tv Counterterrorism Homeland Security Officials Testify on January 6 Capitol... CSPAN July 8, 2021 10:39pm-12:03am EDT
chair: senator lankford, you are recognized. senator lankford: i appreciate your engagement. none of you have the answers on this. we are not expecting this panel to cover everything but i appreciate the gaps you're helping us fill. miss smislova, i want to ask a couple of questions about the ic. i read sensitive information sent to law enforcement in advance of january 6. help me understand. someone getting that report, capitol police, sergeant at arms, others, they get reports like this that are similar every
day. if i look at the gist of reports prior to january 6 from intelligence, i have a hard time looking at it and getting context of how this is different than normal. so help me understand, for someone who is reading these reports every day, how would they understand the context of what you are seeing more folks are seeing on the ground that is different than we months, six months before? undersecretary smislova: that is a great question that we are now reassessing. when i prepared for this hearing and looked at all the work he had done, specifically talking about extremists who would be motivated by dissatisfaction with election results, and also unhappy with some restrictions related to covid-19, the reports are quite good. they are well written.
they seem to summarize succinctly. i look at them and i am proud of the team which is produced twice as many reports on domestic terrorism this last year as they did the year before. to your point, it might be hard to see that trend over time, in the noise. looking backwards at what didn't happen, we are now examining whether there should be different types of reports, should we use tools dhs has such as the national terrorism advisory system. we restarted the counter terrorism advisory board, which was occurring monthly under the previous administration and had fallen off the last few years. we have restarted that. secretary mayorkas is challenging us all to do a better job when it comes to combating terrorism, domestic terrorism.
we are taking a look at reports we have done. we will be engaging directly with our stakeholders, asking them what we could do better, asking how they might better receive the information, a different format, some way that we should remind them that this is an alert, and it is hard with the volume of information we all receive daily. senator: you're getting a tremendous amount. but when i look at the reports of the bottom line at the beginning, it seems very standard. there doesn't seem to be an elevated risk. there are details that come afterwards that if you are reading through it, you could then elevate it. you have heard some pullout specific statements in the very -- specific statements buried in the report to say, how could you have missed this? but a looks very standard, here
are the risk we are seeing, it doesn't seem to say anything that this is higher than normal. if i could use the intel term, it seems to be chapter. the report itself identifies multiple places. this was one person on a social media site that had one comment they made. that would make someone think that this was one person out there and doesn't look like a movement that is happening. so if that was accurate, to say we are hearing chapter, there has to be some way to note that for the future to be able to say elevated, higher than a week ago, some way to show a trend line to say it is increasing in awareness of this. that is fixable. my challenge from serving on the intel committee is seeing different reports that are carefully scripted and say nothing. so getting as many pieces of raw information as possible, which are in some of these reports, but also make sure assessments
and statements are very clear. they would help everyone in the process. we reach moments that become politicized and we have to turn down the volume of that particular word and that the end of it, they don't say anything. were any operations that you were going to be around, and you had soldiers scattered around the city, helping with traffic and such, do you get threat assessments in advance, same as capitol bullies and metro police would get? -- capitol police and metro police would get? maj. gen. walker: yes, we do. we see finished intelligence products. senator lankford: are those helpful? maj. gen. walker: yes, they are. senator lankford: you made
several comments during the course of the day that i have noted and in your statement itself, where you stated the secretary of the army january 5 letter would help for me to deploy the quick reaction force. for the folks that were on traffic duty and such that day side-by-side with metro police, were those folks armed with less-lethal implements to help in case there was a riot? could they have engaged from where they were with less lethal force? maj. gen. walker: they were equipped with force protection helmets, shin guards, and body protection. they were in the vehicles. senator lankford: my understanding was that those would be unmarked government vehicles. maj. gen. walker: yes, gsa
government vehicles. senator lankford: my understanding is that there was a request from the mayor to not have military vehicles and helicopters in the air that day. with that typically be something you asked for? maj. gen. walker: no. we would not have needed helicopters or air support for a mission like that. just simple traffic control. in the quick reaction force was available to them to support them if they needed it. senator lankford: how far away were the? maj. gen. walker: 25 minutes away. senator lankford: even if it was go, it was 25 minutes to respond, barring the crowd? maj. gen. walker: we would have had a police escort. the district of columbia has military police. they have marked police vehicles with emergency equipment like
sirens. senator lankford: to clarify, 40 individuals make up? ? a quick reaction force maj. gen. walker: yes. senator lankford: thank you. senator king: thank you. mr. salesses, i know the defense department has its own intelligence service, dia. i would appreciate it if you could provide to the committee intelligence products that were available to the department of defense and the week prior to and the day prior to january 6. and they can be submitted in a classified setting if there are issues. i don't know if there is such material, but if it is -- but if there is, i hope you make it
