Speaking on Boston Public Radio, national security expert Juliette Kayyem said Tuesday’s Senate hearing into security failures around the Jan. 6 insurrection was “at best” disappointing, and “at worst,” damaging to America's democratic stability.
On Tuesday, Republican and Democrat senators probed a handful of former and acting officials responsible for Capitol security on the day of the violent insurrection.
“I [didn't] take much away from it,” Kayyem said of the four hours of questioning. "I’m no smarter."
One of the more significant moments from Tuesday came when former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund — who announced resignation from his post on Jan. 7 — told lawmakers that he never received a memo sent from the FBI the day prior to the attack, explicitly warning of violence from pro-Trump extremists.
Kayyem questioned whether the notice from the FBI was even necessary, given the president’s incendiary rhetoric and promises of a “wild” protest in the days and weeks leading up to Jan. 6.
"The president had been focused on that day and focused on Congress and focused on the fight, and the fact that they weren’t prepared … I don’t quite get what they were thinking,” the CNN analyst said. "Was it that they trust MAGA, was it that their intelligence was that bad?"
She added, "If anything, this just proves that we do need to have an investigatory commission, that you really can’t do it through hearings like this.”
Kayyem also raised concern about the questioning from Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who used his time to propagate baseless claims about fake Trump protestors and "provocateurs" actually being to blame for the attempted coup.
"That gives credence and nurturing to the lie, which animates so many of these domestic terrorists and white supremacists," she said, adding that she's similarly worried about the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, scheduled to start on Friday.
"I looked at their agenda," she said, quipping that it'd be more accurate to call it "the election was stolen" conference.