Outgoing Capitol Police Chief: National Guard Pleas Denied – Washpost

According to an interview with the Washington Post published late on Sunday, outgoing Capitol Police Chief Steven Sundar said efforts to deploy the National Guard were interrupted by Pentagon and House and Senate security officials in the riots that occurred last Wednesday.

Why it matters: Sundar, who resigned over the violence, told Washpost that his request for the guard’s help was “rejected or delayed” a total of six times before the Capitol Hill protests and the ensuing violence began.

  • Sund said he is concerned that if officials “do not achieve their task with physical security, it is going to happen again” – possibly the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.

Between the lines: Sundar said House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving expressed discomfort over the “optics” of declaring emergency before the protests.

  • Michael Senger, the then Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, advised Sunda to ask guards to stand informally when required by the Capitol Police, according to Sundar.
  • Both Irving and Stenger have resigned their posts.
  • “We knew it was going to be big,” Sundar told the Post. “We looked at intelligence. We knew we would have a large crowd, the possibility of some violent changes. I had nothing to let us know that a large crowd would seize the Capitol.”

zoom in: When the crowd entered the main building at 2:26 a.m., Sundar said he requested backup in a conference call to “bring shoes to the ground” to the Pentagon.

  • But Sundar and others say that a top Army official told him that he “cannot recommend Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy’s request, because I don’t like the view of the National Guard standing in the police line at the Capitol.”
  • The Trump supporter crowd broke West’s perimeter within 15 minutes.
  • “If we had the National Guard, we could have stopped them in the bay until more officers from our allied agencies could arrive,” Sundar said.
  • The National Guard personnel finally reached the Capitol at 5:40 pm after four people were killed in the violence.

On the other hand: Representatives of the Pentagon and House and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment.

  • But Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said last week that based on an assessment by the Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, “they believed they had enough employees and did not make the request.”
  • Stanger declined to comment to Washpost and the Irving news outlet could not be reached.

big picture: Sundar offered resignation last Thursday, effective Jan. 16. Assistant Chief Yogananda Pittman was named the acting chief of the Capitol Police on Sunday.

  • Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Q) said last Thursday that he “requested and received” Stanger’s resignation, replaced by Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms Jennifer Hemingway as acting Sergeant-at-Arms Had given.
  • Many lawmakers have vowed to investigate law enforcement’s response to the violence.


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