Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCongress affirms Biden win after rioters terrorize Capitol Congress rejects challenge to Arizona’s presidential vote White House aides head for exits after chaos at Capitol MORE (R-Ky.) forced out Senate sergeant-at-arms Michael Stenger one day after rioters breached the Capitol, the GOP leader announced Thursday night.
“Today I requested and received the resignation of Michael Stenger, the Senate Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper, effective immediately,” McConnell said in a statement.
Deputy sergeant-at-arms Jennifer Hemingway will become the acting SAA. The Senate sergeant-at-ams office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
“I thank Jennifer in advance for her service as we begin to examine the serious failures that transpired yesterday and continue and strengthen our preparations for a safe and successful inauguration on January 20th,” McConnell added.
McConnell’s announcement is the latest sign of housecleaning among top officials after a massive security failure at the Capitol on Wednesday when rioters were able to breach the perimeter and force their way into the building, eventually making it to both the House and Senate chambers.
The mob resulted in lawmakers being whisked out of both chambers and taken to secure locations and the joint session meant to count the Electoral College vote being suspended for hours Capitol Police worked to contain crowds of rioters.
In addition to Stenger, Capitol Police chief Steven Sund is resigning later this month, and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCongress affirms Biden win after rioters terrorize Capitol Third House lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19 this week West Virginia legislator livestreams himself joining mob at Capitol: report MORE (D-Calif.) announced earlier Thursday that the House sergeant-at-arms, Paul Irving, had also tendered his resignation.
McConnell in a statement earlier Thursday thanked frontline police officers but pledged a “painstaking investigation and thorough review” of the incident.
“The ultimate blame for yesterday lies with the unhinged criminals who broke down doors, trampled our nation’s flag, fought with law enforcement, and tried to disrupt our democracy, and with those who incited them,” he said in a statement earlier Thursday. “But this fact does not and will not preclude our addressing the shocking failures in the Capitol’s security posture and protocols.”
Even if McConnell hadn’t asked for Stenger’s resignation, his days in his position were numbered after Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerCongress affirms Biden win after rioters terrorize Capitol Cori Bush introduces legislation to sanction, remove all House members who supported election challenges Pelosi and Schumer call on Trump to demand all protesters leave Capitol MORE (D-N.Y.) vowed to fire him if hadn’t resigned by the time Democrats take control of the majority on Jan. 20.
And calls for his ousting had bipartisan support with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump acknowledges end of presidency after Congress certifies Biden win GOP senators blame Trump after mob overruns Capitol Lindsey Graham says ‘enough is enough’ on Trump bid to overturn the election: ‘Count me out’ MORE (R-S.C.) telling reporters during a press conference that he backed Schumer’s decision.
“Anyone in charge of defending the Capitol failed,” Graham said. “The first thing that has to happen is to hold those accountable for failing to defend the nation’s Capitol while the Congress was in session.”