What Michael Stenger Said About Jan. 6 'Professional Agitators'

The Senate's Sergeant at Arms during the Capitol riot, Michael Stenger, died on Monday, one day before the Committee investigating the attack is set to reveal new evidence in a surprise hearing on Tuesday.

Stenger's death was reported by Fox News' Chad Pergram on Monday, but the cause of his sudden passing at the age of 71 has not been disclosed.

Stenger was the man in charge of defending the Capitol when this was attacked by an angry mob of Donald Trump's supporters attempting to stop the peaceful transfer of power to elected President Joe Biden on January 6, 2021. On that fateful day, the Senate Sergeant at Arms reportedly refused to request the assistance of the National Guard.

Only one day after the deadly riot, Stenger resigned from the post he had taken on in April 2018 amid harsh criticism against his lack of proper reaction at the attack on the Capitol. Two others top Capitol security officials, including Irving and Sund, also resign on that same day.

According to testimony from Capitol Police chief Steve Sund, Stenger—together with House Sergeant at Arms Paul D. Irving—refused his early requests to call the National Guard ahead of the mob's assault on the Capitol. Sund said he asked six times for aid from the National Guard, but these requests were either rejected or delayed. But Irving denied being issued a formal request until too late, even when faced with phone records proving otherwise.

In February of that same year, talking to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on Rules and Administration in a hearing examining the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol about how to prepare for similar events in the future, Stenger said investigations should have looked into the role of "what appears to be professional agitators" present during the riot.

"In conclusion, whenever you prepare for a major event, you must always consider the possibility of some form of civil disobedience at these demonstrations and plan accordingly," Stenger said in a prepared statement.

"The events of January 6th went beyond disobedience. This was a violent, coordinated attack where the loss of life could have been much worse."

He did not address Sund's claims that he had refused his request to call for the National Guard, or address the events leading up to the riot in any way that directly involves him.

In August of that same year, the Senate Rules Committee published a 127-page report detailing all the security, communication and policing failures that led to the Capitol riot which found that law enforcement officials did not take seriously the threat of violence posed by the pro-Trump mob.

The report blamed the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis for issuing "no intelligence products specific to Jan. 6."

The Senate Rules Committee's three month-long analysis also found that Stenger and Sund were to be considered responsible for not requesting aid from the National Guard.

Although it is not known whether the surprise extra hearing called by the Jan. 6 Committee on Tuesday has anything to do with Stenger, it is certainly significant that one of the people who were on the frontline of the events of the Capitol riot is now gone and unable to give further testimony on what happened on that day.

The committee did not reveal who will testify on Tuesday's hearing.

Michael Stenger
In this combination image, Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger walks the halls of the U.S. Capitol outside the Senate Chamber during a break in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial January 22, 2020, Supporters of US President Donald Trump (Top inset) protest inside the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 and Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they try to storm the US Capitol . Washington, DC on January 6, 2021. Getty