Fact Check: Did Ex-Capitol Chief Testify He Had Intel that Antifa Would Attack Capitol?

The Senate's first joint committee hearing on the Capitol attack on Tuesday featured testimony from Capitol security officials, including former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned in January.

Sund and others recounted the turbulence of January 6 in detail, including delays at the Pentagon after multiple requests for backup as well as what senators called "intelligence failures." The ex-chief defended the U.S. Capitol Police, blaming the pandemonium on a lack of "accurate and complete intelligence" across federal agencies.

The Claim

Mention of Antifa, a frequent scapegoat of President Donald Trump and his supporters for the Capitol riot, also made it into Sund's testimony.

Conservative activist Jack Posobiec asked why no one was discussing Sund's alleged testimony that the Capitol Police "had intel that Antifa was part of the Jan 6 attack."

He tweeted: "Are we just not going to talk about the fact Capitol Police Chief Sund said he had intel that Antifa was part of the Jan 6 attack?"

Are we just not going to talk about the fact Capitol Police Chief Sund said he had intel that Antifa was part of the Jan 6 attack?

— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 23, 2021

The Facts

Tuesday's testimony focused largely on a breakdown of intelligence and communication that Capitol security officials said rendered them helpless against rioters on January 6. Sund described an hours-long lag in backup from the Pentagon after a request for support from the National Guard, and in the days preceding the riots, a lack of preparedness by the intelligence community.

Sund and his colleagues explained that as consumers of intelligence, the Capitol police rely on information from the FBI, Homeland Security and others to create security plans. But Sund said that no new intelligence was presented during a January 5 meeting.

He said that he and his colleagues anticipated that what would become known as the Capitol attacks would be similar to previous MAGA rallies. Sund also said that intelligence assessments listed groups expected to be present in Washington, D.C. that day.

"As previously mentioned, the IICD intelligence assessment indicated that the January 6th protests/rallies were "expected to be similar to the previous Million MAGA March rallies in November and December 2020, which drew tens of thousands of participants," Sund said.

"The assessment indicated that members of the Proud Boys, white supremacist groups, Antifa, and other extremist groups were expected to participate on January 6, and that it may be inclined to become violent," Sund added.

He said that the Intelligence and Inter-Agency Coordination Division Daily Intelligence Report also assessed the chance of "civil disobedience" as "remote" to "improbable."

Intelligence reports leading up to January 6 name Antifa, a decentralized left-wing protest movement, as potential attendees at the planned rally that day and that they could "become violent," which the report assessed based on fights that occurred between groups at previous MAGA rallies. Sund did not say he had intelligence Antifa members were or would be responsible for the violence that occurred at the Capitol.

The Ruling

False.

Sund testified that a report from the Intelligence and Inter-Agency Coordination Division provided before January 6 listed Antifa as expected participants in the rally taking place that day, meaning the intelligence community expected members to be present in Washington, D.C.

The report predicted Antifa and other groups could become violent, similar to November 2020's Million MAGA March in Washington, D.C., but officials did not anticipate an attack on the Capitol.

Capitol police did not have intelligence predicting the storming of the Capitol, much less that Antifa would be part of the riot.

Sen. Josh Hawley Denies Capitol Riots Complicity
Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) speaks during a joint hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Rules Committee in Washington, D.C., on February 23, 2021. Andrew Harnik/Getty