When President Biden makes his first official address to Congress, security will be on high alert –and then some.
Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman told members of Congress,
“We know that members of the militia groups that were present on January 6th have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union, which we know that date has not been identified.
“So based on that information, we think that it’s prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture until we address those vulnerabilities going forward.”
Pittman was asked at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol about the need for continued security measures around the building, including fencing and the deployment of the National Guard.
Pittman said that the rioters who attacked the Capitol
“weren’t only interested in attacking members of Congress and officers.
They wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as to who was in charge of that legislative process.”
According to NBC News,
Biden is expected to deliver an address to a joint session of Congress, similar to a State of the Union address, sometime after Congress passes his Covid-19 relief package.
Pittman told members of the subcommittee that oversees funding for the legislative branch that while her department knew armed extremists could commit violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, intelligence collected before the assault showed “no credible threat” of the size and scale of the riot.
The department prepared for the events based on information gathered by law enforcement, including the FBI and the intelligence community, she said.
“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 6 would occur.”
“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 U.S. Capitol, nor did the intelligence received from the FBI or any other law enforcement partner indicate such a threat.”
Her comments reinforced testimony that her predecessor and other current and former law enforcement officials provided to the Senate this week.
(via NBC News)