Heinrich Presses Defense Department For Information To Speed Emergency Deployments Of U.S. Armed Forces To Deal With Any Future Security Breaches At U.S. Capitol

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

From the Office of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:

“In the aftermath of the attack, serious questions must be answered regarding the lack of threat intelligence, physical security of the Capitol Buildings, and readiness of our Armed Forces and federal agencies to respond.” –Heinrich

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following last week’s insurrection and breach on the U.S. Capitol as members of Congress were certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) are pressing the U.S. Department of Defense for information regarding ways the Pentagon could speed up emergency deployments of U.S. Armed Forces in the event of future security breaches at the U.S. Capitol.

In a letter addressed to Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, Heinrich, Murphy and Gillibrand questioned the lack of threat intelligence and the significant response time it took for the D.C. National Guard to arrive at the Capitol.

“Members of Congress and the American public are deeply disturbed by the lack of urgency in the immediate response to the invasion of the U.S. Capitol. According to preliminary information, over three and a half hours elapsed between the initial breach of the barriers on the West side of the U.S. Capitol and the arrival of the D.C. National Guard. While the exact timeline of requests and subsequent approval for support remains unclear, it is evident that the total response time was grossly inadequate,” the senators wrote.

“In the future, emergency deployments of federal law enforcement and the U.S. Armed Forces to the U.S. Capitol must be significantly faster,” the senators concluded.

Read the full text of the letter below or by clicking here.

Dear Acting Secretary Miller:

The attack on the United States Capitol on January 6th inspired and supported by the President of the United States was an insurrection against our nation’s democratically elected government. This marks the first time since 1814 that a coordinated and violent force laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. In the aftermath of the attack, serious questions must be answered regarding the lack of threat intelligence, physical security of the Capitol Buildings, and readiness of our Armed Force and federal agencies to respond.

Members of Congress and the American public are deeply disturbed by the lack of urgency in the immediate response to the invasion of the U.S. Capitol. According to preliminary information, over three and a half hours elapsed between the initial breach of the barriers on the West side of the U.S. Capitol and the arrival of the D.C. National Guard. While the exact timeline of requests and subsequent approval for support remains unclear, it is evident that the total response time was grossly inadequate.

In the future, emergency deployments of federal law enforcement and the U.S. Armed Forces to the U.S. Capitol must be significantly faster. We request that you present to the Congress the required changes federal law and Department of Defense authorities, operating procedures, and regulations in order reduce the response time to under an hour for a significant emergency deployment of the U.S. Armed Forces in support federal authorities within the National Capitol Region.

Thank you for your service to this country, and we look forward to working with you to ensure that this is the last such attack on our Capitol in the history of the United States.

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