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“His historic appointment as the first Black American to serve as Sergeant-at-Arms is an important step forward for this institution and our nation,” said Nancy Pelosi in a statement.
William Walker has officially been sworn in and became the first Black House sergeant-at-arms Monday.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the oath of office to Walker during a House pro forma session. He will escort President Joe Biden down the House chamber’s center aisle as the president prepares to address Congress for the first time since he took office.
“Do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of which you are about to enter, so help you God?” recited Pelosi, congratulating Walker as he answered “yes.”
Washington Post reported Pelosi selected Walker in March to hold the position. According to the outlet, the previous holder resigned in the wake of the insurrection on Jan. 6, which saw rioters storm the Capitol, loot and vandalize federal property, and threaten lawmakers.
“Throughout his long, dedicated career in public service, General William Walker has proven to be a leader of great integrity and experience who will bring his steady and patriotic leadership to this vital role,” said Pelosi in a statement. “His historic appointment as the first Black American to serve as Sergeant-at-Arms is an important step forward for this institution and our nation.”
Prior to his new appointment, Walker served as D.C. National Guard Chief and held the position during the Jan. 6 insurrection. theGrio reported as commanding general, he answered for the delay in response.
He told senators that the then-chief of the Capitol Police requested military support in a 1:49 p.m. call. But the Defense Department’s approval for that support was not relayed to him until after 5 p.m. Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol.
“That delay stood in contrast to the immediate approval for National Guard support granted in response to the civil unrest that roiled American cities last spring as an outgrowth of racial justice protests,” Walker said.” As local officials pleaded for help, Army officials raised concerns about the optics of a substantial National Guard presence at the Capitol.”
“The Army senior leadership” expressed to officials on the call “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said.
Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the report was disseminated through the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, discussed at a command post in Washington, and posted on an internet portal available to other law enforcement agencies.
Though the information was raw and unverified and appeared aspirational in nature, Wray said, it was specific and concerning enough that “the smartest thing to do, the most prudent thing to do, was just push it to the people who needed to get it.”
According to the Post, in a statement, Walker shared an optimistic outlook on his new role, saying he was “honored and excited for the opportunity to continue to serve this great nation.”
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The post First Black House sergeant-at-arms William Walker sworn in appeared first on TheGrio.