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Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund made a startling revelation during congressional testimony on Tuesday that echoes a claim made previously by former President Donald Trump.
During testimony, Sund claimed that three days before the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol Building, U.S. House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving rejected Sund’s request to deploy hundreds of National Guard soldiers because Irving told him then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would “never go for it,” The Epoch Times reported.
Sund made his revelation to the House Oversight Committee during a 90-minute hearing, the outlet added.
In what was his first testimony before a House committee since he was forced to resign on Jan. 8, two days after the incident — he wasn’t called at all to testify before Pelosi’s hand-picked Jan. 6 Committee — Sund said he was frustrated by the refusal of the offer of troops because their presence that day, he believes, would have been a “game-changer.”
The outlet added:
Mr. Sund said in meetings with Mr. Irving and Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger on Jan. 3, he had asked them to approve his request for National Guard soldiers to help secure the Capitol on Jan. 6. Mr. Irving and Mr. Stenger made up two-thirds of the Capitol Police Board, which oversees U.S. Capitol Police and had to approve any such requests.
He met first with Mr. Irving.
“I went into his office, again 9:24 in the morning … and immediately went up and said, ‘Hey, I’d like to bring in the National Guard to support me on, to assist me on the perimeter because when we have a joint session of Congress, it takes a lot of our personnel inside,’” Sund said during his testimony, the outlet added.
“But immediately, as soon as I asked him, his first response was: ‘I don’t know. I don’t like the optics of that,’” Sund testified. “And his second response was, ‘Besides, the intelligence doesn’t support it.’”
Irving instructed Sund to go speak with Stenger, which he did around two hours later, he explained to lawmakers.
“‘You know, let’s come up with another idea,’” Sund said, quoting Stenger, who also suggested that the police chief reach out to the Pentagon to see how quickly Guard personnel could respond if needed.
“So I called [Army Gen.] William Walker, 6:14 p.m. that night,” Sund testified. “He told me they have 125 people assisting with COVID response. He could reallocate those fairly quickly once he got secretary of defense approval and send them over.”
At one point, Sund was asked by subcommittee Chairman Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) if he believed that Irving tipped off Stenger before Sund arrived at Stenger’s Senate office. Sund said he asked Stenger that very question at a lunch meeting in April 2021.
“I said, ‘Mr. Stenger, you came up with that response fairly quickly for me to call General Walker,’” Mr. Sund testified. “And he told me Paul Irving had called him ahead of time and said: ‘Sund came here looking for the National, asking for the National Guard. We got to come up with another plan. Pelosi will never go for it.'”
“I was floored by him saying that,” Sund testified.
Stenger was appointed by then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but he died from an extended illness in June 2022. Irving was appointed by Pelosi but had also served during Republican control of the House. Loudermilk says Irving will be called to testify before his subcommittee.
Trump has said in the past and again recently that Pelosi, as House speaker, was in charge of security for the Capitol and that she refused an offer for National Guard troops.
“Nancy Pelosi was in charge of security. She turned down 10,000 soldiers. If she didn’t turn down the soldiers, you wouldn’t have had January 6,” Trump told NBC News’ Kristen Welker on Sunday. “I’m not going to tell you anything. Let me put it this way, I behaved so well. I did such a good job. Nancy Pelosi turned down 10,000 soldiers.”