available to the committee. general walker, you are a very important witness because you were in the midst of all this. we are struggling with that long delay. you testified that in the summer, the delay was a matter of minutes. this time, it was three hours and 19 minutes. was the delay caused, and you judgment from being on these phone calls, buy anything remotely resembling politics and the desire to not interfere with this particular troop? -- particular group? or was it because of blowback, concerns of what happened in the summer and criticism the guard had taken over actions at lafayette square or other protests over the summer? what was going on in terms of
why this metric took so long to respond to? maj. gen. walker: a combination of both. it was two factors. i had the benefit of having the secretary of the army located with me during the summer. he was next to me during that entire week, the first week of june. i was in constant communication with him. i had his phone number and we communicated regularly. i did not have that benefit for january 6. so there was some concern. i don't think it was so much what the district of columbia national guard did for joan, i think it was more -- did for june, i think it was more, the word i kept hearing was the optics of it. there was concerned it could inflame protesters. so the uniformed presence of
guardsmen, u.s. army, u.s. air force uniforms, could inflame the protesters. that was a thought by army leaders. senator king: and the optics in this context as become a pejorative term, but they were worried about the visuals of armed troops and military vehicles and barriers surrounding the u.s. capitol. ironically, that is what we ended up with. but is that the concern you discerned in those conversations? maj. gen. walker: nobody was talking about being armed on january 6. we were talking about physical presence, civil disturbance, and equipped guardsmen to align with the capitol police and metro police to restore order and prevent the capitol from being breached. senator king: but the city made
it clear they did not want the national guard at the capitol? maj. gen. walker: no, sir. the city does not have standing at the capitol. the mayor's request and the director of homeland security request not talk about the capitol at all. senator king: so the request from the city was directed toward traffic control and those things away from the capitol? maj. gen. walker: yes, sir. senator king: let's move to what we have learned. should there be changes in the process or chain of command in an emergency, to enable the national guard, whether you in the district of columbia or in new york or san francisco or austin, texas, should this be
something we are concerned about, the three hours of reaction in a true emergency seems to be something we need to figure out how to avoid? maj. gen. walker: you should be concerned that chief sund was not allowed to ask me for help in advance. then, we could have had the right forces positioned to support capitol police and protect the capitol. that is number one. number two, the requests did take too long. the response to the requests took too long. so there needs to be a study done to make sure 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, park police, metro police department, and in an event like that where
everybody saw it. it should not take three hours. but 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, possibly at the armory, possibly closer, to be ready to respond and not be late. senator king: so the limitation on the capitol police ability to liaise with you prior to the event was an issue. i want to get to the larger issue of being able to react. should we have contingency plans? should there be after action assessments within the department of defense about those three hours and how to empower local leadership such as yourself to react in an extraordinary emergency, so that you don't have to go through
whatever it was that caused the delay? whether it was communication, chain of command, consultation, this could be an emergency in another city under different circumstances. don't you think it would be prudent to have contingency plans to make response more expeditious? maj. gen. walker: of course, emergency authority to react in an emergency and to be able to respond, yes, going forward, somebody at the department of defense should consider how the district of: bm national guard is able to respond in a much more expeditious manner. senator king: or the national guard and other parts of the country. thank you. senator: during today's testimony, two memos have been
discussed, one january 4, on january 5, from ryan mccarthy to major general william walker. one document has been entered into the record, without objection, i would like to enter the memo dated january 5, 2021, from ryan carthy to general walker. senator: without objection. senator carper, you are recognized? senator carper: thanks to our witnesses for joining us. i have been a member of this committee for almost 20 years. one of my favorite memories serving on this committee came after the attack on 9/11. the cochairs were lee hamilton, one of my mentors, and teen --
[indiscernible] it should be nonpartisan. there is a need for a commission to analyze what went wrong. >> you broke up a little, but i think you are asking me, do i agree that something similar to a 9/11 commission is worth having in this instance? i have been involved in numerous after action lessons learned and i can't think of a time where we haven't improved. anytime we can learn, it is value added. senator carper: how can we ensure a new 9/11-style commission examines the process,
and the root causes including the threat posed by domestic terrorism? ms. sanborn: if i understand, you are asking how we ensure we have a 9/11 commission set up to do a good job. the root the root causes? i don't have any specific examples of herbicide data. -- examples of how to set that up. i've never been involved in the data road ahead and picking and setting up a team that does a review. sen. carper: [indiscernible] the root causes. make sure that we as a bipartisan commission that is committed to -- [inaudible] . second question from ms. sanborn
. a large part of our conversation from last week was focused on the fbi. we shared a link by email just before january 6 with a low-level of -- from the metropolitan police department. even though we received actionable intelligence that something awful was going to happen that day murder and , that it could lead to murder and -- >> sen. carper:, it is a little hard to hearing. an our witnesses are -- it is not you ok, go ahead. sen. carper: question is, what happened? somebody needs something awful could happen.
