Outgoing Capitol Police Chief Says Officials Dismissed Plans for National Guard Backup

Outgoing U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund told the Washington Post that security officials in the House of Representatives and Senate denied his request to ask the National Guard to be ready to help ahead of last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.“If we would have had the National Guard, we could have held them at bay longer, until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive,” Sund told the Post.Sund said Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger suggested he have informal talks with National Guard officials to have personnel on alert in case they were needed, and that House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving expressed discomfort with how it would look to formally declare an emergency ahead of the planned demonstrations by President Donald Trump’s supporters.The newspaper said Stenger declined to discuss the matter when approached for an interview, and that it was unable to reach Irving for comment.A Pentagon spokesman said last week that U.S. Capitol Police did not make a request for National Guard backup ahead of the riot that left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. Capitol Police Were Overrun, ‘Left Naked’ Against Rioters The department had the same number of officers in place as on a routine day. While some of those officers were outfitted with equipment for a protest, they were not staffed or equipped for a riot.Pro-Trump rioters overwhelmed the outnumbered Capitol Police and spent several hours inside the building Wednesday as security rushed lawmakers to safety.  It took hours for authorities to reassert control of the building with Capitol Police eventually getting help from the National Guard as well as local police and federal law enforcement agencies. In the wake of the attack, several lawmakers have questioned Capitol Police preparation.  Sund, Stenger and Irving have all resigned.

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