The former police chief for the U.S. Capitol said he asked the National Guard’s assistance six times during the riots, and they denied all of his requests.
Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund resigned from his position last week – per House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s call – following his claims that security officials at the House and Senate declined his requests for the National Guard to put an end to the insurrection that took place at the Capitol building last Wednesday.
On Sunday, Sund participated in an interview with The Washington Post in which he stated that the National Guard could have intervened, but no one at the Capitol asked for their assistance. Sund told the newspaper that House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving was concerned with the “optics” of declaring an emergency ahead of the protests and ultimately turned down the National Guard’s help, according to NPR.
Sund said that Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger suggested that he request that the National Guard and stay on alert if things get worse at Capitol Hill. Like many other Capitol Hill employees, Sund, Irving, and Stenger stepped down from their posts.
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also reportedly didn’t want a large amount of police force there, saying that she wanted to avoid a clash between demonstrators and the police. After all as said and done, the National Guard sent out a force of 340 from D.C. National Guard. All of the troops were unarmed, and their only assignment was to maintain traffic, not perform law enforcement duties.
An estimated 8,000 domestic terrorists overran Capitol Hill. Sund says if the National Guard had come sooner, things would have turned out differently. “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,” said Sund.