Former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger, in Charge of Security on Jan. 6, Dies at 71

He resigned at the request of Sen. Mitch McConnell
By Joseph M. Hanneman
Joseph M. Hanneman
Joseph M. Hanneman
Joseph M. Hanneman is a reporter for The Epoch Times with a focus on the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol incursion and its aftermath; and general news in the State of Wisconsin. His work over a nearly 40-year career has appeared in Catholic World Report, the Racine Journal Times, the Wisconsin State Journal and the Chicago Tribune. Reach him at: joseph.hanneman@epochtimes.us
June 28, 2022 Updated: July 17, 2022

Michael Stenger, the former U.S. Senate sergeant-at-arms who was in charge of Senate security during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, died on June 27.

The circumstances and cause of his death weren’t immediately clear.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) posted on Twitter that Stenger “was found dead today.”

Stenger, 71, of Falls Church, Virginia, resigned the day after the Capitol breach at the request of then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who hired him for the post in April 2018. He served as the 41st sergeant-at-arms of the U.S. Senate.

The sergeant-at-arms is the chief law enforcement, protocol, and executive officer for the U.S. Senate. The sergeant-at-arms is responsible for security in the Capitol and in all Senate buildings and serves as Senate doorkeeper.

In remarks (pdf) before a congressional hearing on Feb. 23, 2021, Stenger called the events of Jan. 6, 2021, “a violent, coordinated attack where the loss of life could have been much worse.” He called for an investigation of “professional agitators” at the Jan. 6, 2021, protests.

“There is an opportunity to learn lessons from the events of Jan. 6,” he said. “Investigations should be considered as to funding and travel of what appears to be professional agitators.”

Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said Stenger and then-House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving balked at his initial request to put the National Guard on alert after it was apparent that huge crowds were gathering on Jan. 6, 2021. National Guard forces didn’t arrive at the Capitol until after 5:30 p.m.

Stenger, Sund, and Irving resigned on Jan. 7, 2021, in the wake of protests and rioting across the Capitol grounds.

Stenger and Irving also served on the Capitol Police Board, which oversees the 2,200-member U.S. Capitol Police force. The other member of the board is Capitol Architect J. Brett Blanton.

Stenger succeeded Frank Larkin as Senate sergeant-at-arms. He was succeeded by Jennifer Hemingway as acting sergeant-at-arms until March 22, 2021, when Karen Gibson was named his replacement.

Stenger spent more than three decades working for the U.S. Secret Service before being named Senate sergeant-at-arms.

Joseph M. Hanneman is a reporter for The Epoch Times with a focus on the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol incursion and its aftermath; and general news in the State of Wisconsin. His work over a nearly 40-year career has appeared in Catholic World Report, the Racine Journal Times, the Wisconsin State Journal and the Chicago Tribune. Reach him at: joseph.hanneman@epochtimes.us