President Joe Biden has fired Capitol architect J. Brett Blanton, a White House official told NBC News on Monday, following a report that he had abused his authority and embezzled taxpayer money while overseeing the complex. of the Capitol.

“After doing our due diligence, the Architect of [the] Capitol was terminated by order of the president,» the official said in a statement.

NBC News has reached out to blanton’s office for comments.

Blanton’s firing comes months after a inspector general report substantiated allegations that he had abused his authority. Last week, he was pressed on those findings and other issues, such as his absence from Capitol Hill during the riots on Jan. 6, while testifying before the House Committee on Administration.

At the hearing, Blanton said he was “frustrated by the current distraction created by the inspector general’s report. “I wholeheartedly reject any claim that I have engaged in unethical behavior during my service to this country,” he said.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wisconsin, issued a statement Monday calling for Blanton’s resignation, saying his «refusal to be transparent and truthful has made it clear that he can no longer lead the organization and must resign from immediate».

That call was echoed by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who tweeted that Blanton “no longer has my confidence to continue his work. He should either resign or President Biden should remove him immediately.»

Blanton could only be removed by the president because the Architect of the Capitol is a person appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Blanton was nominated for a 10-year term by former President Donald Trump; he started the work in January 2020.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told NBC News: «I agree with the president’s decision to fire the architect.»

«We took a look at the whole situation, having dealt with this guy for a while, and I think the president made the right decision,» said McConnell, a Kentucky Republican.

The inspector general’s report, released in October, said Blanton had misused his government vehicle by driving it to vacation destinations and allowing his family to use it for personal business. The report also said Blanton mischaracterized his position in government, at one point pursuing a vehicle described as being involved in a hit-and-run and posing as a law enforcement officer. In another case, he called himself an «agent» after he was in an accident at a brewery while using the vehicle on vacation, according to the report.

The misuse of the government vehicle resulted in «not less than $13,926.56 in questioned net costs,» according to the report.

During last week’s hearing, Blanton maintained that he needed to take the car with him on personal errands and vacations in case he had to return to the Capitol or respond to an emergency, because it was equipped with certain communication devices. She referred to it as «an alternative workplace» and said that having to change vehicles would slow him down.

“If I’m at Home Depot and something happens, it’s going to take a while for a response to get to the Capitol,” Blanton told lawmakers.

Rep. Joe Morelle, DN.Y., asked how that squared with the finding in the inspector general’s report that Blanton’s wife and daughter sometimes took the car without him. «You would have to address that with my family members,» Blanton replied.

Morelle also pressed him on why he didn’t use the car to go to the Capitol on Jan. 6, the «biggest emergency the Capitol has faced in the last two centuries.»

Blanton said it «would not have been prudent» to drive to the Capitol that day because of the crowds, telling the panel of lawmakers that he instead used the car as his «mobile command center» during the attack on the Capitol.

In a statement Monday, Morelle praised the president for doing «the right thing» in firing Blanton.

«I look forward to working with my colleagues to begin the search for a new architect immediately,» Morelle said.

Blanton was the only member of the Capitol Police Board still holding his post after the January 6 riots. The board is made up of the Sergeant-at-Arms of the US House of Representatives, the Sergeant-at-Arms and Porter of the US Senate, and the Architect of the Capitol.

Garrett Haake contributed.