Feb 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Former House sergeant at arms denies delay in approving National Guard during riot

Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund and former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving clashed at a Senate oversight hearing on Tuesday over alleged delays to approve National Guard help for the Capitol riots on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Sund says he asked for National Guard assistance at 1:09pm, but that Irving did not approve the assistance until 2:10pm. Irving says he has no recollection of receiving the request for approval until after 2pm. Lawmakers are looking for answers over that hour of lost time.

What they're saying:

  • Irving testified: "I did not get a request at 1:09 that I can remember. The first conversation I had with Chief Sund in that timeframe was 1:28, 1:30. In that conversation, he indicated that conditions were deteriorating and he might be looking for National Guard approval."
  • Sund insisted that the request was at 1:09. In earlier testimony, he stated that he believes USCP in the future should be permitted to call for National Guard assistance without additional approval.

The bottom line: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the top Republican on the Senate Rules Committee said to Irving, "This is a time when the difference in 1:30 and 2:10 or 1:09 and 2:10 makes a big difference. ... Whatever happened here doesn't seem to be in agreement."

What to watch: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said Tuesday that officials serving in the Pentagon at the time of the insurrection will testify next week about their response to the breach.

Go deeper: Ex-Capitol security chiefs say they didn't receive FBI memo warning of Jan. 6 "war"

Go deeper