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Resignations continue in Washington after riot at US Capitol

FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2020, file photo, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks at the Phoenix International Academy in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)
Summary

In a resignation letter Thursday, DeVos blamed President Donald Trump for inflaming tensions in the violent assault


The Senate's Sergeant-at-Arms and the head of the Capitol Police have also resigned


WASHINGTON (NEWS 1130) — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has become the second Cabinet secretary to resign a day after a pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

In a resignation letter Thursday, DeVos blamed President Donald Trump for inflaming tensions in the violent assault on the seat of the nation’s democracy. She says, “There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao tendered her resignation earlier Thursday. News of DeVos’ resignation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

In a farewell letter to Congress earlier this week, DeVos urged lawmakers to reject policies supported by President-elect Joe Biden, and to protect Trump administration policies that Biden has promised to eliminate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he has accepted the resignation of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger a day after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

The Kentucky Republican said Thursday in a statement that he had earlier requested the resignation and later received it. He says Stenger’s resignation is effective immediately.

McConnell says Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms Jennifer Hemingway will now be acting sergeant-at-arms.

He says, “I thank Jennifer in advance for her service as we begin to examine the serious failures that transpired yesterday and continue and strengthen our preparations for a safe and successful inauguration on January 20th.”

Democrat Chuck Schumer had earlier vowed to fire Stenger when Schumer becomes Senate majority leader later this month if Stenger was still in the position.

The head of the U.S. Capitol Police will resign effective Jan. 16 following the breach of the Capitol.

Chief Steven Sund said Thursday that police had planned for a free speech demonstration and did not expect the violent attack. He said it was unlike anything he’d experienced in his 30 years in law enforcement.

He resigned Thursday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on him to step down. His resignation was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The breach halted the effort by Congress to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Protesters stormed the building and occupied for hours. The lawmakers eventually returned and finished their work.