Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund testified before the House Oversight Committee that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rejected a request to deploy National Guard troops to the U.S. Capitol Building ahead of the January 6, 2021 riot.
Sund’s testimony, the first time he’s spoken publicly since resigning in the aftermath of the riot, contradicts Pelosi’s claims that she had no authority over Capitol security as reported by Conservative Brief on Sunday, November 26.
According to Sund, he made a formal request to deploy hundreds of Guard soldiers to House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving on January 3, 2021.
Irving, who along with Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger comprised the Capitol Police Board, initially expressed concerns about the optics of such a move and questioned the intelligence supporting the request.
Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference the morning after the impeachment of President Donald Trump ended in acquittal, at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., Feb. 6, 2020. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Sund then met with Stenger, who suggested that the police chief reach out to the Pentagon to gauge the availability of Guard personnel.
Sund complied, contacting Army General William Walker, who indicated that 125 troops could be reallocated quickly if approved by the Secretary of Defense.
However, upon relaying this information to Stenger, Sund was shocked to learn that Irving had already informed the Senate Sergeant at Arms of his request and expressed Pelosi’s opposition to the deployment.
“You know, let’s come up with another idea,” Sund quoted Stenger as saying, adding that Irving had stated, “Pelosi will never go for it.”
Sund’s testimony casts doubt on Pelosi’s assertions that she played no role in Capitol security decisions and suggests that her refusal to approve the deployment of National Guard troops may have contributed to the chaos that unfolded on January 6.
The revelation also raises questions about Pelosi’s motivations for rejecting the request. Some speculate that she was concerned about the potential negative optics of having armed troops stationed at the Capitol, while others believe she may have been attempting to avoid giving credence to claims that the riot was imminent.
Regardless of her reasons, Pelosi’s decision to overrule the request from the Capitol Police Chief has had far-reaching consequences.
The January 6 riot resulted in multiple deaths, injuries, and significant damage to the Capitol Building. It also served as a stark reminder of the fragility of American democracy and the potential for violence when political tensions reach boiling point.