Ex-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund is determined to set the record straight on what happened at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot more than two years ago.
After writing a book that challenged the groupthink of corporate media and the partisan Jan. 6 Committee, Sund sat down for an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. According to Carlson, the interview with Sund was scheduled to air on the network April 24, the same day Fox News announced the anchor’s termination. (Another already-taped interview, with a Federalist senior contributor, was also stifled). Fox News refused to release the footage of Sund’s conversation with Carlson, so the pair recorded another sit-down published on Twitter Thursday.
“[Sund] knew more about what happened than virtually anyone else in the United States,” Carlson said. “Yet congressional investigators weren’t interested in talking to him. The media, not interested in talking to him. But we were.”
1. DHS, FBI Hid Intelligence From Capitol Police
Sund went on to make explosive allegations of federal misconduct related to the Capitol chaos that raised more questions than answers about how and why the complex was left vulnerable. The Capitol Police, Sund said, were left in the dark about a cascade of intelligence gathered by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security that warned about the rally turning violent.
The intelligence that Capitol Police gathered, Sund said, indicated a level of political activity similar to previous rallies that featured “limited skirmishes” with counter-protesters.
“Coming into it,” Sund said, Capitol Police received “absolutely zero” of the “intelligence that we know now existed talking about attacking the Capitol, killing my police officers, attacking members of Congress, and killing members of Congress.”
“None of that was included in the intelligence coming up,” Sund said. “We now know FBI, DHS was swimming in that intelligence. We also know now that the military seemed to have some very concerning intelligence as well. “
“None of the intelligence,” Sund said, was shared with the Capitol Police chief.
“I’ve done many national security events and this was handled differently,” Sund added. “No intelligence, no [Joint Intelligence Bulletin], no coordination, no discussion in advance.”
2. Milley Wanted to Shut Down D.C. Ahead Of Jan. 6
Military officials were so concerned about the intelligence that warned of an explosive riot that the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Mark Milley, considered preemptively shutting down the city.
“Acting Secretary of Defense [Christopher] Miller and General Milley had both discussed locking down the city of Washington D.C. because they were so worried about violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6,” Sund said.
According to Sund, the two Pentagon leaders discussed even revoking permits on Capitol Hill out of concern for violence.
“You know who issues the permits on Capitol Hill for demonstrations?” Sund said. “I do. You know who wasn’t told? Me.”
On Jan. 4, however, Miller signed a memo “restricting the National Guard from carrying the various weapons, any weapons, any civil disobedience equipment that would be utilized for the very demonstrations or violence he sees coming.”
3. Congressional Leadership Denied National Guard Requests Before and During Riot
Despite federal intelligence warning of mass upheaval amid the joint session of Congress, Sund explained how he was denied preemptive deployment of the National Guard twice in the days leading up to the riot. On Jan. 3, 2021, Sund sought approval from congressional leadership for guard deployment as was still required by law.
“I was denied twice because of optics and because the intelligence didn’t support us,” Sund said. “I was denied by Paul Irving, House sergeant-at-arms, and also Mike Stenger, Senate sergeant-at-arms.”
Irving served under the direction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Stenger reported to GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The former Capitol Police chief said he was forced to beg for National Guard assistance as the turmoil escalated. While the riot grew, Sund said he called House Sergeant-at-Arms Irving to demand reinforcements from the nearby Guard troops.
“I’m told by Paul Irving, ‘I’m gonna run it up the chain, I’ll get back to you,'” Sund said. “His chain would be up to Nancy Pelosi. He didn’t have to do that but he wouldn’t give me authorization.”
Irving was allowed to authorize the deployment without Pelosi’s approval in the event of an emergency, Sund said. The former speaker’s office confirmed to The New York Times that Pelosi herself was asked to dispatch the National Guard.
Sund said Stenger was called next, who in turn said, “Let’s wait to hear what we hear from Paul [Irving].”
“For the next 71 minutes I make 32 calls,” Sund said, with no help from congressional leadership.
4. Secret Service Turned Over One Text to J6 Committee
While Sund made dozens of calls from the Capitol command center, the first agency to come to the police chief’s assistance was the Secret Service.
“One of the first people to offer assistance was United States Secret Service,” Sund said. “By law, I shouldn’t have requested their assistance … until I had approval. But I’m looking at my men and women having their asses handed to them and my first thought was ‘f-ck it, I will take whatever discipline there is. Send me whatever you got.'”
“That was the one text Secret Service turned over,” Sund added.
The agency had apparently deleted text messages from Jan. 5-6, 2021, that were subpoenaed by the House select committee probing the riot last summer. The only message turned over was Sund’s out-of-order request for support.
5. New Jersey State Police Arrived to Help Before National Guard
While Sund was begging congressional leaders to greenlight assistance from the National Guard, New Jersey State Police were on their way to reinforce Capitol Police.
The 150 to 180 National Guard troops who were “within eyesight” of the Capitol, Sund told Carlson, were put in vehicles and driven around the complex back to the D.C. Armory. Instead, Sund received the evening troops, who didn’t arrive on the scene until 6 p.m. By that point, according to Sund, the Capitol was under control.
“While I’m begging for assistance,” Sund said, “the Pentagon sent in resources to generals’ houses to protect their homes but not me.”
By the time the National Guard finally showed up, Sund noted, “New Jersey State Police [had] beat them to the Capitol.”
National Guardsmen were then positioned in front of the Capitol to take “pictures for military magazines” as “heroes” of Jan. 6.
6. Sund Wasn’t Told About Federal Informants Present at the Capitol
In the fall of 2021, The New York Times confirmed the presence of at least one federal informant at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot after the paper dismissed such claims as a conspiracy theory. The former Capitol police chief, however, was kept in the dark on undercover operations with “no idea” how many were in the crowd.
The Justice Department had even deployed special commandos with “shoot to kill authority” at the Capitol, according to Newsweek.
“Not to share that in the intelligence,” Sund said, “that’s concerning.”
7. Lawmakers Didn’t Want Sund to Testify
In the aftermath of the Capitol riot, lawmakers began to schedule hearings on the security failures while the fever grew to launch a snap impeachment of the outgoing president.
“I fought to testify,” Sund said, but “they didn’t want me to testify in the Senate hearing.”
The hearing in the upper chamber was initially limited to current Capitol employees. Sund was excluded from the lineup because he was immediately dismissed from his job as chief of police after the riot. Irving and Stenger would have also initially been excluded. The trio of security officers eventually testified in the upper chamber after Trump’s acquittal in February 2021, with Sund the only one to appear in person.
Meanwhile Pelosi, who was in charge of the Capitol as speaker of the House, was “off limits” to investigation — leaving open questions such as whether the speaker was briefed on the potential for violence from other agencies. The House speaker even blocked Republican access to relevant documents ignored by the Democrats’ Jan. 6 Committee.