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J6 Footage Shows Pelosi Expressing Regret Over National Guard Failure: ‘I Take Responsibility’

Pelosi’s failure to preemptively deploy the National Guard was at the center of a minority report published by House Republicans in 2022.


New footage released by House Republicans investigating the Select Committee on Jan. 6 from last Congress exposed then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledging her own culpability in the Capitol turmoil.

On Monday, the House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight released the tape obtained from HBO and filmed by Pelosi’s daughter Alexandra, who published a documentary on the former speaker with the network. Pelosi is captured on camera in an SUV speaking to her chief of staff, Terri McCullough, as the speaker and her team were taken to Fort McNair.

“Why weren’t the National Guard there to begin with?” Pelosi asks incredulously, adding the lack of preparation for mass demonstrations in the capital that day was her responsibility. “They clearly didn’t know, and I take responsibility for not having them just prepare for more.”

The failure to preemptively deploy the National Guard or even adequately arm the Capitol Police to confront the potential for unrest on the day of the joint session of Congress was at the center of a minority report published by House Republicans in December 2022. Republican House members barred from Pelosi’s select committee established to investigate the riot went on to probe the security failures at the Capitol anyway and found Pelosi’s office coordinated closely with senior security officials in the run up to Jan. 6, 2021.

According to former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned in the riot’s aftermath, Pelosi’s deputies turned down requests for preemptive deployment of the National Guard six times before the day of the riot. House leadership rejected the precautionary deployment because the speaker’s staff was concerned about the “optics” of federal reinforcements in the capital after railing against the presence of troops in Washington, D.C., throughout the violent summer of 2020.

Pelosi’s select committee refused to investigate the House speaker and only interviewed former Police Chief Sund once over the two-year probe.

“It was clear they wanted to get as far away as possible from any institutional failures that occurred that day or anything that put any kind of fingerprints on congressional leadership,” Sund told a D.C. radio program in March.

Sund also said he desperately pleaded for policymakers to deploy the National Guard as the demonstrations escalated beyond his team’s control. According to Sund, the House sergeant at arms took 71 minutes to approve the dispatching of additional National Guard troops while the Capitol was attacked.

In March, The Federalist reported that then-President Donald Trump sought to arrange for 10,000 National Guard troops to be in the capital to reinforce Capitol Police ahead of congressional certification of the 2020 election. The president encountered resistance, however, from Pentagon leadership, and corroborating evidence of White House demands was suppressed by the Select Committee on Jan. 6, which concealed testimony that revealed Trump’s efforts.

Former Rep. Liz Cheney, who served as vice chair of the Democrats’ Jan. 6 Committee, discouraged any use of the military in the run-up to the electoral count with an op-ed she organized that was authored by former defense secretaries, including those who served under Trump. The former president’s deputy chief of staff in the White House, Anthony Ornato, told House investigators about Trump’s requests to increase Capitol security ahead of the turmoil, but lawmakers under Cheney hid the testimony.

In her political memoir released last December, the former Wyoming lawmaker framed the former president as a malicious commander-in-chief who resisted calls to deploy the National Guard to suppress the riot.

“To be clear, the issue was not that the Secret Service failed to brief those up the chain at the White House about the threat,” Cheney wrote in Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning. “It appeared to the Committee that this information was being conveyed up the chain, including directly to Mark Meadows and President Trump.”

Cheney painted Trump as negligent about the need for security in Washington despite clear warnings over the potential for unrest.

“With the weight of the intelligence we received via Homeland Security, it is exceptionally difficult to believe that anyone in the White House with access to this information could have failed to recognize this obvious menace,” Cheney wrote.

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