Top Capitol security officials ousted from longtime posts after pressure from Congress

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Three top U.S. Capitol security officials have been effectively ousted from their posts over their role in failing to protect the Capitol from the mob of Trump supporters who’d stormed and infiltrated the building during Wednesday’s riots.

The three — House sergeant-at-arms Paul D. Irving, Senate sergeant-at-arms Michael C. Stenger and Capitol Police chief Steven Sund — will reportedly all be gone from their long-held posts by Jan. 16th, at the latest, thanks to congressional pressure.

Thursday reportedly began with Sund issuing a statement defending his department’s actions during Wednesday’s riots.

“United States Capitol Police (USCP) officers and our law enforcement partners responded valiantly when faced with thousands of individuals involved in violent riotous actions as they stormed the United States Capitol Building. These individuals actively attacked United States Capitol Police Officers and other uniformed law enforcement officers with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and took up other weapons against our officers. They were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage,” he said.

“The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C. … The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced, and I continue to have tremendous respect in the professionalism and dedication of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police.”

Capitol Police were grossly overwhelmed during the riots in part because of decisions made by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who a day prior had ordered federal authorities to stand down and allow Capitol authorities to handle the “Stop the Steal” rally themselves.

Nevertheless, Bowser has faced no blame for what happened, with all the blame instead automatically being placed on Irving, Stenger, and Sund.

During her weekly press briefing Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed Sund’s statement and called for his resignation. She also announced that Irving had already submitted his resignation.

“I am calling for the resignation of the chief of the Capitol Police, Mr. Sund, and I have received notice from Mr. Irving that he will be submitting his resignation. Mr. Sund, he hasn’t even called us since this happened,” she said.

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Later that afternoon, soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for Stenger, the sergeant-at-arms, to follow Irving’s lead and threatened to personally fire him if he’s still at his post once he, Schumer, takes over.

Not long after, current Senate Majority Mitch McConnell announced Stenger’s resignation and replacement.

“Deputy Sergeant at Arms Jennifer Hemingway will now serve the Senate as Acting Sergeant at Arms, pursuant to statute,” he reportedly said in a statement Thursday evening.

“I thank Jennifer in advance for her service as we begin to examine the serious failures that transpired yesterday and continue and strengthen our preparations for a safe and successful inauguration on January 20th.”

Last up was Sund’s resignation, which was announced Thursday evening and will reportedly be effective Jan. 16th, thanks to Pelosi.

During Wednesday’s riots, Capitol Police were quickly overwhelmed, with the pro-Trump rioters, easily pushing past them and storming into the Capitol.

“The Capitol Police were unprepared for the sheer size of the protest,” David Gomez, a retired FBI executive, said to The Wall Street Journal.

“Up until they breached the Capitol, the possibility existed that it was going to be a large protest that didn’t cross those barricades. Once they did that [law enforcement personnel] were overwhelmed and couldn’t respond quickly enough.”

Worse, “other federal law enforcement agencies were slow to respond,” according to the WSJ, reportedly in part because of Bowser’s decision-making.

“Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told federal law enforcement to stand down just one day before a mob of Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, smashing windows, entering the chambers, and forcing lawmakers and congressional staff inside into lockdown,” The Federalist has confirmed.

“According to Bowser, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department in coordination with the U.S. Park Police, Capitol Police, and Secret Sevice were well-equipped to handle whatever problems could come up during the Trump rallies planned for Wednesday.”

She of course has received zero blame for Wednesday’s failures. Nor was she blamed when left-wing extremists rioted in D.C. months earlier.

Instead, the mayor has joined others in condemning the Capitol Police.

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Vivek Saxena

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