The former Senate sergeant-at-arms who oversaw security during last year’s Capitol insurrection has died – one day before Tuesday’s hearing to present new evidence.
Michael Stenger, who resigned a day after pro-Trump rioters easily stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, died Monday morning, Politico reported.
The Marine Corps veteran, 71, spent 35 years in the Secret Service before joining the Senate sergeant-at-arms team in 2011. He was later appointed to the post in 2018. Former colleagues were notified of his death Monday afternoon, Politico reported.
Stenger stepped down after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell requested his resignation amid widespread criticism in the deadly attempted insurrection. House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and Capitol Police Chief Sund also resigned.
“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,” McConnell said at the time. “But this fact does not and will not preclude our addressing the shocking failures in the Capitol’s security posture and protocols.”
A Senate Rules Committee report cited Sund and Stenger’s inaction in the Capitol violence, finding that Sund never submitted a formal request to Capitol Police for National Guard support ahead of Jan. 6. Instead, Sund had “informal conversations” with Stenger on the possible need for National Guard troops.
Stenger’s death came one day before Tuesday’s abruptly-added Jan. 6 panel hearing during which an aide of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will testify to present “recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.”
Cassidy Hutchinson, who served as a special assistant in the White House during the Trump administration, will take the stand to provide intel on last year’s Capitol insurrection and the administration’s response.
The House panel has yet to explain the newly added 1 p.m. hearing after Washington lawmakers were away on a two-week recess. The committee said last week no more hearings would be held until July.
Stenger’s death was noted by Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who shared video of his testimony to a Senate committee in February 2021.
“There is an opportunity to learn lessons from the events of January 6th,” Stenger said. “Investigations should be considered as to funding and travel of what appears to be professional agitators. First Amendment rights should always be considered in conjunction with these investigations.”
Stenger said the Jan. 6 insurrection “went beyond disobedience” and was a coordinated attack. A bipartisan Senate report found seven deaths were linked to the violence, including three law enforcement officers.
With Post wires