Ex-Capitol Police chief says pro-Trump mob 'came prepared for war'

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His testimony came as a GOP lawmaker falsely claimed the insurrectionists weren't armed.

Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund on Tuesday described in harrowing detail the weapons law enforcement officers were beaten with on Jan. 6, when a pro-Donald Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop President Joe Biden's electoral victory from being certified, saying the attack was the "worst attack on law enforcement" he had ever experienced.

"I witnessed insurgents beating police officers with fists, pipes, sticks, bats, metal barricades, and flag poles," Sund said at a Senate hearing to examine the security failures that led to the insurrection.

He continued, "These criminals came prepared for war. They came with weapons, chemical munitions and explosives. They came with shields, ballistic protection, and tactical gear. They came with their own radio system to coordinate the attack, as well as climbing gear and other equipment to defeat the Capitol's security features."

Sund's testimony came as at least one Republican Senator has attempted to whitewash the deadly insurrection, which left five people dead — including a Capitol Police officer.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told a local radio show last week that, "This didn't seem like an armed insurrection to me."

"When you hear the word 'armed,' don't you think of firearms? Here's the questions I would have liked to ask: How many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired?" Johnson said.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson took up that same line in his show Monday night, falsely saying there is "no evidence this was a quote armed insurrection."

However, in addition to Sund's testimony, court documents show police confiscated numerous weapons from the attackers, including "five guns, eleven Molotov cocktails, a crossbow, smoke bombs and a stun gun," according to a report from the Hill.

Johnson is part of one of the Senate committees that called for Tuesday's hearing on the attack, and he was in the room listening as Sund gave his testimony.

Sund's testimony was preceded by Carneysha Mendoza, a Capitol Police captain who described getting chemical burns on her face from the military-grade chemical irritants deployed by the mob. 

In addition to the five people who died following the events on Jan. 6, more than 100 other law enforcement officers who responded to the attack were injured that day.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.