According to multiple reports, Michael Stenger, the Senate sergeant-at-arms who oversaw security in the upper chamber during the Capitol riot, has died. It has finally been ruled that his death was not suspicious, according to NBC News. A correspondent from Fox News stated that Stenger was dealing with cancer.
Stenger held the post from 2018 to 2021 and stepped down the day after the January 6 attack. Before a Senate committee last year, Stenger said in an opening statement: “There is an opportunity to learn lessons from the events of January 6th. 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 professional investigations.”
In 2011, Stenger had joined the team for the Senate sergeant-at-arms, following a multidecade career with the Secret Service. Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) nominated him as Senate sergeant-at-arms, and he was confirmed unanimously.
A source reported that McConnell “requested and received” his resignation the day after a mob of violent rioters stormed the Capitol. From members of Congress, Stenger received fierce criticism over his handling of security on the day of the riot.
As for the current Senate sergeant-at-arms, Karen Gibson is serving the position.
Some have questioned whether Stenger and his onetime House counterpart, Paul Irving, could have called for backup sooner that day, as ultimately, it took over four hours for the National Guard to arrive on the scene, a source reported.
Congress passed a raft of procedural reforms in response to the security breach on January 6, to quash any confusion in the rules about what authority Congress’s security team had to call for reinforcements. That legislation was signed into law by President Joe Biden.
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