House and Senate leaders moved quickly to fire top congressional officials following the unprecedented siege in the U.S. Capitol Wednesday that resulted in four deaths, multiple injuries, and significant damage to the building.
The House sergeant-at-arms, Paul D. Irving, has resigned his position, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she’ll also seek the removal of Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund.
Across the Capitol, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat who will soon control the chamber, said he will seek the resignation of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael C. Stenger.
The two oversee the Capitol Police, who have come under intense criticism after the Wednesday siege and the inability of law enforcement to keep hundreds of protesters from forcing their way into the Capitol and, in other cases, simply allowing them to walk in.
Pelosi cited the bravery of the officers, many of whom were injured, some seriously. But she said that the police showed “a failure of leadership at the top of the Capitol Police,” and Sund has not yet contacted her to explain what happened.
Sund put out a statement on Wednesday pledging “a thorough review of this incident, security planning and policies and procedures.”
Throngs of angry protesters ran past metal barricades and pushed their way into the Capitol, breaking doors and windows to enter. A large group attempted to bust their way through locked doors into the Speaker’s Lobby, steps from the chamber, when a plainclothes officer fired into the group, killing Ashli Babbitt, 35, who was an Air Force veteran. The officer has been suspended pending an investigation.
Videos show people easily streaming into a side door of the Capitol, chatting with police. Some told the Washington Examiner that they encountered no resistance on their way into the building, where they hoped to tell lawmakers that they believed the election was stolen from President Trump.