Former FBI special agent describes security failures at U.S. Capitol

Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 16:48:46-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It’s a question on the minds of many: how was it possible for the U.S. Capitol Building to be taken under siege?

Barricade fencing proved to be no match for a mob of protesters who breached the Capitol on Wednesday. Barricades were even used as tools to help rioters climb walls onto the property.

"We were all just really stunned by the lack of security yesterday. I mean, it was really shocking, the place was overrun by a mob," said U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Florida.

Rep. Frankel, who was hiding out in a room in the Capitol Building for five hours, is still trying understand how protesters got inside.

"There’s going to be a lot of review to see exactly what went wrong," Rep. Frankel said.

Former FBI special agent and law enforcement expert Stuart Kaplan said it was a series of failures.

"One of the obvious foreseeable contingencies was the potential for violence. And so how do we neutralize that violence? How do we neutralize that mob mentality of overtaking the Capitol?" Kaplan said. "Well, first push back the perimeter much further back, erected fences and barriers. We have what they call those jersey barriers. Those are concrete barriers. We have armored personnel.We have military type of vehicles."

Kaplan said without extra layers of law enforcement in place, there was no way to expect Capitol police to hold back that many protesters.

"They knew it was going to happen and it fell far short," Kaplan said. "I will not be surprised if you see over the next 24 to 48 hours resignations from chiefs of police, whether on the federal, state, and local level because their jobs are on the chopping block right now."