House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving was concerned with the "optics" of declaring an emergency ahead of the protests and rejected a National Guard presence. He says Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger recommended that he informally request the Guard to be ready in case it was needed to maintain security.
Mayor Muriel Bowser also wanted a light police presence at the Capitol. She reportedly wanted to avoid a similar scenario as last summer, when federal forces responded to demonstrators opposed to police abuses who assembled near the White House.
When the mob reached the Capitol complex at about 12:40 p.m. ET on Wednesday, it took about 15 minutes for the west side perimeter of the building to be breached, he says. The Capitol Police contingent, which numbered around 1,400 that day, was quickly overrun by the estimated 8,000 rioters.
Senior Army official Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, director of the Army Staff, said on the call he couldn't recommend that Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy authorize deployment, Sund and others on the call told the Post. Piatt reportedly said, "I don't like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background," the Post reported.