House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not interested in a genuine examination of the events on Jan. 6. An honest review of the day’s timeline might reveal why.
As the U.S. Capitol building came under siege, House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving sought approval from Pelosi to dispatch the National Guard in an episode confirmed by the speaker’s office to The New York Times. Four days later, former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned his post in the riot’s aftermath, told the Washington Post it was far from the first time National Guard reinforcements were requested. In fact, Sund told the paper the request was made six times.
Sund said Irving, overseen by Pelosi, thought the guard’s deployment was bad “optics” two days before the raid. Pelosi and House Democrats had previously condemned the presence of federal troops in the nation’s capital to quell the sustained insurrection of left-wing anarchists. A month later, the Daily Caller reported Irving’s discussions with the speaker’s office were factors in his “blender of decision making,” citing three sources familiar with Irving’s talks with the House Administration Committee.
Only one side has handed over the relevant documents to Republican investigators to support their claims. It isn’t those subservient to Pelosi.
In a letter to the speaker on Monday, House Republicans independently probing the Capitol riot outlined at least four times last year that House deputies under Pelosi’s command denied requests to review documents shedding light on the security decisions of Jan. 6.
“There is irony in the fact that at the same time House Democrats are holding witnesses in criminal contempt of Congress for raising genuine questions of legal privilege,” wrote Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, “you continue to obstruct Republican access to House records relating to the security preparedness of the Capitol complex.”
In a call with reporters Monday, Davis said the records hidden under seal would likely reveal coordination between the speaker’s office and security personnel that Pelosi has routinely denied.
“The speaker expects security professionals to make security decisions and to [be] briefed about those decisions,” Pelosi Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammil told The Daily Caller in February last year, claiming Pelosi was never consulted about the National Guard prior to January 6th.
“I believe that those records,” Davis told reporters of the documents kept from Republican investigators, “will show that there was a lot of communication and coordination between the speaker’s office and law enforcement officials up to and on January 6.”
As Pelosi’s office has sought to downplay the speaker’s role in House security decisions, it was still Pelosi who ordered the extended shut down of the Capitol to visitors citing coronavirus, installed metal detectors in the chamber, and was approached by Irving to approve the National Guard’s reinforcements on Jan. 6.
Colluding with House officials to deny requests to House members based on partisan affiliation, federal agencies have also refused to comply with congressional demands to supply documents to Republican lawmakers probing the riot. Pelosi took the unprecedented step of barring GOP participation from the investigation. In September, the FBI wrote the agency would only be cooperating with the Select Committee, to which two Republicans were appointed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy but blocked by the speaker.
Meanwhile, the Select Committee has escalated its surveillance of members and private citizens with telecom requests dating as far back as April 2020, explicitly omitting any investigation into the speaker’s decisions, who is ultimately in charge of Capitol security, from the probe on Capitol security.
“Well, if you look at the charge that we have in the resolution, it says the facts and circumstances around January 6. I don’t see the speaker being part and parcel to that,” Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told CNN in July last year.
It’s no wonder then, why Pelosi kept Reps. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, from the panel. Neither of the two Pelosi-appointed Republicans on the Select Committee, NeverTrump crusader Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., have raised questions over the speaker’s culpability or lack of due diligence in securing the Capitol.
As the November midterms draw closer in a cycle historically hostile to the president’s party, congressional Democrats have clung to the Jan. 6 Committee as the vehicle to seek retribution against political dissidents and protect their narrow House majority.
Republicans must flip a net total of six seats to reclaim control of the lower chamber this fall, in an outcome growing likelier. The political climate is shifting in the GOP’s favor as a consequence of runaway inflation, high power prices, and the broadening unpopularity of Democrats.
After spending 2020 justifying routine outbursts of political violence as morally righteous crusades in the name of social justice, Democrats and their allies in the media have turned to exploit the crisis at the Capitol as an episode of domestic terror on the same pedestal as 9/11.