Biden fires Architect of the Capitol over alleged abuses

President Joe Biden has fired the embattled Architect of the Capitol, the official who oversees the Capitol complex

Courtesy: ABC News

ABC NEWS— President Joe Biden has fired embattled Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton, who oversees the historic building that houses Congress and its expansive grounds, as pressure mounted for his removal following a scathing inspector general report of personal and management lapses.

The White House said Monday that Blanton’s appointment was terminated. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Monday he’d lost confidence in Blanton’s ability to do the job.

An inspector general report released last year found “administrative, ethical and policy violations” by Blanton, a Trump-era appointee, including that he abused his government vehicle and misrepresented himself as a law enforcement official. A House hearing last week unearthed new questions and criticisms — including that he was not at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when it came under attack by former President Donald Trump‘s supporters.

“The Architect of the Capitol, Brett Blanton, no longer has my confidence to continue in his job. He should resign or President Biden should remove him immediately,” McCarthy said Monday in a tweet.

The speaker’s statement came as questions and criticism swirled around the architect, who is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the historic Capitol building and its surrounding 570-acre complex and grounds.

Blanton came under intense criticism after the inspector general report found Blanton allowed unauthorized use of his work vehicle, including by his wife and adult daughter, racking up nearly 30,000 miles — about triple the estimate for his official use.

At a House hearing last week, Blanton also came under fire when he testified that he was not at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack because it was a “telework” day under COVID-19 protocols.

He also faced fierce questions about Capitol tours he allowed and sometimes conducted despite pandemic restrictions.

On Monday, the chairman of the House Administration Committee, Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., also called on Blanton to immediately resign.

“The Inspector General’s report was highly concerning,” Steil said. He said at last week’s hearing, Blanton’s “refusal to be transparent and truthful has made clear that he can no longer lead the organization and must resign immediately.”

Categories: National News, News