Capitol Police chief to resign over botched handling of riot attack
By Carol D. Leonnig and Colby Itkowitz
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund announced his resignation effective Jan. 16, a decision that came hours after Pelosi publicly called on him to step down over the department’s handling of the violent pro-Trump siege of the Capitol.
A law enforcement official close to Sund confirmed his resignation.
Sund confided to colleagues he felt responsible for letting down his force. The irony, colleagues said, is that Sund cut his teeth on planning major events, but his relatively modest-sized force was overwhelmed by swarms of rioters, two pipe bombs they had to defuse and clear, and an assumption that protesters would not seek to physically storm the building.
His resignation came on a day a union of Capitol Police officers issued a public statement saying their leadership had failed them and the lack of planning created the worst breach on the Capitol since the War of 1812.
Earlier in the day Sund suggested that while plans to protect the Capitol were in place, his department was unprepared for the intensity of the insurrection. “The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol was unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington, D.C.,” he said.
Sund’s comments were roundly criticized because rioters had for days been hashing out plans on right-wing websites to storm the Capitol.
He said law enforcement officers were attacked with “metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and took up other weapons against our officers. They were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage.”
Pelosi told reporters in the morning that Sund had not reached out to her after the attack and that she wanted him to resign.