House Republicans request hearing with Capitol Police Board for first time since 1945

Republican members of the House Administration Committee are requesting a hearing with the Capitol Police Board, which oversees the police force, to discuss security preparations leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

A hearing convened with all of the Capitol Police Board's voting members — the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms as well as the Architect of the Capitol — would be the first since 1945, the GOP lawmakers noted.

"The events of January 6th highlighted significant problems with the [board's] structure and responsibilities," Republican Reps. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisRoy to challenge Stefanik for Cheney's old position Watchdog finds Architect of the Capitol was sidelined from security planning ahead of Jan. 6 Capitol Police watchdog calls for boosting countersurveillance MORE (Ill.), Barry LoudermilkBarry LoudermilkHouse Republicans request hearing with Capitol Police Board for first time since 1945 Democrats seek to keep spotlight on Capitol siege GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' MORE (Ga.) and Bryan Steil (Wis.) wrote in a letter Thursday to House Administration Committee Chairwoman Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenCapitol Police watchdog calls for boosting countersurveillance This week: Congressional leaders to meet with Biden amid GOP reckoning Capitol Police watchdog back in spotlight amid security concerns MORE (D-Calif.).


The letter, released on Monday, added that the board's "structure is flawed, leading to slow reactions to crises and politically driven decision-making."

Ex-Capitol Police chief Steven Sund has said that he asked the now-former House and Senate sergeants-at-arms ahead of Jan. 6 for permission to request placing the D.C. National Guard on standby in case police needed reinforcements to help control the expected pro-Trump crowd. Sund has said both sergeants-at-arms turned down his request, with Paul Irving, the House sergeant-at-arms at the time, saying he wasn't comfortable with the "optics" of formally making an emergency declaration ahead of the Electoral College proceedings.

The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) chief serves in an ex-officio nonvoting capacity on the Capitol Police Board. Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton, meanwhile, has said that he was not informed of Sund's request leading up to Jan. 6.

"When warranted, the [board] has the serious responsibility to make the decision to declare an emergency, a determination required to authorize the USCP Chief to call in the National Guard. However, on January 6th, the [board's] bureaucratic structure and partisan membership crippled its rapid response capabilities and decision-making abilities, and the United States Capitol Complex remained in chaos and without National Guard assistance for hours," Davis, Loudermilk and Steil wrote.

The House and Senate sergeants-at-arms are appointed by congressional leaders, while the Architect of the Capitol is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Former President TrumpDonald TrumpProject Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report Cheney: Fox News has 'a particular obligation' to refute election fraud claims The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? MORE nominated Blanton.


Irving was first nominated to his post by former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWhat's a party caucus chair worth? Biden's relationship with top House Republican is frosty Maher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' MORE (R-Ohio) in December 2011 and remained in his post until his resignation shortly after Jan. 6. The Senate sergeant-at-arms serving on Jan. 6, Michael Stenger, was nominated to his post by Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Biden, Senate GOP take step toward infrastructure deal as other plans hit speed bumps Senate GOP to give Biden infrastructure counteroffer next week Masks shed at White House; McConnell: 'Free at last' MORE (R-Ky.) in 2018; he also stepped down after the insurrection.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense: Military sexual assault reform bill has votes to pass in Senate l First active duty service member arrested over Jan. 6 riot l Israeli troops attack Gaza Strip Hillicon Valley: Colonial pipeline is back online, but concerns remain | Uber, Lyft struggle with driver supply | Apple cuts controversial hire Ocasio-Cortez on Taylor Greene: 'These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time' MORE (D-Calif.) has since nominated William Walker, who was the chief of the D.C. National Guard on Jan. 6, to fill the vacancy left by Irving. Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure Republicans welcome the chance to work with Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure bill Cheney sideshow distracts from important battle over Democrats' partisan voting bill MORE (D-N.Y.), meanwhile, tapped Karen Gibson to serve as the new Senate sergeant-at-arms.

Lofgren said at a hearing with Capitol Police inspector general Michael Bolton last month that the structure of the Capitol Police Board "needs to be reviewed."

Bolton has been issuing a series of reports on the Capitol Police's handling of Jan. 6 and issued recommendations to reform the force's intelligence structure and maintenance of equipment. More inspector general reports are expected on the Capitol Police's emergency response team, training and other topics.

Lofgren said Friday that Bolton's latest report, which focused on threat assessment and counter-surveillance operations, "identified troubling deficiencies." Lofgren said that she will convene another hearing with Bolton in the coming weeks to discuss his findings and recommendations.