they said and email the evening before the event -- they sent in email the evening before the event. when applicable and call officials and say we have this information, you need to do something? how exactly did we miss the great warnings? >> thank you for the question. i think i will start with the piece of information that we received, again, was a non-attributable posting to a message board. very raw, very u nvetted. we actually did not give that information until very late in the evening. because it was very raw, we wrote that up specifically in a document to disseminate
it with the purpose of sharing it with our local partners. not only do they write that up because they knew how important it was to get it to the hands of white needed, our state and local partners, within minutes, they send an email to the washington field office with that information and the washington field office followed up with an email to all officers. several mechanisms were used. we did not want to make sure that one method of communication failed. so we rode it up for dissemination. we sent it in an email to all task force officers in the region, and that does include washington metro as well as capitol. but not wanting to rely on those two mechanisms only, it was then iterated in the command post that we were doing briefings every couple of hours so that every agency in the command post had what we call it common operating picture, knowing what
all of us knew at any given time. it was briefed at 8:00 p.m. on the evening of the fifth. and because we didn't want to leave -- limit our aperture to just the capitol region, there was opportunity for all partners to help us -- we loaded that report into what we call a portal that is accessible with all state and local partners. so we tried in various ways to make sure we did not rely on one communication mechanism and really tried to rely and several so that the information would get to the right people. >> i will close with this. i don't know if anybody picked up the phone to call somebody and say, we've got a problem. we are 12 hours away. we need to do something. you are sending out emails. somebody should have picked up the phone and said, we need to do something.
chair: thank you very much, senator copper. the next, senator are. sen. ossoff: thank you. general, thank you for your service. in response to senator king, he noted your testimony for earlier today that you had seen the requisite authority is granted, the former d.c. guide within minutes. in this case, it took over three hours. you stated it was a combination of political concerns and optical concerns. can you break down which concerns you believe or political and which you believe were optical and what is your assessment that the three-hour delay was the function of political and optical concerns? >> i don't think it was so much political. let me focus on optics. because that is what i heard. the word "optics" and the word that having a uniform presence
at the capital could inflame the protesters. sen. ossoff: who made that statement? maj. gen. walker: senior leaders in the u.s. army, general flynn and others. they got back to me saying, and district of columbia senior leaders that it wouldn't be the best military advice to send uniform guardsmen to the capitol because they did not like the optics, that they thought it could inflame -- what they wanted to do was send guardsmen to relieve police officers in the city so more policemen could get to the capitol. sen. ossoff: that was following the call to you, correct? maj. gen. walker: that is correct. sen. ossoff: you conveyed to those on that call that included the mayor of the district of columbia and the acting
secretary of defense and joint chiefs the fact that the u.s. capitol police chief's tone had been frantic. would you describe in your tone, frantic that he informed you at 1:49 p.m. that the security perimeter of the capitol had been breached? maj. gen. walker: what i relayed to the army leadership was the call that chief sund had with me at 1:49 p.m., and that it was an urgent plea, his voice was cracking and it was serious. he needed help right then and there, every available guardsmen. at the 2:32 call, that is when the deputy mayor was on the call, asking chief conti chief , chief sund and others.
the united states secret service official was on the call as well. we dialed in trying to get the secretary of the army on the call but he was not available. so, g3 for the army general flynn joined the call. and the director of the army staff joined the call. and there were others on the call, as well. during that call, chief sund pleaded to have national guard support at the capitol immediately. that was reinforced by chief contee --, "we need them there right now. the capitol will be breached." sen. ossoff: thank you for the clarification. i appreciate that. mr. salesses, between 2:30 p.m. and 4:32 p.m., what were the internal deliberations of the department of defense to grant the request?
mr. salesses: senator, there was discussion. secretary mccarthy and secretary of the army at the time asked, what was the national guard going to do? sec. mccarthy wanted to understand exactly how the national guard was going to be deployed come into the capitol? obviously, the environment, because they had heard that gunshots had been fired, explosives, it was a dynamic environment, so 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 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 p.m. to sit down with them and make a clear understanding of how they would be deployed. at 4:10, he went back to the acting secretary of defense and at 4:32 p.m., he deployed the national guard.
sen. ossoff: was he aware while conducting this analysis that the nature of the request, related to the general had been frantic? the perimeter of the capitol had already been breached and lives were at risk? mr. salesses: i believe he was aware of that. sen. ossoff: thank you. i have to reflect that ultimately, responsibility for securing this congress falls on congress which is responsible for these premises. i was dispirited speaking with the former chief when he described 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 sergeant at arms and that there was an unwieldy command posture. general, based upon your military experience, is there any reason why the united states
capitol police could not generate the capabilities to independently provide the kind of quick reaction that the troops under your command would have so that this institution, the united states congress, is not dependent upon sweept's vision 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? maj. gen. walker: of the united states capitol police could develop that capability. they certainly could. chairwoman: thank you. sen. ossoff: thank you, general. final question for you, had you can conducted any exercises that included simulations of civilian, military joint decision-making,
simulations of command decisions that simulated the functioning of the u.s. congress and joint sessions of congress side of the context of specific preparations for specific national special security event? maj. gen. walker: no, sir. we were prepared to come to the capitol and help the united states capitol police secure the capitol. here is what we do. we practice and rehearse civil disturbance. we are well exercised in that capability. it is a mandate that all national guard practices civil disturbance. we trained for it and we are prepared to do it when called upon. so if we were to, if we had been approved to do it, we would have got there and helped the u.s.
