WASHINGTON – The former chief of the U.S. Capitol police issue Tuesday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s demand for his resignation, saying that directive was misguided.
Steven Sund, who resigned his post shortly after the deadly assault, told a joint Senate panel investigating the Jan. 6 riots that Pelosi demanded his resignation “without a full understanding of what we prepared for.”
Earlier in Tuesday’s hearing, Sund said he now regrets leaving the department, despite the admitted security breakdowns that resulted in the siege that left five dead, including a Capitol police officer.
“I certainly do regret resigning,” he said.
The former chief’s comments came as he acknowledged that an ominous Jan. 5 warning about the violent threat insurgents posed had not been shared and that officers lacked training for a breach of the Capitol building similar to the culmination of last month’s assault.
Sund’s resignation, effective Jan. 16, came just hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for him step down.
“Many of our Capitol Police just acted so bravely and with such concern for the staff, the members, for the Capitol … and they deserve our gratitude. But there was a failure at the top of the Capitol Police,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said when she called for Sund’s resignation.
In the face of mounting criticism immediately following the Capitol riot, Sund said the department had “a robust plan to address anticipated First Amendment activities.”
“But make no mistake – these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior,” the chief said on J, referring to his officers as “heroic given the situation they faced.”