GOP lawmakers demand answers from Pelosi on Jan. 6 security decisions
Four Republican lawmakers are demanding answers from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her role in making security decisions on January 6, the day of the Capitol riot.
Reps. Rodney Davis, IL, Jim Jordan, OH, James Comer, KY, and Devin Nunes, CA sent a letter Monday, requesting the answers to the following five questions:
- When then-Chief Sund made a request for national guard support on January 4th, why was that request denied?
- Did Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving get permission or instruction from your staff on January 4th prior to denying Chief Sund’s request for the national guard?
- What conversations and what guidance did you and your staff give the Sergeant at Arms leading up to January 6th specific to the security posture of the campus?
- What conversations did you have during the attack on the Capitol and what response did you give security officials on January 6th when Chief Sund requested National Guard support that required your approval?
- Why are your House Officers refusing to comply with preservation and production requests to turn over request materials relevant to the events of January 6th?
The members allege that when the National Guard was requested ahead of January 6, Pelosi failed to act. Further, on the day of the attack, Pelosi, they wrote, took over an hour to respond to then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund’s request for approval of the National Guard.
“It has been widely reported and confirmed by multiple sources that when Chief Sund requested the National Guard be activated ahead of the January 6th Joint Session of Congress, the response from the SAA, acting on your behalf, was that the ‘optics’ of having the National Guard on-site were not good and the intelligence didn’t support the move,” the lawmakers wrote.
“The request was not approved. Furthermore, on January 6th in the middle of the on-going attack of the Capitol, Chief Sund again notified the SAA of his request for approval to authorize the National Guard. It took over an hour for his request to be approved because the SAA had to run the request up the chain of command, which undoubtedly included you and your designees.”
On January 7, Pelosi called for Sund’s resignation, saying he didn’t contact “us since this happened.” However, Sund’s February 1 letter claimed he briefed the Speaker on the situation twice on January 6.
Pelosi has since appointed General Russel Honoré as Counsel to conduct a security review of the Capitol attack. However, that appointment, according to the letter, was purely partisan.
“While there is wide-spread support to conduct an independent security review of the campus, General Russel Honoré was appointed solely by you, without consultation of the minority,” the Republicans wrote. “To the General’s credit he has reached out to several Republicans to brief on his work to date.”
“We are hopeful his review will result in beneficial recommendations that are not influenced by political motivations. However, it is easy to understand why we and our Senate counterparts remain skeptical that any of his final recommendations will be independent and without influence from you.”
Moreover, the lawmakers expressed concern over Pelosi’s “obstruction and inability to procure and preserve information from your House Officers when requested.” That information, the letter adds, includes correspondence, videos, audio, and additional records relevant to conducting a thorough and complete investigation of the Jan. 6 riot, some of which was allegedly provided to Democrats, but denied to Republicans.
“In multiple cases, your appointees, acting on your behalf, have denied requests to produce this information. The response we received was: ‘We regret to inform you that given the scope of the information requested and the concerns implicated by the nature of the request… we are unable to comply with the request at this time.‘ Even more troubling is despite your House Officers refusal to comply with the request we have recently learned that some of the same material we requested was provided to the House Judiciary Committee on a partisan basis. This is unacceptable. Madam Speaker, that direction could only have come from you.”
The letter concludes, “Lastly, your hyperbolic focus on fabricated internal security concerns has taken critical resources away from the real threat, which is from outside the U.S. Capitol. Your decision to install magnetometers around the House Chamber is yet another example of this misdirection and misappropriation of House resources, which could be better used to protect members, staff, and official visitors from real, confirmed threats. Tellingly, Madam Speaker, you have failed to comply with this requirement yourself. End this political charade, and work with us to protect the Capitol and those who work here every day.”