Stenger and Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving are both under pressure to step down after the fatal and embarrassing security breach.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the ultimate blame lay on the “deranged criminals” who desecrated the Capitol, but nevertheless suggested Congress should address “shocking failures in security posture and protocols of the Capitol “.
McConnell’s office has yet to comment on Stenger.
The House and Senate sergeants-at-arms are on the most immediate chopping block, according to several sources from both parties. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund will also come under scrutiny. And the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden could see changes.
“The Capitol Police will and really should do a quick review of what went wrong and what they need to do to make sure nothing like this could happen again,” said the Speaker of the Rules of the Senate , Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), To reporters Thursday morning. “You want to take another very serious look at what you think your crowd safety concerns might be for January 20th.”
Eva Malecki, spokesperson for the Capitol Police, said: “The chief has no intention of resigning.
The change with Stenger could come sooner than the change of power on January 20, sources say. Irving, the House sergeant-at-arms since 2012, is also under close scrutiny and is expected to be pressured to resign following the riots and violence that have taken place inside the Capitol Wednesday.
McConnell and President Nancy Pelosi made no immediate comment. Sund issued a statement saying the Capitol Police had a “solid plan” for the protesters, “but make no mistake – these riots were not First Amendment activities.”
The frustration was evident as the senators gathered in a secure room in the Capitol complex on Wednesday evening. Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) briefly but ostensibly dressed staff at the Sergeant-at-Arms about the unprecedented security breach in the Capitol, according to two sources familiar with the conversation.
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), the House Democrat who oversees the funding of the Capitol Police, told reporters there would be quick fallout from the deadly security breach.
Ryan praised the Capitol Base Police for doing “everything they could” to hold back the crowds, but said senior officials would be taken to task and likely fired. At least 15 police officers have been hospitalized due to the chaos, including one in critical condition, according to Ryan.
“So that we don’t have a quick plan – the breach occurred at 1 hour and 15 minutes from when Capitol Hill police were able to hold back the crowd,” Ryan told reporters Thursday. “You can be assured that someone will be held responsible for it.”
And Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Ryan’s counterpart in the Senate, said, “We need a full investigation into how security on Capitol Hill was breached so quickly.
“Being outnumbered, ill-equipped and ill-prepared is not the officers’ fault, but rather the responsibility of their superiors,” said Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), Who was among those in attendance. room while the rioters had violated the Capitol. by SMS Thursday morning. “Yesterday’s security failure was preventable, inexcusable and requires a thorough investigation and the removal of those responsible for their posts.”
The House prosecution was buzzing with discussions about immediate layoffs Wednesday night as lawmakers gathered to resume certification of victory from President-elect Joe Biden. Lawmakers did not unite around a specific plan, but generally agreed that swift leadership changes were needed both within the Capitol Police, including Sund, and the Sergeant-at-Arms offices. , according to several sources close to the conversations.
Ryan and House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) On Thursday announced an investigation into the Capitol Police failures that led to Wednesday’s mob rule.
Rioters stormed the Capitol, crashing through glass windows and ramming doors, invading some of the Capitol’s safest areas, including the Senate chamber and Pelosi’s office. Ryan said he was disturbed by videos on Wednesday which appeared to show Capitol police opening the gates to allow rioters to enter the Capitol grounds and then freely leave the Capitol after destroying it. A woman was shot and killed inside the compound during the chaos.
The Sergeant-at-Arms has more than 800 employees who oversee the security of the Capitol, Congressional office buildings and staff, while the Capitol Police has 2,300 employees and officers.
At other times like Trump’s impeachment or Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, the presence of security and law enforcement inside the building has been pronounced, but sometimes sterile rooms on Thursday. were handed over to the rioters. And it wasn’t until the intruders were kicked out of the Capitol that the number of officers reached overwhelming levels.
“It was unfathomable,” Senator Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.) told MetroNews in West Virginia on Thursday. “I think it was the lowest day.”
Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.