Published: 12:50 GMT, 7 January 2021 | Updated: 23:43 GMT, 7 January 2021

The chief of the Capitol Police submitted his resignation on Thursday night after Nancy Pelosi and the union representing his officers called for him to step aside, following the total failure to protect Congress on Wednesday.

Steve Sund, appointed to the role in June 2019, will step down on January 16 – four days before Joe Biden’s inauguration. 

His resignation came after that of the Sergeant at Arms, Paul Irving – whose job it is to protect the House.

He stepped down on Thursday after being told he would be fired for failing to protect the Capitol, as heads began to roll over the horrifying day of violence in America’s capital. 

Irving had been warned by Chuck Schumer that he would be fired over his office’s total failure to stop armed insurgents from breaking into the House chamber.

He failed to call in the National Guard to help on Wednesday, instead leaving his 2,000 cops on the hill to deal with the mob of nearly 10,000. 

It wasn’t until 3.51pm – nearly four hours after Trump spoke at the rally – that 1,100 armed National Guardsmen were finally mobilized. Five thousand more from neighboring states were drafted in but they were inexplicably told to stage outside the Capitol and not go to the center of the action to help.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had requested National Guard support from Tuesday to Thursday on New Year’s Eve, but she was only given 340 unarmed troops whose job was to help with traffic. It’s unclear if she pushed back and asked for more, or why so few were supplied. On Thursday, she shrugged the blame and said Capitol Police should have requested their own back up.

Sergeant at Arms Paul D. Irving (left) – whose job is to protect the House chamber – and the chief of Capitol Police, Steven Sund (right) both stepped down on Thursday. Police are now building a 7ft wall around the Capitol to protect it over the coming weeks

Shortly before 2pm, the rioters descended on Capitol Hill while lawmakers were inside certifying the vote. Over the next two hours, the violence escalated. Some broke into politicians’ offices, tauntingly sat at their desks and left threatening notes. One of the protesters was shot dead by cops (bottom right) 

Video stills show how the cops were completely overwhelmed by the sheer size of the crowd. They breezed past them before storming into the Capitol building

A frightened and outnumbered Capitol Hill cop cowers as the mob rushes towards him on Wednesday 

A Capitol Police officer runs away from the MAGA mob after they breached the building with little resistance 

Soft touch: A Trump rioter is escorted by the hand down the steps of the Capitol Building by a cop in riot gear while others stand back and watch the chaos unfold

Just before the U.S. Capitol building is breached, the Capitol Police are hit with bear spray while trying to keep the protestors outside

Posing for pics: Police in the Capitol are seen agreeing to take selfie pictures with members of the MAGA mob who stormed the center of US democracy

Now, defense and police officials cited by The Wall Street Journal say it was a deliberate move not to put heavily armed cops or troops on the streets because they didn’t want to inflame tensions between protesters and counter-protesters.  

The sources say that police were trying to avoid the tensions that were seen during the summer – when BLM protesters clashed with police in cities all over the country. 

Videos have emerged showing some officers assisting some of the rioters down the steps of the Capitol building, standing aside as crowds rush past them and even running away in fear from them up flights of stairs.  

Those images stand in stark contrast to the stealthy response shown from the police during the BLM protests of the summer. Only 80 people have been arrested and the police are asking for public help to identify dozens of others.  In June, 289 were arrested during a single night of BLM protests. 

Now, outraged Americans are demanding answers as to why more was not done to stop the crowds and prevent the first attempted government coup since 1814. 

Capitol Hill police face tough questions on why more was not done to prepare for the chaos. 

At a press conference on Thursday, Mayor Bowser said ‘clearly’ there had been ‘a failure’ but she blamed it on the varying jurisdictions between DC Metropolitan Police Department and Capitol Police. 

‘There is going to be a lot of time for us to figure out what happened.

‘Obviously, it was a failure or you wouldn’t have had police lines breached and people terrorizing members of congress and doing a sacred constitutional requirement. 

‘Clearly there was a failure. There’s going to have to be a real investigation into what happened,’ she said.

