Outgoing Capitol Police chief Steven Sund said efforts to deploy the National Guard over last Wednesday’s riots were hampered by the Pentagon and House and Senate security officials, in an interview published late Sunday to the Washington Post.
Sund says his calls for National Guard were rejected or delayed a total of six times, and is concerned more violence could occur at the inauguration if something doesn’t change.
Before the protests:
- Sund said House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving expressed discomfort over the “optics” of declaring an emergency before the protests.
- Michael Stenger, the then Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, advised Sund to informally ask for the Guard to stand by if required by Capitol Police, according to Sund.
Sund said they had intelligence that there were be a large crowd with potential for violence, but no indication there were mobs who would seize the Capitol.
During the protests:
- At 2:26pm, Sund said he requested backup in a conference call to the Pentagon to “get boots on the ground.”
- A top Army official told them that he couldn’t recommend the request to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy as “I don’t like the visual of the National Guard standing in a police line with the Capitol in the background.”
- Within 15 minutes the western perimeter of the Capitol had been breached. Sund says if the National Guard had responded, they would have been able to keep the mob at bay until other partner agencies could arrive.
- National Guard arrived at the Capitol at 5:40pm, after four people had died.
Both House and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms have since resigned, as well as Capitol Police Chief Sund.