Capitol Police Chief Submits Resignation

House, Senate sergeants-at-arms have also been ousted
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2021 3:59 AM CST
Capitol Security Chiefs Resign
Capitol Police officers in riot gear push back rioters at the US Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Three top security officials at the Capitol have resigned following widespread criticism of the lack of preparedness blamed for Wednesday's breach. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund has resigned effective Jan. 16, meaning he will be gone before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, Politico reports. Michael Stenger, the Senate sergeant-at-arms, has been forced out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. "Today I requested and received the resignation of Michael Stenger, the Senate Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper, effective immediately," McConnell said in a statement Thursday night, per the Hill. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier Thursday that he planned to fire Stenger if the sergeant-at-arms was still in his post when he becomes majority leader on Jan. 20.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving had also submitted his resignation. Lawmakers criticized the lack of planning but praised rank-and-file officers. "The Capitol Police I was around did an amazing job under difficult circumstances," Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley told CNN. "My concern wasn't with how valiant the Capitol Police were. It was that an hour before the debate started, I looked at the throngs of people surrounding different sections of the Capitol and said, we don't have enough security." GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said the response should have involved warning shots and lethal force when the building was breached. "How could they fail so miserably? We’re 20 years from 9/11," he said, per Politico. "Yesterday they could have blown the building up. They could have killed us all. They could have destroyed the government." (A Capitol Police officer injured in the riot died Thursday night.)

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