Architect of the Capitol Gets Fired

Architect of the Capitol Gets Fired

( – The architect of the Capitol holds an important role in the overall maintenance of the Capitol complex, which consists of 570 acres of land and over 18 million square feet of buildings. James Brett Blanton has held that position since former President Donald Trump appointed him in 2019. Yet, his tenure has been rife with controversy and allegations, which led to an investigation and, as of Monday, February 13, his termination.

For the past few years, there have been allegations against Blanton for misusing resources. These complaints triggered an Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation. The report outlines several instances of unauthorized vehicle use, which included a dangerous speeding violation, use of government cars for personal trips — including those out of town — and nearly $14,000 in “net questioned costs.”

The report also alleges Blanton misrepresented himself as an officer of the law during an incident on June 29, 2020, when someone hit his daughter’s boyfriend’s car outside his home. He used the government vehicle, which was fitted with law enforcement equipment, including lights and sirens, to reportedly chase after and detain the suspect.

What seems to have finally tipped the scale against Blanton was his testimony on February 9 during a Committee on House Administration hearing. He revealed at that time that he was not in the Capitol on January 6, choosing to direct operations remotely, which angered lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. He also skirted around questions surrounding the allegations he faced for misusing government property and wasting taxpayer dollars.

On Monday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Bryan Steil (R-WI), who chairs the House Administration Committee, both called for Blanton’s resignation, citing their lack of confidence in his ability to continue to do his job.

Blanton received written correspondence from the White House to vacate the office by 5 p.m. that day.

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