capitol police. sen. ossoff: i have no doubt the forces under your command were appropriately trained and qualified, my question is whether any exercises undertaken simulated the command, the requests it would have to make at the secretary level, in order to allow your troops which were properly trained and equipped and had those capabilities? maj. gen. walker: senator, they are already there. it is a process that is well-rehearsed well practiced. . we do in most of all with the metropolitan police department, they are our primary customer. if you recall the monuments that were attacked in the summer, the department on behalf of the u.s. park police exercise that request. the secretary of defense authorized district of columbia national guard to respond to monuments in the city and help the park police protect those monuments.
it was the same process. sen. ossoff: thank you for your testimony. thank you, madam chair. chairwoman: senator paul, you are recognized for your questions. sen. paul: there is a danger on spending too much time on january 6 and not enough time on the days weeks and months , leading up to this. i think on that day, it would have been superhuman to have gotten the national guard there in 20 or 30 minutes. you might have. but really the capitol would have been breached and we would have been coming in after the fact the matter how good you were. i think really there is a judgment question about whether or not we should have had more people there. in retrospect we all agree there should have been more people there. should we have had more capitol police? my understanding, there were 1000 capitol police off-duty.
were not there. they could have and probably in retrospect it would've had white lines we may have prevented this. we can talk all we want about january 6, but really it is the decision-making leading up to that. someone made a bad judgment call. it is not about calling the national guard quicker, it is about having 1000 people standing there before the right -- before the riot happens or does not happen. ms. sanborn, in the investigation afterwards, did the fbi or any intelligence gathering entity of the federal government issue a warrant for nine individualized phone and credit card records for anyone on capitol hill on january 6? ms. sanborn: i don't have that specific answer to a specific subpoena but we issued lots of search warrants to those
individuals. sen. paul: my question is not about individuals. my question is, did you have a generalized collection of data about people who were on the hill on january 6? ms. sanborn: not that i am aware of. i do know that we have used data, charging documents that had yield location data. i don't have the background for what the underlying predicate was for that search warrant, but we obtained geolocation data. sen. paul: do you understand the potential problem here, if you gather everybody's data and start looking for people who may have done something wrong, as opposed to the traditional law enforcement process, john smith is on video breaking into the capitol, now we have to look into records and prove he was there. anything that is a reasonable request. we have stories written about bank of america sharing everybody's credit card information. did you request it? did bank of america just decide they don't care about the privacy of their customers and
just upload everybody's data? the fourth amendment is out there to protect against generalized searches. you know the importance, most people in law enforcement no importance. you individualized. but there are reports that elected members of congress's phone calls, it records as well as credit card records are in some of this data. have you heard or seen any of that? ms. sanborn: i don't have any specifics on that. i would be happy to follow up. sen. paul: we just need the director of the fbi? ms. sanborn: you can direct it, i am happy to follow-up and answer the question for you. sen. paul: you have not personally seen any of that or seen any cross-referencing of records between a general category to try to find individuals? ms. sanborn: sir, i don't know what went into the background for the application for search warrant. i would have to follow-up. i do know we did receive
information from private partners, i would also like to follow up on that specific detail about bank of america for you as well. sen. paul: well, i think it is very important we get to the bottom of this. it is also important we don't have some huge dragnet, that everybody that went shopping on january 6 in d.c. is now a suspect could be charged with a conspiracy. so as we do the investigation, it is important that those who committed violence are treated accordingly and given significant penalties, but it is important that those who went criminal justice reform, also want the same here, that we are not charging people with crimes for doing something that was admittedly wrong and they should be punished for, but there is a difference between assaulting a policeman and causing bodily harm which, i think requires jail time.
i am worried that if we look at everybody's shopping records, 20,000 people here, i hope that is not what is going on. that we are looking at everybody in d.c. and we will just build a case out of nothing without having seen them, a crime. ms. sanborn: i understand, and i would like to follow up on both of those. am not sure what went into the application. i am aware of the bank of america situation and i would like to follow-up in detail. sen. paul: my suspicion is it was in a generalized way. the warrant requirements allow the fbi together this and this is something i object to, gathering things in a large way, not specific to an individual, not specific to probable cause, and not specific to someone alleged to have committed a crime, but more a dragnet. i want you to know that there are some of us in this country who do not like that.
