Ex-police chief suspects pipe bombs were used to distract from Capitol attack

Former top Capitol cop Steven Sund also says he asked for National Guard aid but was denied or delayed.

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Steven Sund, the former Capitol Police chief, is under intense scrutiny after rioters were able to breach the U.S. Capitol building for the first time since 1814. 

Sund told The Washington Post he was monitoring the speech President Donald Trump was delivering to the thousands attending Wednesday’s “Stop the Steal” protest when he was called away by reports of pipe bombs found outside the respective headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee. 

Members of the National Guard and the Washington D.C. police keep demonstrators away from the Capital Wednesday night after thousands of Donald Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol building following the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Sund suspects those bombs were a distraction from the siege happening at the Capitol Building. 

In his first interview since Wednesday’s insurrection, Sund told The Post he asked House and Senate security officials for National Guard assistance, but he was repeatedly denied or delayed. 

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House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving reportedly expressed his discomfort with the “optics” of a formal emergency declaration before the pro-Trump protest rally. 

Irving has since resigned, as has Senate Sergeant At Arms Michael Stenger, who also denied Sund’s request, telling him instead to informally reach out to his contacts at the National Guard and request that they “lean forward,” and be on alert. 

“I don’t like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background,” Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, the director of the Army Staff said, according to Sund, on a conference call. 

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At 2:26 p.m., Sund requested National Guard assistance. Personnel did not arrive at the Capitol until after 5:40 p.m. 

“Literally, this guy is on the phone, I mean, crying out for help,” said John Falcicchio, the chief of staff for Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, who was on the call. “It’s burned in my memories.”

The phrase Sund keep repeating, according to Falcicchio: “The situation is dire.”

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The Department of Defense maintains that a National Guard troop contingent was not deployed because of a lack of planning on the part of the Capitol Police and D.C. Metro police. 

Sund submitted his resignation Thursday, the day after the Capitol storming that left four dead. It is effective as of this Sunday.

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