Show an ad over header. AMP

Outgoing Capitol Police chief says pleas for National Guard were repeatedly denied

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, according to an interview with the Washington Post published late Sunday.

Why it matters: Sund, who resigned over the violence, told WashPost his requests for Guard help were "rejected or delayed" six times in total — including before the Capitol Hill protest and ensuing violence began.


  • Sund said he's concerned that if officials "don't get their act together with physical security, it's going to happen again" — possibly at President-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.

Between the lines: 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.
  • Both Irving and Stenger have since resigned from their positions.
  • "We knew it would be bigger," Sund told the Post. "We looked at the intelligence. We knew we would have large crowds, the potential for some violent altercations. I had nothing indicating we would have a large mob seize the Capitol."

Zoom in: When the mob broke into the main building at 2:26pm, Sund said he requested backup in a conference call to the Pentagon to "get boots on the ground."

  • But Sund and others on the call say 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."
  • The pro-Trump mob breached the west side perimeter within 15 minutes.
  • "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 noted.
  • National Guard personnel eventually arrived at the Capitol at 5:40pm, after four people had died in the violence.

The other side: The Pentagon and representatives for the House and Senate Sergeants-at-Arms did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

  • But Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said last week that based on an assessment from Capitol Police and federal law enforcement, "they believed they had sufficient personnel and did not make a request."
  • Stenger declined to comment to WashPost and Irving couldn't be reached by the news outlet.

The big picture: Sund offered his resignation last Thursday, effective Jan. 16. Assistant Chief Yogananda Pittman was named Capitol Police's acting chief on Sunday.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said last Thursday he had "requested and received" the resignation of Stenger, who was replaced by Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms Jennifer Hemingway as acting sergeant-at-arms.
  • Several lawmakers have vowed to investigate law enforcement's response to the violence.

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers emerge as troublemakers

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

Keep reading... Show less

Former Obama speechwriter "preemptively frustrated" with Biden's unity efforts

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

Keep reading... Show less

Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is backfilling lost corporate and personal donations with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate the Missouri lawmaker as he weighs re-election or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.

Keep reading... Show less

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution could bar Trump from holding office again

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Keep reading... Show less

"Roz" Brewer will become only the 2nd Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.

Keep reading... Show less

Apple's quarterly sales top $100 billion for first time

Spurred by strong sales of the latest iPhones, Apple reported it took in a record $111 billion in revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, as the company crushed expectations.

Why it matters: The move showed even a pandemic didn't dull demand for Apple's latest smartphones.

Keep reading... Show less

Facebook stock whipsaws amid ad targeting concerns

Facebook's stock showed volatility in after-hours trading Wednesday, despite adding users and beating on top and bottom lines.

Why it matters: Investors seem spooked by proposed changes to user data collection by Apple that would impact Facebook's ad business, in addition to perennial threats of new federal privacy regulations.

Keep reading... Show less

Fed chair says low interest rates aren't driving stock market prices

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told reporters on Wednesday that rock-bottom interest rates aren't playing a role in driving stock prices higher, while noting that vulnerabilities to the financial system are "moderate."

Why it matters: The statement comes amid unshakeable stock prices and a Reddit-fueled market frenzy — prompting widespread fears of a bubble and the role monetary policy has played in that.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories