Testifying before a joint Senate hearing on the January 6 Capitol riot on Tuesday, top current and former law enforcement officials said to the lawmakers that they have evidence pointing to planning and coordination in the attacks conducted by the mob of people that stormed the U.S Capitol and overwhelmed Capitol police officers, informed The Hill.
Gary Peters (D-Mich), the Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman asked former Capitol police chief Steven Sund what nonclassified evidence could he present that would lead him to determine the attack was “coordinated.” Sund responded that the rioters came prepared with “chemical spray” and “climbing gear,” which as he pointed had no place at a legitimate protest.
“I’m able to provide you a quick overview of why I think it was a coordinated attack. One, people came specifically with equipment. You’re bringing in climbing gear to a demonstration. You’re bringing in explosives. You’re bringing in chemical spray … you’re coming prepared,” said Sund to the senators.
“The fact that the group attacked our west front [did so] approximately 20 minutes before [former President Trump’s rally] ended, which means that they were planning on our agency not being at what they call ‘full strength,'” he added.
Pipe bombs were discovered outside of the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic parties, which Sund said were probably used to distract and draw police forces away from the Capitol while the riot was happening.
Robert Contee III, the acting D.C. Metropolitan Police Department chief agreed with Sund, saying to the senators that he saw “hand signals being used by several of the insurrectionists,” as well as radio communication.
Some individuals connected to certain right-wing groups, like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, were arrested in the weeks following the attack in connection to the violence during the riot, and the FBI’s D.C. field office is searching for dozens of other people who were present during the attack.