President Joe Biden has elected to terminate the employment of the heavily embattled Brett Blanton, who holds the role of Architect of the U.S. Capitol (AOC) that has faced accusations of abusing his job to exploit government resources.
“After doing our due diligence, the Architect of [the] Capitol was terminated at the President’s direction,” one White House official stated to CNN, a move which has been lauded by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. A report was ordered by PunchBowl News covering a short White House letter sent out to Blanton, stating that his termination would be effective as of 5 p.m.
Blanton, who was originally given the task of managing the maintenance and operation of Capitol hill, has been dealing with extreme criticism in the wake of last year’s release of a report from the inspector general which outlined a massive number of allegations of misconduct, including that he heavily abused a government-owned vehicle and wasted taxpayer money, among other “substantiated violations.” He was also directly accused of misrepresenting himself as a member of law enforcement.
As part of an appearance under oath in front of the House Administration Committee, Blanton further stoked the anger of legislators when he spoke this past week concerning the findings from a watchdog and conceded that he did not think it was “prudent” at all for him not to head into work on January 6, 2021, the day when a large crowd of people stormed the capitol when Congress was meeting to officially certify Biden’s victory for the 2020 election, as reported by POLITICO.
However, Blanton openly denied doing anything at all unethical, reported CNN.
“I wholeheartedly reject any assertion that I have engaged in unethical behavior during my service to this country while serving in this particular role, I have taken my commitment to transform the agency’s culture to promote positive workplace for every AOC employee,” claimed Blanton. “Moreover, I have fully invested to ensure that I meet the responsibilities and the expectations of this role.”
News of Blanton’s termination came shortly in the wake of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) calling for Biden to step in and take action if Blanton refused to step down from his role.
“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,” stated McCarthy.
Democrats seated in Congress quickly voiced their support for the choice from Biden to kick out Blanton.
“After being given the opportunity to respond to numerous allegations of legal, ethical, and administrative violations, and failing to directly respond, the President has removed Mr. Brett Blanton from his position – a decision I firmly stand behind,” stated House Administration Committee ranking member Joe Morelle (D-NY). “President Biden did the right thing and heeded my call for action. I look forward to working with my colleagues to begin a search for a new Architect immediately.”