Former Senate security chief dies; death not considered suspicious

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WASHINGTON — Michael Stenger, the former sergeant-at-arms who oversaw Senate security during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, was found dead Monday morning, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Stenger’s cause of death is not yet known. U.S. Capitol Police declined to comment. The medical examiner in Virginia did not handle his death, a spokesman said, indicating it was not considered suspicious.

Fox News reported that Stenger had cancer.

Stenger, who was nominated to be the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms in 2018, resigned the day after the Capitol riot after he faced backlash from lawmakers over his handling of security during the riots.

In the wake of Jan. 6, Stenger, as well as former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, came under fire for security failures at the Capitol. Even though would-be rioters openly planned online to try to occupy the building in the weeks leading up to the attack, officials blamed a lack of intelligence.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who nominated Stenger to his post in 2018, when he was the majority leader, said on Jan. 7 that he had asked for and received Stenger's resignation. Sund and Irving also resigned that day.

Stenger spent much of his career working for the Secret Service before he joined the Senate as an assistant sergeant-at-arms in 2011. He also served in the Marine Corps, attaining the rank of captain.