>> senator hawley, you are recognized for your questions. sep. hawley: thank you mr. chairman and madam chair. general walker, let me start with you. you testified to several senators that you faced restrictions for the deployment, the quick reaction, and those are restrictions he had not had to deal with before, is that correct? maj. gen. walker: that is correct. sep. hawley: what is your understanding for why those restrictions were put in place? maj. gen. walker: it was never explained to me. i am a major general, i don't question the people above me. the secretary of the army is the secretary of the army. the secretary of defense is the secretary of defense. i have restrictions that were unusual to me, i hadn't had them in the past. sen. hawley: mr. salesses, let
me ask you about your response to this. you said something earlier to senator portman when he was asking about the same issue, you said, and i am quoting "several things happened in the spring" that may have led to these changes. what are you referring to? mr. salesses: we had a number of incidents in the spring where we had helicopters flying over private citizens, spy planes flying over folks who were protesting. we also had law-enforcement officers wearing military uniforms which sometimes confuse people. so when the new secretary came in, he wanted to make sure he had guidance on making decisions. i will point out, senator, the secretary of defense is the only authority of ordering military personnel into civil disturbance operations. that is the secretary of
defense. this is more clarifying operation because it talks about not just civil disturbance, it talks about using helicopters, planes, types of equipment. that is why the memo was published, for that reason, because of the events in the spring. the secretary of defense wanted that authority vested in him. it was a clear chain of command, from the secretary of defense to the secretary of the army, to general walker. sen. hawley: the events in the spring which we are all familiar with we had the attack on the white house 60 secret service officers were injured the president had to be evacuated to a banker the church across the street from the white house was lit on fire we had the incidents in portland, oregon were 277 federal officers were injured rioting in cities across the country, including in washington. this, of course, was politically controversial, the use of the national guard in those incidents and here in
washington, d.c. the washington post even reported on this. for instance, june 20, d.c. officials pushed back on a show of federal force on city streets. then on january 4, national guard activated for d.c. protests -- this is the washington post. the picture here is that we had riots, we had civil unrest in the summer, the national guard was involved in some of these incidents to. some extent that was politically controversial. i assure people watching this are very familiar with it. that then lead in some way to this reaction -- we will be more careful, we will put some restraints on how to deploy the guard than we previously had before, correct? mr. salesses: that is exactly what happened. we had a new secretary, too.
secretary miller had come in. he wanted to make his level. sen. hawley: i think that is very helpful, clarifying testimony, something that this committee and committees and congress is going to have to grapple with as we go forward, that 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 6. ms. sanborn, can i follow up on something that senator paul was asking about? i had a chance to talk with director wray yesterday in the judiciary committee in the hearing, and one of the things i asked him about were reports of private companies who conducted broad searches of their customer bases, according to reports, and turned over this information voluntarily. he said he didn't know one way
or the other. i heard you give a similar response to senator paul and you said you would follow up with him. can i ask you to do the same with me? ms. sanborn: absolutely. sen. hawley: thank you. more broadly, to your knowledge, has the fbi requested or required private companies to submit data to identify individuals who may have been present in the capitol region or engaged in violence on the sixth? ms. sanborn: anything we requested would have been a subpoena so it would be a lawful process. i would have to give you the background of when we'll have asked for that are not. i am not positive of the situation. i am reiterating that it would be from a lawful court order or subpoena. sen. hawley: director wray gave me a similar answer yesterday. he said he did not know of the specifics -- that was his language -- he didn't know if there had been any such requests. he said he would be surprised but he did not know. you are telling me you do not
have any additional knowledge of the specifics? ms. sanborn: i am definitely not aware of the situation where we requested it. whether somebody offered it, those are things that i would have to follow-up. any requests would have had to come through legal process. whether it was offered voluntarily, that is where i would like to follow up. i know that you mentioned bank of america, i would like to follow up with you on that. sen. hawley: but you are not aware of any requests made by the bureau? ms. sanborn: not outside legal processes. sen. hawley: are you aware of location data, financial data collected, were these used by the fbi on operation legend or any other investigations over the summer related to civil violence? ms. sanborn: that is not my department, i would be happy to have him follow up with you. sen. hawley: i appreciate that. thank you for being here. thank you, mr. chairman. chairwoman: senator cruz.
