(Reuters) – US Capitol police were aware of the possibility of violence by armed extremists when the Capitol was attacked by supporters of former President Donald Trump, but was quickly overwhelmed by “insurgents,” the chief of staff said. interim police. Intelligence gathered prior to the Jan.6 assault on the Capitol suggested the gathering would involve “armed militiamen, white supremacists and other extremist groups,” Yogananda Pittman said in prepared testimony to be delivered to the Appropriations Chamber on Thursday. Committee. Pittman was deputy chief of police for the department’s Intelligence and Protection Operations on January 6 and said she was responsible for its Interagency Intelligence and Coordination Division (IICD). Trump supporters saw January 6 as the last chance to overturn the results of the presidential election and their sense of despair and disappointment “may lead to a greater incentive to turn violent,” the IICD said in an assessment issued on 3 January. January. according to Pittman. “While the Department was prepared to neutralize and dismiss individuals or groups involved in acts of civil disobedience or violence among protesters, it was quickly overwhelmed by the thousands of insurgents (many armed) who immediately and without provocation began to attack. to officers, circumventing physical barriers and refusing to comply with legal orders, “Pittman added. Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden‘s electoral victory over Republican Trump, who falsely claimed that the November election had been marred by widespread fraud. The attack on the Capitol delayed Biden’s certification of victory for several hours, as lawmakers were forced to flee for safety from the enraged crowd overwhelming security forces. Five people died in the violence. More than 200 people have been charged so far for their role in the riot, including some with ties to far-right fringe groups like Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. An FBI warning that a protest by Trump supporters could turn violent reached U.S. Capitol Police the day before the assault, but top officials tasked with securing Congress that day did not see it, they told lawmakers. on Tuesday.
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