Democrats led by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have singularly blamed former President Donald Trump for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021, and while the argument can be made that Trump did rile up a mob of his supporters with his stolen election rhetoric, that isn’t the entirety of the story with regard to the Capitol riot.
Instead, a group of House Republicans has shown how Pelosi herself is at least partially to blame for the inadequate security measures at the Capitol that failed to prevent a generally peaceful protest from devolving into a violent and destructive riot, the Conservative Brief reported.
In fact, emails and texts show that then-Speaker Pelosi and her staff played the lead role in establishing and finalizing the security plans for the Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, to certify the 2020 election results that was disrupted and temporarily delayed by the unrest.
GOP-led counter-investigation of Jan. 6 Capitol riot
According to the New York Post, in the immediate wake of the Democrat-led House Jan. 6 Committee’s report that recommended criminal charges against former President Trump, a group of House Republicans issued their own counter-investigative report on the Capitol riot that found then-Speaker Pelosi was at fault for the lax security measures at the Capitol that were quickly overrun that fateful day.
That 141-page report was written by Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), and Troy Nehls (R-TX) — all of whom had been nominated by then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for the special Jan. 6 Committee but were withdrawn after being rejected by Pelosi in favor of the Trump-hostile and now-former Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).
“Leadership and law enforcement failures within the U.S. Capitol left the complex vulnerable on January 6, 2021,” the report stated following a review of internal communications and documents as well as interviews with current and former leaders and rank-and-file officers of the relevant security apparatus.
Pelosi largely at fault
It was found that then-Speaker Pelosi’s office had taken the lead role in planning the security measures for the Jan. 6 Joint Session and that then-House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving had both “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 further found that House Republicans had been deliberately excluded from the security planning process and that due to the anti-police sentiment of 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests and riots, Pelosi and Democrats were resistant to the “optics” of a stepped-up security presence at the Capitol ahead of the Joint Session.
It was also found that intelligence reports ahead of time of anticipated protests that could potentially turn violent had been downplayed or ignored by the Speaker’s Office and the security officials under Pelosi’s sway and that requests for additional security resources had been rebuffed.
As for Irving, who was forced to resign following the Capitol riot, unnamed staffers within his office criticized Pelosi’s “knee-jerk reaction to yesterday’s unprecedented event” and his sacking as “spectacularly unjust, unfair, and unwarranted.” Further, albeit without additional explanation, the report noted that “staff within the House Sergeant at Arms office emailed Paul Irving that January 6th was Pelosi’s fault.”
U.S. Capitol Police bear some blame, too
“Democrats and the Jan. 6 Committee used the Capitol Police as a political prop, then did nothing when USCP officers were harassed for telling the truth. They should be ashamed,” Rep. Banks told The Federalist of the findings of the report.
To be sure, the report highlighted other findings of fault not directly related to former Speaker Pelosi’s office, such as the fact that U.S. Capitol Police were significantly understaffed and undertrained and incapable of adequately responding to the events of the Capitol riot.
Blame was also cast on a relatively new leader at the USCP’s Intelligence and Interagency Coordination Division, Julie Farnam, who had arrived just 10 weeks earlier and had essentially upended and rendered “nonfunctional” that division by making major changes to “consolidate power for herself to the detriment of the safety and security of the Capitol,” the Post noted.
That said, the report made it abundantly clear that, if not for the actions of Speaker Pelosi’s Office, or more accurately the lack thereof, the security situation at the Capitol would likely have been much better and the protest may not have been able to devolve into the violent riot it eventually became.