sen. cruz: thank you, madam chair. thank you to each of the witnesses. thank you for your service helping keep this country safe. as we look back on this terror attack that played out in the capitol on january 6, it is apparent that far more should have been done to keep the capitol safe and stop the attack beforehand. there were multiple factors that lead to that not being done and to there not being a sufficient law enforcement presence to prevent violent criminals from carrying out that attack. on january 5, the day before the attack, d.c. mayor muriel bowser sent out a tweet -- "to be clear, the district of columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel, and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to and consultation
with mpd as such plans are underway." the tweet attached a letter that she sent to the doj and the dod. that letter in read as follows, "as the law enforcement agency charged with protecting residents and visitors throughout the district of columbia, the metropolitan police department is prepared for this week's first amendment activities. mpd has coordinated with the u.s. park police, u.s. capitol police, in the 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, unarmed members of the d.c. national guard who will work 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 request for additional assistance be coordinated using the same processes and procedures. we are mindful that in 2020, mpd was expected to perform the demanding tasks of policing large crowds while working around armed personnel deployed to the district of columbia without upper coordination. on -- and identifiable personnel who were 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. to be clear, the district of columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to and consultation with mpd if such plans are underway. the protections of persons and property is our utmost concern and responsibility. mpd is well trained and prepared to lead the law enforcement and
coordination response to allow for the peaceful demonstration of first amendment rights in the district of columbia." so, in hindsight the letter seems incredibly ill advised. now 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 the respective agencies? >> senator, i will go first. in my oral statement this morning, i mentioned that letter, because it did, it was communication that they were looking for no more support. on top of that, senator, we also contacted all the federal law enforcement organizations -- secret service, park police, marshals, fbi, and capitol
police just to make sure that the department of defense, that if additional support would needed that we would provide that support. we did that over the weekend. then we received tha letter on the fifth and based on that it was clear there was no additional support needed for our law enforcement partners for the district. sen. cruz: let me follow up on that, mr. salesses. mr. sund who testified last week, said he had requested support from the d.c. national guard, but the secretary denied his request, saying four "i don't like the visual of the national guard standing in line with the capitol in the background." is that accurate? >> i am not aware of the secretary of the army talking to chief sund about d.c. national guard in the capitol.
it has been reported that there were other folks who made that contention to the capitol police, but i am not aware of the secretary of the army doing that. in fact, nobody in the chain of command disapproved the request on the sixth of january from the capitol police. nobody disapproved it. sen. cruz: so the various authorizing memoranda from january 4 and 5 suggested that the national guard was significantly restricted on the 6th, while ryan mccarthy, the former secretary of the army, approved the national guard in some ways, he expressly withheld security to deploy the quick reaction force, and he lacked authority to authorize the issue of weapons and riot gear, among other things. could you please explain what you understand to be the restrictions placed on the garden?
-- placed on the guard? >> senator, again, there is a strict chain of command for the national guard, it runs from the secretary of defense to the d.c. guard commanding general walker. anytime it is going to be deployed, it requires the secretary of defense's approval. the memos published on the fourth of january, and on the fifth of january, those were to provide additional guidance to, number one, the memo on the fourth from the secretary of defense to the secretary of the army. he wanted to make decisions if the national guard was going to be deployed in any operation that required helicopters, bayonets, things that are on the letter. subsequently, the secretary the army published the memo on the fifth stating that this is how he expected the d.c. national guard to be employed at the traffic stops, the metro station, and the qrf that was
positioned at andrews air force base, if it was going to be used, he wanted to understand how it was going to be used through a concept of operations. sen. cruz: general walker, could you answer the same question and in particular whether you have the authority to employ a quick reaction force prior to january sixth, and what that potentially, -- and would that have potentially made a difference on january 6 if you had been able to do so? maj. gen. walker: senator cruz, i would have had that authority prior 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 withholds the authority to use the quick reaction force, and he would only authorize that, and
only after he has a concept of operations sent to him. a conops sent to him. that was a restriction that was unusual to me, i had never seen that before. sen. cruz: madam chair, i would ask unanimous consent that both the tweet and the letter from d.c. mayor bowser be entered into the record. chairwoman: without objection. >> i think that we are starting to wrap up this hearing, and i want to thank the witnesses for your testimony. i have a couple of quick questions and i know the chairwoman has a couple and then will have some closing comments. i guess i will start with the two 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.
