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The day before the deadly attack, an FBI warning that a demonstration by Donald Trump supporters might turn violent reached the US Capitol Police, but top officials in charge of defending Congress said they didn’t see it.

Ahead of the January 6 attack, the officials told two Senate committees looking into shortcomings that the intelligence they got did not brace them for hundreds of Mr. Trump’s supporters, many operating in teams and wearing tactical gear, storming the house.

Ahead of the attack, they gave contradictory accounts of discussions about whether to call for assistance from the National Guard, and what, if any, part concerns about preserving the appearance of an open Capitol building played in the safety failure.

One of the four, former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, told senators that he had not seen an alert released on January 5 by the FBI office in Norfolk, Virginia, warning law enforcement agencies that extremists were planning to commit crime.

“None of the intelligence we received predicted what actually occurred,” Mr Sund said, referring to scenes in which Trump supporters assaulted police, smashed windows and charged through the Capitol chanting “hang Mike Pence”.

“We properly planned for a mass demonstration with possible violence.

“What we got was a military-style coordinated assault on my officers and a violent takeover of the Capitol building.”

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