What didn’t “they” do? And why didn’t “they” do it?

In the aftermath of last week’s violent riot at the Capitol, fingers are pointing as everyone wonders why the seat of government was not prepared for the assault.

During recent days, the former chief of Capitol Police said security officials for the House and Senate nixed his initial requests for National Guard backup while Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan asked why it took nearly two hours for the Pentagon to authorize him to send in troops. Meanwhile, President Trump falsely claimed that he personally called in the Guard immediately.

In Sunday’s Washington Post, former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned last week at the request of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said he made no fewer than six requests for help, contradicting his superiors who said support was available but never requested.

According to Sund, House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving disliked the “optics” of declaring an emergency in advance of protests. Like Sund, both Irving and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger have since resigned. During a conference call with Sund, Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, director of the Army Staff, declined to recommend deployment, Sund and other participants told the Post.

“I don't like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background,” Piatt said, according to the Post’s report.

Pentagon officials say even if Guardsmen had been authorized immediately, it would have taken several hours for the part-time troops to assemble and prepare.

As it happened, the west perimeter of the Capitol was breached within a span of 15 minutes with 1,400 Capitol Police overrun by 8,000 rioters intent on violently disrupting a joint session of Congress.

“If we would have had the National Guard, we could have held them at bay longer until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive,” Sund said.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had reportedly first wanted a light police presence at the Capitol, reportedly seeking to avoid a repeat of last summer’s clashes between protesters and law enforcement. At Bowser’s request, a limited force of 340 unarmed National Guardsmen helped manage traffic. Bowser eventually joined Hogan in requesting emergency assistance.

Meanwhile, Trump was not involved in any of the law enforcement decisions, according to defense officials.

Storming the Capitol MAGA riot
A protester yells inside the Senate Chamber on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building during mass demonstrations in the nation's capital. Win McNamee/Getty Images