She shrugged responsibility for the policing failure, saying it was down to Capitol Police and not MPD – which she is in charge of – to prepare for it. 

On December 19, Trump told his fans on Twitter to gather in Washington DC. He said: ‘Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, be wild! 

They gathered peacefully in their thousands outside the White House to first wish Eric Trump a Happy Birthday, and then head from the President himself. 

11.50am: Trump speaks at Save America Rally, promises to walk with crowd down to the Capitol

In a long, sermon-like speech that went on for more than an hour, Trump told his fans that he’d walk with them.  At that stage, there was no mention of violence. 

‘And after this, we’re going to walk down there, and I’ll be there with you, we’re going to walk down … to the Capitol and we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women,’ he said. 

At 1.26pm, Capitol police order the evacuations of Library of Congress, Madison Building and Cannon House Office Building but not the House chamber 

1.40pm: D.C. Mayor Muriel Bows orders a 6pm curfew but does nothing to address the escalating situation at the Capitol. 

2.11pm: The rioters scale the walls of the Capitol. Vice President Mike Pence is evacuated from the House chamber moments later. 

3:51 p.m. The District of Columbia National Guard, about 1,100 troops, is mobilized to support local law enforcement.

‘We cannot decide for the Capitol that we are going to be their police department but we stand ready to assist them in any case,’ she said. 

Capitol Police say they called in MPD officers after the rioters staged their coup at 2pm. 

In a statement earlier on Thursday, Chief Sund defended his officers’ efforts as ‘valiant,’ but said the force was going to carry out a review of what went wrong.

‘United States Capitol Police officers and our law enforcement partners responded valiantly when faced with thousands of individuals involved in riotous actions as they stormed the United States Capitol Building.

‘These individuals actively attacked United States Capitol Officers and other uniformed law enforcement officers with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants and took up other weapons against our officers. 

‘The violent attack on the US Capitol is unlike any I have ever experienced in my 30 years in law enforcement here in Washington DC. Maintaining public safety in an open environment – specifically First Amendment activities – has long been a challenge.’ 

‘The USCP had a robust plan established to address anticipated First Amendment activities. But make no mistake – these mass riots were not First Amendment activities; they were criminal riotous behavior. 

‘The actions of the USCP officers were heroic given the situation they faced and I continue to have tremendous respect in the professionalism and dedication of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police.

‘The USCP is conducting a thorough review of this incident, security planning and policies and procedures.’  

It wasn’t until 3.51pm that 1,100 National Guard troops were scrambled to assist Capitol police.  By then, a Trump supporter had been shot and killed as she tried to breach the building. 

The decision was eventually made by acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller but it’s unclear why he and everyone else waited so long. 

Additional National Guard troops from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware were put on standby but it’s also unclear why they weren’t told to go straight to the Capitol to help.  

On December 31, Mayor Bowser submitted a request for National Guard troops to be in the city from January 5-January 7. 

She cited Trump’s rally as the reason and the fact that it had been timed to coincide with the certification of the vote. 

On Monday, at a press conference, she vowed not to let rioters take over the city or cause violence but she said nothing about needing extra help from the National Guard. 

Acting DC  Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee also said that he knew ‘armed’ protesters were due to form large crowds   

‘There are people intent on coming to our city armed. Some of our intelligence certainly suggests there will be increased crowd sizes,’ he said. 

On Thursday morning, DC Attorney General Karl Racine said they’d been ‘let down’ by federal partners. 

‘They helped the Capitol Police restore order and arrested folks pursuant to the curfew order that Mayor Bowser invoked. 

‘That means FBI, the videotapes, the photos, the social media — go ahead and fully investigate and fully prosecute those who terrorized the Capitol,’ he said. 

For days before Wednesday’s chaos, the rioters were openly discussing their plans to overtake the Capitol or the very least incite violence. 

On niche websites like TheDonald, Trump fans told one another to ‘bring guns’ to the Capitol to fight the certification of Joe Biden’s election win.  

‘This is America. F*** D.C. it’s in the Constitution. Bring your goddamn guns,’ said one post which received more than 5,000 ‘upvotes’. 

