The former Capitol Police chief forced to resign following Jan. 6 is set to release his side of the story in a new book warning nothing has been done to put the “agency into a better position” and that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) fault has remained unaddressed.
The day after the Capitol was breached and the narrative of a failed insurrection was being circulated, then-Capitol Police chief Steven Sund was singled out by the speaker for the breakdown in security with a public call for his resignation. Tuesday, nearly two years later, Sund’s account is slated for release in the book titled “Courage Under Fire” in which he recounts how his own preliminary requests for the National Guard to be put on standby were dismissed, seemingly to satisfy the whims of Pelosi.
“Almost two years after the events of Jan. 6, the department is not in a better place or on a readier footing,” Sund wrote, according to the Washington Post, which obtained an advance copy of the book. “Few people in the department feel there is a visible plan to move the agency into a better position. Hundreds of officers have left the department since Jan. 6 and many feel it is only going to get worse.”
As has been repeatedly pointed out, there had been ample warnings identified by various intelligence agencies including the Capitol Police’s own unit that an attack of some kind could take place as the 2020 presidential election was being certified, but politics got in the way of acting on those details.
“The security and information-sharing policies and mandates put in place after September 11 failed miserably on January 6. We failed miserably to see the apparent warning signs and the danger, like a ‘gray rhino,’ charging right at us,” Sund wrote.
“But there was a failure at the top of the Capital Police,” he continued adding the “biggest intelligence failure was within my department.”
After the fact, according to Sund’s account, the former chief learned then-House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving had denied requests for National Guard to be put on standby because Pelosi wouldn’t like the optics. A report released by House Republicans in December made similar claims when it stated Irving “had carried out his duties in clear deference to the Speaker, her staff, and other Democratic staff.”
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“Irving–who served on the Capitol Police Board by virtue of his position — succumbed to political pressures from the Office of Speaker Pelosi and House Democrat leadership leading up to January 6, 2021,” the report said. “He coordinated closely with the Speaker and her staff and left Republicans out of important discussions related to security.”
Sund also suggested that the structure in place left him susceptible to being scapegoated as, “The security apparatus that exists on Capitol Hill creates a no-win situation for whoever is chief. You have the Capitol Police Board, four oversight committees, and 535 bosses plus their staffs telling you what to do.”
While the former police chief expressed, “No one holds themselves more accountable than I do and I wish I could have done more,” multiple reports conflicting with Pelosi’s claims surrounding the events leading up to and the day of the Capitol breach support the notion that there are many questions left unanswered by her and her office.
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