Ex-Capitol police chief says they weren't prepared for war ahead of deadly riots

The US Senate has begun a hearing into the security breakdowns that failed to prevent the deadly Capitol riot.

Senators in the Homeland Security Committee and the Committee on Rules and Administration want to find out where the breakdowns in planning and response occurred that allowed the violence to unfold in and around the citadel of American democracy.

The riots shook the world, threatened a peaceful transition of power, and endangered the lives of US lawmakers and Donald Trump's Vice President, Mike Pence.

Steven Sund, who was chief of the Capitol police during the assault, says they weren't prepared for war.

Once the rioting started, it took hours to get permission for National Guard troops, which ultimately had to come from the Pentagon, Sund said.

He also said intelligence agencies did not pass on anything ahead of time indicating an orchestrated attack on the Capitol might happen.

The Washington Post has reported that the Capitol police's own intelligence unit warned on January 3 that "Congress itself" could be the target of Trump supporters summoned by the then-president to fight his loss in the November 3 election.

Sund, asked about this Tuesday, said that because of this report Capitol police had expanded the security "perimeter" around the Capitol on January 6 and that he had also reached out to the metropolitan police to discuss backup support.

Scores of police officers were assaulted in the melee, with over 140 Capitol Police and some 65 metropolitan police injured.

More than 200 people have been charged so far for their roles in the riot, including some with ties to far-right fringe groups such as the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys.

Reuters / Newshub.