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Senate announces bipartisan probe into 'security failures' in Capitol siege

Lawmakers plan to "work together to make the necessary reforms to ensure this never happens again."

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Capitol protest Jan. 6, 2021
Capitol protest Jan. 6, 2021
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Updated: January 8, 2021 - 3:34pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Senate on Friday announced a bipartisan probe into "security failures" at the Capitol that allowed hundreds of rioters to run wild in the building on Wednesday.

Hearings will soon be held by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.

"Wednesday's violent and criminal acts directed at our Capitol, a symbol of American Democracy, will forever be a stain on our nation's history," the committees' leaders, Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Gary Peters (D-Mich), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said in a joint statement.

The senators called Wednesday's riot by Trump supporters "an attack on every American."

"We plan to conduct oversight and hold bipartisan hearings on these horrific events, and work together to make the necessary reforms to ensure this never happens again," the statement said.

Since the riot, federal lawmakers have been pledging to investigate how law enforcement handled the breach at the Capitol.

California Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, said the breach of the Capitol "raises grave security concerns." 

She also said her committee will work with other House and Senate lawmakers to evaluate not only the U.S. Capitol Police response but its preparedness.

Florida Democratic Rep. Val Deming, a former Orlando police chief who was on the short list to become Joe Biden's running mate, said it was "painfully obvious" that Capitol Police were "not prepared."

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) went further, saying leaders should be fired.

"I think it's pretty clear that there's going to be a number of people who are going to be without employment very, very soon because this is an embarrassment both on behalf of the mob, and the president, and the insurrection, and the attempted coup, but also the lack of professional planning and dealing with what we knew was going to occur," Ryan said, according to the Associated Press.

The U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund resigned Thursday evening. 

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