On Wednesday, House Republicans issued a report that cites House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as having a key role in the security failures that left the US Capitol open to attacks on January 6, 2021. The report was released days after Pelosi's January 6 Select Committee recommended that insurrection charges be brought against former President Donald Trump.
According to the report, which is based on emails, text messages, and testimony from Capitol Police leadership and officers, "Leadership and law enforcement failures within the U.S. Capitol left the complex vulnerable on January 6, 2021." The report goes on to say that House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, who answered to Pelosi, "succumbed to political pressures from the Office of Speaker Pelosi and House Democrat leadership" and was "compromised by politics and did not adequately prepare for violence at the Capitol."
The report goes on to state that Pelosi and her staff coordinated security measures for the January 6 Joint Session of Congress with Irving, but left House Republicans out of "important discussions related to security."
Irving is also accused in the report of attempting to cover up the deliberate exclusion of Republicans from security meetings when he instructed a senior Democratic staffer to "act surprised" when he sent "key information about plans for the Joint Session on Jan. 6, 2021, to him and his Republican counterpart," to which the staffer replied, "I'm startled!"
Irving was forced to resign due to the Capitol riots, after which an unnamed staffer from Irving's office sent an email that criticized Pelosi's "knee-jerk reaction to yesterday's unprecedented event" and called his resignation "spectacularly unjust, unfair, and unwarranted. This is not your fault. Or [Capitol Police chief Steven] Sund's fault."
The report goes on to accuse Pelosi of leaving Capitol Police without backup on January 6 because of concerns about "optics" from the Democratic leadership in the aftermath of the 'Black Lives Matter' protests that took place in the summer of 2020 when protests prevented the early deployment of the National Guard.
Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund claims to have repeatedly requested troops but testified that Irving rebuked the requests while also citing concern about "optics." To further demonstrate how involved Pelosi was in the lack of security on January 6, the report cites 36 communications between Pelosi's staff and Irving on the 6th alone.
Pelosi was not the only person the report blamed for the security failures on January 6. According to the report, the Capitol Police Intelligence Division "failed to warn USCP leadership and line officers about the threat of violence" even though they had "obtained sufficient information from an array of channels to anticipate and prepare for the violence."
The final intelligence threat assessment that was done 3 days before the riot warned of a potentially violent situation in which "Congress itself" could be breached and attacked by Trump supporters. The warning, however, was placed at the end of the 15-page assessment and was not included in the summary, so it was overlooked. It was also not mentioned again in any of the intelligence reports over the next 3 days.
The report released this week was drafted by the congressmen initially nominated to sit on the January 6 Committee - Jim Banks (R-IN), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rodney Davis, (R-IL), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), and Troy Nehls (R-TX).
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