McConnell vows ‘painstaking investigation’ and ‘thorough review’ of Capitol security

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said there would be a review of the Capitol’s security protocols after rioters breached the building on Wednesday, putting the Capitol Police under increased scrutiny.

“Yesterday represented a massive failure of institutions, protocols, and planning that are supposed to protect the first branch of our federal government. A painstaking investigation and thorough review must now take place and significant changes must follow,” McConnell said in a statement Thursday.

He added that “initial bipartisan discussions have already begun among committees of oversight and congressional leadership.”

McConnell’s statement comes a day after rioters stormed the Capitol, entering both the House and Senate chambers and forcing Congress to suspend the joint session meant to tally and record President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.

Videos of rioters in leadership offices and the chambers, as well as clashes with police who were at times outnumbered, have raised questions about the preparation for Wednesday’s event.

McConnell said the “ultimate blame … lies with the unhinged criminals.”

“But this fact does not and will not preclude our addressing the shocking failures in the Capitol’s security posture and protocols,” he added.

The fallout will cost at least one security official his job. Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said he would dismiss Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger if he hasn’t stepped down by Inauguration Day, when Democrats take control of the chamber.

“If Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Stenger hasn’t vacated the position by then, I will fire him as soon as Democrats have a majority in the Senate,” Schumer said in a statement.

Democrats are viewed as likely to appoint their own sergeant at arms once they take over the majority on Jan. 20.

Other congressional committees have vowed to investigate the security breach.

Top members of the House Appropriations Committee have said they will conduct a probe.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he had spoken with both the Capitol Police chief and the Army in the wake of Wednesday’s riot.

“We need major reform to the way we defend the Capitol and we need to get started now,” Murphy tweeted.

Tags Capitol breach Charles Schumer Chris Murphy Joe Biden Mitch McConnell Senate sergeant-at-arms
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