there was no delay. you were immediately deployed, general walker. yet it happened differently on january 6. part of that is some of the surveillance. my first question for you, ms. sanborn, it has been reported that the fbi deployed a state-of-the-art surveillance planning to watch the protests 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 protests compared to the pro-trump protests? ms. sanborn: i don't have any specifics. is not my purview, something that i cover specifically as assistant director of counterterrorism. but i can tell you that from the counterterrorism approach to both of those, it was not different. we go after violence and all we saw summer long was people using
the guys of first amendment activity to do violence. we arrested close to 300 people throughout the summer. our approach to both instances was equal opportunity. if you are going to do violence in the united states and break federal law, the fbi will investigate. >> i understand that, and you should. no quarrel there. ms. sanborn: i think the answer would be best placed to the critical response group. i will follow up. >> general walker, u.s.-based someone on the panel above the helicopter in relation to january 6, that you said that is not normally something we would use, and i believe, i don't want to mischaracterize, you said it would not be necessary. . what i did get from it is that it is not normally used. yet it was used in the summer
protests. why was it used there and not on january 6? with a different set of circumstances? maj. gen. walker: one of my deputy commanding generals put the helicopter up. 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 the daytime operation. that is why the helicopter was there. i want to correct the record regarding the rc-26 that was mentioned, the district of columbia never requested an r c-26 fly over the district of columbia. the difference between december and january 6 was a 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 of the army was with me. the secretary of the army was withm me he either came to my headquarters, he rode in the car with me or i rode in the car with him. i was present when he called the attorney general to request approval for a request the city made. the city wanted us to conduct additional traffic control points, blocking vehicles. the secretary gave me a verbal then contacted the secretary of defense and the attorney general and it was done. those are some of the differences that occurred and i did not have the secretary of the army with me on january 6. chair peters: the secretary was with you during the summer. those were large gatherings. all the evidence pointed to this was going to be a very large gathering, and we know based on some social media, that the capitol and members of
congress were going to be a target. do you know why the secretary of the army was unable to be with you that day? maj. gen. walker: i don't know, but the secretary of the army is the secretary of the entire army. we are globally deployed. i do not know why he was not with me on january 6 as he was during the summer. chair peters: very good. ms. sanborn, finally i will write here, could you please, 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, both sergeant of arms, and congressional and committee leadership? ms. sanborn: i believe i can do that, sir, yes. chair peters: great. thank you. chairwoman: very good. thank you all. i know it has been a long day and you probably want some
lunch. i really appreciate your patience. i wanted to end with some ideas, which is why we are doing this hearing. any of you can take this. this is just based on all the experiences you've had. we had a unique situation here at the capitol where the chief is reporting to the police review board, general walker may be most familiar with it, but reporting to the two sergeant at arms and the architect of the capitol. three of them. just today, senator schumer announced a new sergeant at arms, karen gibson. so there is something about the structure which may work for getting resources or making decisions, but certainly did not work in this context, where that then chief -- where then-chief
sund was not able to do 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. just your views on whether or not that is an ideal situation to call a softball, whether or not this is ideal, maybe ms. sanborn, for trying to make decisions in a crisis, as we look for changes that we can suggest and make here at the capitol? maj. gen. walker: the sergeant of arms, both of them, were briefed by me personally in 2018 on what it takes to request national guard support. i sat down with both sergeant at
arms, myself, brigadier general dean and others in your office, and i explained the six-step process. and left them with a powerpoint presentation. i also briefed chiefs s und and his predecessor and let them come to the armory and explained the details, if you ever need national guard support, what i think might we helpful in the future is that that is practiced, that we come up with an event, what do we need district of columbia national guard support, pick a day and then we exercise it and then we have district of columbia national guard actually come out and exercise. here is what we would go, here is what we would support. but both sergeant of arms understood what it takes to
request district of columbia national guard support. chairwoman klobuchar: mr. salesses do you want to add anything to that? mr. salesses: 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, quite candidly, is in contingency operations and contingency events. there really needs to be one person in charge of making the decisions. to have four people that either have to agree or come together, at an think it is a very workable solution. ideal was the requests that come to the defense department. we get requests at the last minute most of the time because it takes all four of them to sign the document. right now we have the national guard the capitol today. it was supposed to end on the 12th. we are trying to figure out with
the capitol police force what is going to happen after the 12th. we need an answer from the defense department so that we understand, so the secretary can review and make a decision on how the support will need to be continued or adjusted. chairwoman klobuchar: i would agree with that. mr. salesses: if i could add something else i think all of us now because of the unique environment we are in as we talk about extremism, i know we talked about intelligence assessments and all those things and they are critical to this effort, being able to predict. but i think when we see large crowds gathering in the capital region, they are all permitted by the park police and we know when they're going to be here. we need to do a better job anticipating that kind of activity so 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 and 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 law enforcement organizations we have here and the different jurisdictional responsibilities, we need to bring them together so we know how we will operate in these complex environments, and then we need to understand the critical capabilities that each of us can bring to that. we need to make sure we have prearranged agreements to provide those capabilities in a timely fashion. the challenge is when you start from zero faced with the challenges we were faced with collectively, that is a very difficult position to start from. i think if we work on some of those things, we can be much more effective. the department of defense really looks forward with working -- looks forward to working with people on that. chairwoman klobuchar: i had a really good meeting with the head of the joint chiefs, and he gave one of the civilian honors to one of our heroes here, and i was able to talk with him about this. i think this is the moment.
