Advertisement
Trending

Cause of Death Announced For Sergeant at Arms in Charge of Capitol Security on Jan. 6

Advertisement

OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The cause of death of the man who was the Senate’s Sergeant-at-Arms on January 6, 2020 is now known.

Two people familiar with the matter have said that Michael Stenger died of natural causes, The Associated Press reported.

“One of the people said he had been diagnosed with cancer and had been ill. The people would not discuss details of his condition publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity,” the report said.

“Stenger had served in the role as the sergeant-at-arms of the Senate since 2018 and had previously worked for the U.S. Secret Service for more than three decades,” it said.

The report said:

The House sergeant-at-arms, Paul Irving, and Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund also resigned after the insurrection.

Advertisement

Stenger and Irving testified to the Senate Rules Committee in February 2021 about security at the Capitol, the response to the attack and the decision in the days leading up to the riot — as members of the Capitol Police Board, which oversees the force — to not have the National Guard at the Capitol in order to quell any violence. Stenger was also mentioned extensively in the committee’s report examining the attack.

News of Stenger’s passing on Tuesday fueled baseless conspiracy theories online, with some social media users calling his death “suspicious” and attempting to link it to the surprise Jan. 6 hearing announced just 24 hours earlier by the House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection. Stenger died of natural causes, and there is no evidence he was set to testify at that hearing. Cassidy Hutchinson, a Trump White House aide, testified before the committee.

His death came the day before a surprise witness, Cassidy Hutchinson, testified before the House Select Committee.

After the testimony of a White House aide who not many people in the United States ever heard of, major parts of her testimony were rebuffed by those with the knowledge of what actually happened.

Much of Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony was hearsay, second hand information that she heard from someone else but did not witness herself.

One of the most spectacular parts of her testimony came when she accused former President Donald trump of grabbing for the steering wheel of the presidential limo after being told that he could not go to the Capitol on January 6, 2020 and then grabbing for the throat of Secret Service agent Bobby Engel.

But within hours of her testimony Engel said that the incident she spoke of never happened, The Associated Press reported.

“The former aide said that she was told of the altercation in the SUV immediately afterward by a White House security official, and that Bobby Engel, the head of the detail, was in the room and didn’t dispute the account at the time. Engel had grabbed Trump’s arm to prevent him from gaining control of the armored vehicle, she was told, and Trump then used his free hand to lunge at Engel,” The AP said.

“That account was quickly disputed on Tuesday, however. Engel, the agent who was driving the presidential SUV, and Trump security official Tony Ornato are willing to testify under oath that no agent was assaulted and Trump never lunged for the steering wheel, a person familiar with the matter said. The person would not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity,” The AP said.

CNN reported.

Engel and Ornato have both testified to the committee behind closed doors, but their statements were not used in the hearing Tuesday.

Advertisement

After the testimony, a Secret Service official familiar with the matter told CNN that Ornato denies telling Hutchinson that the former President grabbed the wheel or an agent on his detail.

The Secret Service, through the Department of Homeland Security Office of Legislative Affairs, notified the committee Tuesday afternoon that it will make the agents involved available to testify under oath, the official said. The agents are also prepared to say under oath that the incident itself did not occur.

The lead agent, Engel, previously testified before the committee and described the interactions with Trump on January 6, including the former President’s desire to travel to the Capitol, but he was not asked about an altercation or being assaulted, the official said.

A spokesman for the House January 6 Committee said, “The committee trusts the creditability of a witness who is willing to testify under oath and in public but is also willing to hear any and all information that others may have that would aid in their investigation.”

And former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann said that another part of Hutchinson’s testimony, that she penned a note for the former president to read on January 6, was done by him and not her, ABC News reported.

“The handwritten note that Cassidy Hutchinson testified was written by her was in fact written by Eric Herschmann on January 6, 2021,” a spokesperson for Herschmann said.

“All sources with direct knowledge and law enforcement have and will confirm that it was written by Mr. Herschmann,” they said.

Back to top button