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Senate security chief on January 6 dies before surprise hearing — Analysis

Michael Stenger had previously suggested that the pro-Trump Capitol Hill riot was the work of “professional agitators”

Michael Stenger, a former Senate Sergeant of Arms, who was responsible for security at the Capitol Hill Riot on January 6, 2021 has passed away. News of Stenger’s death came hours after the Democrat-led January 6 Committee announced a surprise hearing.

Stenger’s death was confirmed late on Monday night by Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Politico’s Katherine Tully-McManus. Stenger’s family has not commented on his death, and the circumstances of his passing are unclear. Tully McManus claimed that Stenger passed away on Monday morning.

As the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms, Stenger was in charge of security for the upper chamber of Congress on January 6, 2021. Following a speech by then-President Donald Trump that day, a crowd of Trump’s supporters descended on the Capitol to protest the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Some of the protestors were waved by police into the Capitol, while others made their way inside. One protester was killed by police, while three others died from natural causes. The next day, a police officer was also killed by natural causes. One of the two police officers who died from suicide four days later was one of those killed in the aftermath.

Hours before the news of Stenger’s death broke, the Democrat-led committee investigating the riot announced that it would hold a surprise hearing on Tuesday to “present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.” 

Stenger resigned in the aftermath of the January 6 riot, after a Department of Homeland Security report blamed him – along with former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund and former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving – for failing to request National Guard assistance in time. 

Some Republicans have speculated that Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, influenced the decision to not summon the National Guard. citing “major inconsistencies”Stenger, Sund and Irving testify to this.

After the riot Stenger testified to the Senate in his own words and called for an investigation into the involvement “professional agitators”possible role in the setting off of the riot. The House January 6 Committee never heard Stenger testify.

Stenger has not provided any further information about these people “agitators”It may have been. However, Trump supporters argue that FBI-linked provocateurs were part of the mob and actively encouraged the crowd to violate the law. 

Tuesday’s January 6 Committee hearing features testimony from a former aide to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows. The committee was currently on a seven-day-long Congressional recess and had not planned to host public hearings before the abrupt call. 

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