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McConnell ousts Senate sergeant-at-arms after Capitol riots

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell shoots down Manchin's voting compromise Environmental groups urge congressional leaders to leave climate provisions in infrastructure package Loeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run MORE (R-Ky.) forced out Senate sergeant-at-arms Michael Stenger one day after rioters breached the Capitol, the GOP leader announced Thursday night.

“Today I requested and received the resignation of Michael Stenger, the Senate Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper, effective immediately," McConnell said in a statement.

Deputy sergeant-at-arms Jennifer Hemingway will become the acting SAA. The Senate sergeant-at-ams office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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"I thank Jennifer in advance for her service as we begin to examine the serious failures that transpired yesterday and continue and strengthen our preparations for a safe and successful inauguration on January 20th," McConnell added. 

McConnell's announcement is the latest sign of housecleaning among top officials after a massive security failure at the Capitol on Wednesday when rioters were able to breach the perimeter and force their way into the building, eventually making it to both the House and Senate chambers.

The mob resulted in lawmakers being whisked out of both chambers and taken to secure locations and the joint session meant to count the Electoral College vote being suspended for hours Capitol Police worked to contain crowds of rioters. 

In addition to Stenger, Capitol Police chief Steven Sund is resigning later this month, and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiYoung Turks founder on Democratic establishment: 'They lie nonstop' Hillicon Valley: Senate unanimously confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar | Scrutiny mounts on Microsoft's surveillance technology | Senators unveil bill to crack down on cyber criminals 'It's still a BFD': Democrats applaud ruling upholding ObamaCare MORE (D-Calif.) announced earlier Thursday that the House sergeant-at-arms, Paul Irving, had also tendered his resignation. 

McConnell in a statement earlier Thursday thanked frontline police officers but pledged a "painstaking investigation and thorough review" of the incident.

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“The ultimate blame for yesterday lies with the unhinged criminals who broke down doors, trampled our nation’s flag, fought with law enforcement, and tried to disrupt our democracy, and with those who incited them," he said in a statement earlier Thursday. "But this fact does not and will not preclude our addressing the shocking failures in the Capitol’s security posture and protocols."

Even if McConnell hadn't asked for Stenger's resignation, his days in his position were numbered after Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerFive takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (D-N.Y.) vowed to fire him if hadn't resigned by the time Democrats take control of the majority on Jan. 20. 

And calls for his ousting had bipartisan support with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic Graham, Whitehouse: Global transition to renewables would help national security Hillicon Valley: Senate unanimously confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar | Scrutiny mounts on Microsoft's surveillance technology | Senators unveil bill to crack down on cyber criminals MORE (R-S.C.) telling reporters during a press conference that he backed Schumer's decision. 

"Anyone in charge of defending the Capitol failed," Graham said. "The first thing that has to happen is to hold those accountable for failing to defend the nation's Capitol while the Congress was in session."