So far, the Congressional Sergeant at Arms officials before and after the Capitol riots are ignoring an inquiry from Chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin).
Last week, Sen. Johnson sent letters to Acting Senate Sergeant at Arms Jennifer Hemingway, Acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett, former Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger, and former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving.
The letters ask "relevant questions that need to be answered," according to Johnson. "I am asking for their full and prompt cooperation so we can learn what went wrong and how to prevent a similar tragedy in the future."
"As an elected officer of the House of Representatives, the Sergeant at Arms is the chief law enforcement and protocol officer of the House of Representatives and is responsible for maintaining order in the House side of the United States Capitol complex," reads a description posted online. The Senate Sergeant at Arms serves a similar function.
Authorities say two Capitol police officers have committed suicide in the aftermath of the January 6 riots: Howard Liebengood and Jeffrey Smith. Former Capitol Police chief Steven Sund resigned.
An excerpt from Sen. Johnson's letter is below.
A list of Sen. Johnson's questions, as detailed in one of the letters, follows:
- Did your office receive any reports or intelligence on security threats or planned attacks against the Capitol or Congress relating to the Joint Session? If so, please provide those reports and explain:a. the source(s) of that information;
b. what, if any, action your office took to examine those security threats; c. who in your office discussed and assessed these threats; and
d. who, if anyone, your office shared them with.
- Please explain the extent to which your office was involved in developing and implementing the security plans for the Joint Session.
- How did the planned level of security for the Joint session Compare to the security for other events at the Capitol (for example, the State of the Union)?
- Are there standard levels of security preplanned for different situations at theCapitol? If so, how many are there and for what types of events?
- Was a preplanned security level in effect for the Joint Session? If so, which levelwas chosen and what was the criteria on which that decision was based?
- Who has the authority to approve additional security personnel, like the National Guard, to send to the Capitol grounds?
- Prior to the Joint Session, did your office consult with anyone in the Senate or House offices of the Sergeant at Arms or the office of the Capitol Police regarding whether the National Guard should be activated? If so, when did those conversations occur and with whom?
a. Did anyone in your office suggest to Chief Sund to “informally seek out his [National] Guard contacts”? If so, when did this occur?
- Prior to the Joint Session, did your office discuss security matters relating to the Joint Session with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate or House leadership, or their staff? If so, when did those conversations occur, what was discussed, and who attended?
- Did your office discuss activating the National Guard with Leader McConnell, Senate or House leadership, their staff, or the Capitol Police? If so:
- Please explain what was discussed, who was involved in those discussions, and when those conversations occurred?
- Specifically, did your office request activating the National Guard or express support to activate the National Guard or increase security personnel prior to January 6, for events on that day? If so, how did Leader McConnell, Senate or House leadership, their staff, or Capitol Police react to this request?
Stenger and Irving were replaced after the Capitol breach.
Text of the letters can be found below:
Peter G says
He'll probably get real answers to those questions like you have in your Court case of the Gov't spying on you, Sharyl.
N karlen says
Dang; we had to assume the plan from Pelosi would include Antifa posing as average citizens. STD operating procedure. Create a V and push to front.
Yup, they'll tell them to "go pound sand" and absolutely nothing will happen nor change;democrats DO NOT feel any desire to tell you ANYTHING-they know how to use power to achieve their objective and congress certainly isn't going to impede them;what was pelosi's latest lie = the insurrectionists are in congress = that means you ron johnson if you don't prostrate yourself to the left perhaps MAYBE they'll let you keep your meaningless position!!!
RAYMOND THOMAS ROBINSON says
I would love to see the responses but won't hold my breath.
Mark Scott says
They don't want to respond, because they were probably planning with Pelosi and anitfa and Shumer and BLM,
Steven CHARLES Saaf says
Vengeful Dems persecute stellar NSA general counsel Michael Ellis
Sharyl, the "story" is that he didn't consult his superior (Pelosi?!!?!)...
That he acted on his own to decline the NG support prior?!! Who did request support multiple times prior? I did hear that reported correct right?! Additionally, now 13 days later we just hear of Jeffrey Smith's suicide?!! So, why two weeks and after the initial report?!! This is understandable to deal with the family on short order...but Almost two weeks! Of coarse the whole narrative has changed as well...now they are shifting to scapegoat the paramilitary couple and retired veteran rather than Trump for "inciting" as that was a pseudo false flag....Oh it runs deep.... We are in for a bumpy ride... Pray that God's will be done. So, Pelosi was the REAL authority here and she apparently needed to have her seargent at arm's warn her...are people really buying this horseshit?!! I am afraid the flipping will...yesterday's news... I am finding the briefings both of the Pentagon this week and for Biden surreal...are these REAL?!! I am not understanding what is reality anymore...you?!!
Edward A Eichman says
The question is why wasn't Trump informed of impending violence? Intelligence serving their boss in keeping with their track record. He's in the open making a planned speech but no warnings to his people. How different would his speech have been, if he had made one at all, with that knowledge?
Two suicides? A page from another playbook?
It looked like an inside job. If so, there will never be any answers. A couple of suicides and resignations also add to the layers of obfuscation.
For a deeper examination :
— ‘FBI created domestic terrorism’ —
“Nearly every major post-9/11 terrorism-related prosecution has involved a sting operation, at the center of which is a government informant. In these cases, the informants—who work for money or are seeking leniency on criminal charges of their own—have crossed the line from merely observing potential criminal behavior to encouraging and assisting people to participate in plots that are largely scripted by the FBI itself. Under the FBI’s guiding hand, the informants provide the weapons, suggest the targets and even initiate the inflammatory political rhetoric that later elevates the charges to the level of terrorism.”
Stephen Triesch says
The lack of adequate crowd control for an event expected to draw as many as a quarter-million people, and likely to attract counter-demonstrators, was utterly baffling. Even though Trump rallies have been overwhelmingly peaceful, the possibility of there being a rowdy element of Trump supporters and/or counter-protestors should have been considered. and planned for, especially in the wake of a summer of BLM rioting, the belief of Trump supporters that their claims of election irregularities were never given a fair hearing, and the rabid anti-Trump sentiment that has been fanned by both Democrat politicians and the media,
Conspiracy theories arise because people expect events to have a logical explanation, and in the absence of a logical explanation, they seek to impose one. Although it is true that there is often a certain irrationality in human affairs, that authorities make stupid blunders, and that there are actually things that are "mere coincidences," you would not expect authorities to treat such a major demonstration - coming at the end of a year of volatile political passions - with such casualness.
Hence we have conspiracy theories: on the left, that Capitol police were racist, pro-Trump supporters who welcomed and facilitated the "insurrection"; on the right, that the Deep State "set up" Trump supporters by infiltrating the crowd with provocateurs, understaffing the police presence, failing to act on pre-demonstration intelligence of planned disruptions, and inviting ordinary Trump supporters into the Capitol. after the rowdy elements had breached the perimeter, thereby increasing the perception of complete chaos.
Given these competing conspiracy theories, and the fact that conspiracy theories erode public confidence in established authority, it is important that the events of January 6th be given a full review. A partisan "impeachment" trial of a former president is not the place to do this.