Top Capitol Security Officials Disagree On The Basic Facts Of The National Guard Delays On January 6


Top line

Senior security officials disputed basic facts and offered contrasting accounts of why it took so long to deploy National Guard troops on January 6 during Congressional first public hearing on the security failures amid deadly attack on the United States Capitol.


Testifying before the Senate Rules and Homeland Security Committees on Tuesday, former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund and former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving disagreed on the issue. schedule and their conversations around the deployment of the National Guard.

Sund claimed he approached Irving for National Guard reinforcement two days before the attack, but that his request was rejected by Irving, who cited “the view” of the deployment.

Irving disputed that account during his testimony on Tuesday, saying Sund did not make a request during their conversation on January 4 and instead made an offer from the National Guard to beef up security.

With Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger, Irving said he discussed “whether the intelligence justified the troops” and the trio decided “the answer was no.”

The two former security chiefs also disagreed when Sund asked for help from the National Guard as the pro-Trump mob breached the building on January 6. at-arms would execute the request “at the top of the chain of command”.

Meanwhile, Irving said he neither remembered nor had a recording of a phone call at the time, and instead spoke with Sund at 1:30 p.m., when he reported that “the conditions were deteriorating “, before an official request was made after 2 p.m.

Crucial quote

“I wasn’t concerned about the appearance at all, it was all about safety and security,” said Irving, who insisted he would have immediately approved an earlier request from the chief of police.

Chief critic

“What happened here does not appear to be in keeping with the different timelines,” Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) Said in response to the various accounts.

Key context

Lawmakers questioned former Capitol Hill officials on Tuesday during the first in a series of hearings aimed at understanding how a pro-Trump mob was able to besiege the Capitol building for several hours on Jan.6. Although the attack was planned in part openly on social media, unfortunately law enforcement was not prepared for the violence and the National Guard was only deployed a few hours after the attack, when five people had already died. Sund rebuffed accusations that his agency had not sufficiently prepared for the attack, insisting that his repeated requests for the National Guard were rejected by sergeants-at-arms and the Pentagon. Members of Congress have pointed fingers and asked for answers on the delays, suggesting that political motives played a role.

Further reading

“Former Capitol Police chief said intelligence services failed to warn of the January 6 siege” (Forbes)

“House Republicans claim Pelosi may be responsible for delaying National Guard deployment on January 6” (Forbes)

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