(CNN) — The former chief of the US Capitol Police provided Congress the clearest timeline yet of the events leading up to and including the January 6 insurrection, casting blame on four federal agencies and a slow bureaucracy that harmed the department’s ability to secure the building that day.
“Contrary to what others have said, the USCP did not fail. There are many heroic stories of USCP officers that day that helped to ensure the safety of the Members of Congress, including two officers who lost their lives,” Steven Sund wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the ranking members of each party in the House and Senate. “Democracy prevailed on January 6, 2021, in large part because of the courageous actions of the United States Capitol Police.”
CNN obtained a copy of the letter, in which Sund details the intelligence briefing process and the delays in getting aid once the assault on the Capitol was underway. More than 1,700 officers from 18 neighboring jurisdictions convened on the Capitol while the department was awaiting approval for the National Guard to assist.
Sund wrote that he made his first request for the National Guard at 1:09 p.m. ET and the request for local police agency support at 1:51 p.m. It took more than three hours to get National Guard support approved, Sund wrote.
“I still cannot fathom why in the midst of an armed insurrection, which was broadcast worldwide on television, it took the Department of Defense over three hours to approve an urgent request for National Guard support,” he wrote.
After the guard was approved, it took time to get the first members sworn in at the Capitol. The first guardsmen weren’t sworn in at the Capitol for more than four hours after the initial request, around 5:40 p.m.
Sund’s replacement, acting US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, said in a video released Friday afternoon that 125 officers were assaulted and more than 70 injured by “insurrectionists” during the attack. CNN reported earlier this week that more than 100 officers were still nursing their physical injuries.
“When thousands of insurrectionists stormed the US Capitol, the Capitol Police officers who were on the front lines performed bravely in the face of extraordinary violence and destruction,” she said. “They were engaged in hand-to-hand combat, assaulted with chemical irritants and tasers. They were assaulted with pipes, bats, bricks and American flag poles.”
She said they have been focused on three areas, which includes taking care of their employees, ensuring the Congress and US Capitol are safe and secure, and ensuring the incidents that occurred on Jan. 6 never happen again.
“We will be making significant changes to our operations, policies and procedures based on the findings,” she said.