Jared Holt, a visiting research fellow with DFRLab, told BuzzFeed on Wednesday: ‘Extremists have for weeks repeatedly expressed their intentions to attend the January 6 protests, and unabashedly voiced their desire for chaos and violence online. 

‘The earliest call we got on our radar for today specifically was a militia movement chatroom talking about being ‘ready for blood’ if things didn’t start changing for Trump.’ 

Former DC Police Chief Charles Ramsey was among the many incredulous voices on Wednesday as he watched the situation unfold.  

‘They were overwhelmed, they did not have the resources. You have to be able to protect the Capitol. That is not OK.’ 

Earlier, he said in an interview with CNN: ‘There’s no way they should have gotten into that building in my opinion, but we’ll look into that later that’s kind of like the hogwash after the event. 

‘Right now, they’ve got to retake the capitol and they’re going to have to do it using force.

‘Anybody inside that building as far as I’m concerned ought to be face down in handcuffs right now,’ he added.

‘That’s what they ought to be doing. I don’t know what they’re doing in there, but they need to be locking them up without question.’

‘There’s chatter on the internet now about occupy DC so I don’t know whether this is part of it or not but they’re going to have to be on high alert. 

‘They’re not going to be able to let these people establish camps or anything like that, but their next challenge will be on January 20 on inauguration day but in the meantime these next couple of days are going to be pretty dicey.’

He added that hoped Biden counter protesters would not emerge on Wednesday night so that the rest of the demonstrations could continue more peacefully.

‘I mean this is a mess, so they’d better establish control as soon as possible,’ Ramsey continued.

‘Let me tell you it’s not going to be pretty, they’re going to have to use physical force to get these folks moving and out of there but they’ve got to take back the Capitol there’s no two ways about it.’ 

‘The Capitol Police were unprepared for the sheer size of the protest. Up until they breached the Capitol, the possibility existed that it was going to be a large protest that didn’t cross those barricades.  

Supporters of President Donald Trump breech the U.S. Capitol as election results are to be certified in Washington DC on January 6, 2021 after breezing past cops

Capitol Police turn their backs to the mob on Wednesday as thousands descend on the Capitol Building 

Demonstrators break TV equipment outside the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President

A supporters of President Donald Trump takes a seat holding a shield outside the Senate Chamber as violence erupted at the Capitol 

Richard ‘Bigo’ Barnett puts feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk after breaking into the Capitol 

Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed inside the US Capitol when Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the building and violently clashed with police in a bid to stop Joe Biden’s victory being certified

Efforts are now underway to secure the Capitol. Joe Biden will be inaugurated in two weeks

‘Once they did that [law enforcement personnel] were overwhelmed and couldn’t respond quickly enough,’ David Gomez, a retired FBI executive, told The Wall Street Journal. 

For days before Wednesday’s chaos, the rioters were openly discussing their plans to overtake the Capitol or the very least incite violence. 

On niche websites like TheDonald, Trump fans told one another to ‘bring guns’ to the Capitol to fight the certification of Joe Biden’s election win. 

‘This is America. F*** D.C. it’s in the Constitution. Bring your goddamn guns,’ said one post which received more than 5,000 ‘upvotes’. 

Jared Holt, a visiting research fellow with DFRLab, told BuzzFeed on Wednesday: ‘Extremists have for weeks repeatedly expressed their intentions to attend the January 6 protests, and unabashedly voiced their desire for chaos and violence online. 

‘The earliest call we got on our radar for today specifically was a militia movement chatroom talking about being ‘ready for blood’ if things didn’t start changing for Trump.’ 

Daniel Jones, President of Advance Democracy, told USA Today on Wednesday: ‘We are seeing significant volumes of rhetoric online. 

‘And we’re seeing this rhetoric – fueled by President Trump’s voter fraud claims – across all social media platforms.’ 

But it’s unclear if any of the websites informed the authorities about the high level of rhetoric or their concerns.   

Larry Schaefer, a retired Capitol Police veteran, told Pro Publica that he was baffled by the response.  

