Acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said in her testimony that the agency had taken action ahead of the Jan. 6 riot based on intelligence that extremists planned to participate in the preceding rally and planned to be armed, but that the intelligence failed to predict the scope of the attack, which would ultimately overwhelm officers when the Capitol was breached.
"Since the 6th, it has been suggested that the department was either ignorant of or ignored critical intelligence that indicated that an attack of the magnitude that we experienced on January 6th would occur," Pittman said.
"The department was not ignorant of intelligence indicating an attack of the size and scale we encountered on the 6th. There was no such intelligence. Although we knew the likelihood for violence by extremists, no credible threat indicated that tens of thousands would attack the US Capitol. Nor did the intelligence received from the FBI or any other law enforcement partner indicate such a threat," Pittman told lawmakers.
Pittman noted that then-Vice President Mike Pence was brought to the Capitol that day because Secret Service was also "unaware of any credible threat" that described the magnitude of what occurred.
The acting chief said there were also intelligence failures in providing an accurate warning of the nature of those involved in the riot.
"The department also did not ignore intelligence that we had which indicated an elevated risk of violence from extremist groups, to the contrary, we heightened our security posture," Pittman said. "There is evidence that some of those who stormed the Capitol were organized. But there is also evidence that a large number were everyday Americans who took on a mob mentality because they were angry and desperate. It is the conduct of this latter group that the department was not prepared for," she continued.
In her written testimony, Pittman called the events of Jan. 6 an "ugly battle" and defended the work of her colleagues that day.
"But at the end of the day, the USCP succeeded in its mission. It protected Congressional Leadership. It protected Members. And it protected the Democratic Process. At the end of a battle that lasted for hours, democracy prevailed. It prevailed in part because of the determination and commitment of USCP officers at every level of this Department and the assistance of the Department’s law enforcement partners, such as the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)," Pittman said in her written testimony.