i thought ms. sanborn said it best when she said she has always learned and improved. it is hard to do that in an environment like this, and i know it is not easy. we ask these questions, especially when people think, ok, maybe we messed up this part of it. but we know there are things that can be done better. i really appreciate that. i don't know if that will be one to add anything to my question, and that will be it? undersec. smislova: nothing to add, ma'am. chairwoman klobuchar: ok. very good. chair peters: well, once again, i would like to thank our witnesses for joining us here today. it was a very long hearing. i appreciate your perseverance in dealing with certainly a number of very tough questions, and we all appreciate your answers. there's no question from what i have been hearing over the last two hearings. is that there were serious
breakdowns and security planning that resulted in significant violence right here on the capitol grounds. the three r and 19 minute delay in authorizing -- 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 members of congress, staff and public in danger, and is without question, completely unacceptable. the breakdown in communication in the chain of command in the department of defense contributed to this delay stark , a difference from the department of defense during the protests this summer, is concerning and should never ever happen again. domestic terrorism, we all agree is the number one terrorist threat to our homeland. the potential for violence is well-known and widely
disseminated across social media platforms in the days leading up to january 6th. yet the very agency is responsible for monitoring and evaluating those threats failed to utilize every investigative tool together the readily available intelligence. the intelligence community failure contributed to the law enforcement's inadequate preparation on january 6. and i understand the fbi and the d.h.s.'s commitment today to doing better in their intelligence collection and monitoring this threat, which i appreciate. but we need to actually see improvements. they must be demonstrated in a meaningful way. it is not enough for agencies to simply promise to do better, congress must make reforming our counterterrorism efforts to priority. we need to take a hard look at reforming the office of
intelligence and analysis and requiring both d.h.s. and fbi to provide more concrete information to law enforcement so that they can take actions to protect our communities from this violent and deadly threat. i will continue my investigation following today's hearing, and continue to interview other experts as we work two words -- as we work towards 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 that we are setting policy that will provide the foundation for our national security threats, and treat domestic terrorism threat with the seriousness that it warrants and help protect americans all across our country. with that, i close. thank you again, chairman klobuchar, for working with me on this hearing today. chairwoman klobuchar: thank you very much, chairman peters.
i also think our ranking members, blunt and portman. we have done every part of this hearing together and agreed on witnesses and agreed on how we were going to proceed. we felt that was very important, this is a political environment enough, without politicizing this, and we have tried our best to be constructive. now, we have had two hearings, and we'll know that we have had some consensus on many things. we have 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 intend 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, there was still spray paint on the bottom of the columns, and still
surrounded by what had just happened there only two weeks before. they were intent not just on destroying the physical building that we work in, but also, are --our democracy that brought us to that moment. as an aside, i really was part 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 walked in 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. as i said earlier, i thought this was best summed up by ms. sanborn when she talked about the abstractions. as a prosecutor, sometimes with law enforcement, sometimes about cases, sometimes about why
domestic violence case in the home got to where it did, and we looked at what decisions were made. back then we could do it in rooms just with ourselves. and it is a lot easier than this. and i am sure you are 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, ms. sanborn, director wray was talking about the work that you were talking about, the man with the hardest name in this hearing -- [laughs] -- salesses, that you were talking about being able to bring people together that we need to for the planning ahead of time so we don't get to that moment of chaos. the chaos that general walker
encountered when he was trying to get a decision that day. a lot of that is stepping back and planning ahead. i personally think it has been very difficult during the pandemic for people to meet like they used to meet when planning ahead. frankly, 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 a keep harping on, is the capitol 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 then do better with sharing
intelligence. that the old ways people are getting used to with sending emails work speaking at a, meeting, may be the right people were not in that room, or perhaps they were not looking at all the information because they are overloaded and you have to find a way to triage it so they realize something is 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 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 pretty straightforward because they put it on their facebook page, but
some of which are a lot harder to figure out what the coordination is in what happened. we know there are still questions coming out, again, some of them i am sure very difficult, because there were a lot of people trying to do their jobs that they and mistakes were made. but we do have to get to the bottom of this. at the same time, not losing track. there may be longer investigations that go on on all of this, but our intent right now is to make sure we make smart changes, getting the people in place at the capitol. senator peters and i do not control that, but we can give our 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. [gavel bangs] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy, visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021]
>> the six-month anniversary of the january 6 attack on the u.s. capitol. each night, we are showing congressional hearings that happened in the aftermath of january 6. on friday, former trump administration officials and d.c. chief police robert contee appearing before the oversight committee to testify to their actions in response to the breach. watch the hearing starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. funded by these television companies and more, including media,. com. >> the world changed in an instant, but mediacom was ready. we never slowed it down. school and businesses went first, then we powered a new
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join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages, and tweets. >> saturday on "the communicators" -- >> republicans and democrats have been attacking big tech from all sorts of angles and antitrust is one of them. they have both coalesced on we have to be tough, we need to use more antitrust enforcement in order to go after tech companies. but they have different reasons for doing so, even though they coalesce on the same solution. for democrats, it is rooted in a typical form for democrats, towards big businesses and general and corporations in general and the need to shrink them down to size. for republicans, it is this culture war against technology companies in general, where they perceive them to be biased
against conservatives either in the way that they moderate content or their corporate culture. the push for big tech is tied to their general feeling that tech companies are out to get them. >> watch "the communicators" with elizabeth nolan brown on her recent article "the bipartisan antitrust crusade against big tech," saturday at 6:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> president biden gave an update on u.s. troops withdrawing from afghanistan. from the white house, this is about a half an hour.