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Biden Fires U.S. Capitol Architect After Report Cites Possible Crimes

President Biden fired the government official responsible for maintenance and operation of the U.S. Capitol on Monday after a watchdog report accused him of multiple administrative and ethics violations. The dismissal of Brett Blanton, the Architect of the Capitol, came hours after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), said he had lost confidence in Blanton and that he should resign immediately or be fired, USA Today reports. Blanton, who was appointed by President Trump, faced bipartisan calls for his resignation after an inspector general's report concluded he and his family had used government vehicles for weekend trips and that he mispresented himself as a law enforcement official. The report cited Blanton for “administrative, ethical and policy violations” and said the investigation found “evidence of criminal violations.”

Blanton was called before a congressional committee last week to answer questions about the findings. During the hearing, he also was widely criticized because he was not at the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021 mob attack by Trump supporters. The Architect of the Capitol is responsible for maintenance and operation of the U.S. Capitol and its expansive grounds and building complex. Blanton, a former U.S. Naval officer, is a civil engineer and previously worked as deputy vice president at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. The inspector general's report, released last October, said Blanton “abused his authority, misused government property and wasted taxpayer money,” explaining that officials received a complaint from a private citizen about the misuse of an office vehicle in March 2021.  The office “found overwhelming evidence that Blanton and his family continually misused (government)  vehicles intended for home-to-work use,” including his wife and adult daughter. 


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