‘We have a planned, known demonstration that has a propensity for violence in the past and threats to carry weapons — why would you not prepare yourself as we have done in the past?’ he asked. 

On Thursday morning, political pundits and commentators across the board raged at Capitol Police and DC officials for allowing the chaos to escalate so gravely. 

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough fumed on Morning Joe: ‘I’ve got no questions for Donald Trump, he’s an insurrectionist, there are no questions, he should be arrested today, he should be sent to jail today for insurrection against the United States of America.

‘But I do wonder this morning why they weren’t better prepared for this? Why weren’t the Capitol Hill police better prepared for this?

‘Yesterday, we see them patting terrorists on the back, we see them taking selfies with people who are committing and insurrection against the United States of America, politely opening the door for terrorists who had scrawled on the door ‘murder the media,’ who had broken through this glass?

‘How many of these Capitol Hill cops are members of Donald Trump’s cult? How many? How many allowed this to happen? And I do want to know, where the hell were the D.C. police? 

‘If these insurrectionists were black, they would have been shot in the face. And my God, if these insurrections had been were Muslim, they would have been sniped from the tops of buildings. 

‘So I want to know from the Capitol Hill police, what is it, just white people? Or is it Donald Trump supporters? 

‘Why do you scream at people for walking across the street three blocks away from the capitol? 

‘Why are you known as bada**es around the capitol, but then Trump supporters come in and you hold open the f*****g doors for them? 

‘You open the doors for them? And let them breach the people’s house! What is wrong with you? ‘ 

Rep. Tim Ryan said that he believed there were some ‘strategic mistakes from the very beginning’ after videos emerged on social media that appeared to show officers taking aside barriers for demonstrators and even taking selfies with them.

He promised that Capitol Police would face imminent firings for the ’embarrassment’ that was their response to the ‘attempted coup’.  

‘I think it’s pretty clear that there’s going to be a number of people who are going to be without employment very, very soon,’ Ryan said, ‘because this is an embarrassment — both on behalf of the mob and the president, and the insurrection and the attempted coup, but also the lack of professional planning and dealing with what we knew was going to occur.’

‘You can bet your a** that we’re going to get to the bottom of it,’ the Ohio Democrat added.

Donald Trump has not been seen since Wednesday afternoon when he whipped supporters into a frenzy 

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is calling for the president’s cabinet to make use of the 25th Amendment to declare President Donald Trump unfit for office and put Vice President Mike Pence in charge – after Trump fueled what he called in an ‘insurrection’ mob that ran wild in the Capitol Wednesday.

The New York senator who will soon become majority leader once Joe Biden is sworn in amid comes amid escalating concern among Trump cabinet officials, former top aides, and his recently departed attorney general about the president’s conduct and continued risks the president could pose to the country.

‘The quickest and most effective way – it can be done today – to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment,’ Schumer said.

‘If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president,’ Schumer added.

His statement came shortly after Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois became the first elected House Republican to call for the Trump cabinet and Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to strip away Trump’s power. 

‘It’s with a heavy heart I am calling for the sake of our Democracy that the 25th Amendment be invoked,’ Kinzinger said in a statement he posted on Twitter.’ 

Kinzinger said Trump ‘invoked and inflamed passions that only gave fuel to the insurrection we saw.’

His comment followed reporters that members of Trump’s cabinet have been discussing use of the 25th Amendment to the constitution to declare him unfit for office.

His statement came as former Attorney General Bill Barr – who departed his post before Christmas – called out Trump for ‘orchestrating a mob.’

The talk of using the 25th Amendment comes amid fears of what damage Trump might we able to due even in the short two weeks left in his tenure as aides flee his White House and he continues to lash out at enemies – with control of the military and massive executive power.

Several House Democrats have begun talk of rushing through an impeachment, after the failed January impeachment trial in the Senate.

The 25th Amendment, which also governs a president who voluntarily relinquishes power on a temporary basis, requires that the vice president and ‘a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide’ inform the Congress that the president is ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.’  

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News – Capitol Police Chief Sund resigns hours after Sergeant at Arms quit