee also said rioters used "hand signals and radio communication," as well as a "coordinated use" of chemicals.