House Republicans gathered a trove of text and email messages showing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office was directly involved in the creation and editing of the Capitol security plan that failed during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot and that security officials later declared they had been “denied again and again” the resources needed to protect one of the nation’s most important homes of democracy.
The internal communications were made public Wednesday in a report compiled by Republican Reps. Rodney Davis, Jim Banks, Troy Nehls, Jim Jordan and Kelly Armstrong that encompasses the results of months of investigation they did of evidence that had been ignored by the Democrat-led Jan. 6 committee. The lawmakers were authorized by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to do their own probe.
The report concludes the Capitol was left vulnerable on Jan. 6 as a result of failures by the Democratic leadership in the House and law enforcement leaders in the Capitol Police who allowed concerns about the “optics” of having armed officers and National Guardsmen visible to the public to override the need for enhanced security.
“Leadership and law enforcement failures within the U.S. Capitol left the complex vulnerable on January 6, 2021. The Democrat-led investigation in the House of Representatives, however, has disregarded those institutional failings that exposed the Capitol to violence that day,” it concluded.
It also corroborated prior reporting by Just the News that Capitol Police began receiving specific warnings in mid-December that there could be significant violence planned against the Capitol and lawmakers by protesters planning to attend the certification of the 2020 election results.
“Prior to that day, the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) had obtained sufficient information from an array of channels to anticipate and prepare for the violence that occurred,” the report noted.
You can read the full report here:
Banks said the GOP report helps counter a Democrat narrative that ignored security failures by police and political leadership, he said.
“Our report exposes the partisanship, incompetence and indifference that led to the disaster on January 6 and the leading role Speaker Pelosi and her office played in the security failure at the Capitol,” he said. “Unlike the sham January 6th Committee, House Republicans produced a useful report that will keep Capitol and USCP officers safe with no subpoena power and no budget.”
The report also does not sugarcoat the behavior of pro-Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol.
“On January 6, 2021, criminal rioters assaulted police officers, broke into the U.S. Capitol, damaged property, and temporarily interfered with the certification of states’ presidential and vice presidential electors at the Joint Session of Congress—a typically pro forma event,” it noted.
But its most explosive revelations involved text and email messages showing that two key staffers in Pelosi’s office attended regular meetings to discuss the security plan for Jan. 6 dating back to early December 2020 and that Pelosi’s top aide even edited some of the plans. Most of those discussions and meetings excluded Republican lawmakers in the House, the report noted.
“Then-House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving—who served on the Capitol Police Board by virtue of his position—succumbed to political pressures from the Office of Speaker Pelosi and House Democrat leadership leading up to January 6, 2021,” the report said. “He coordinated closely with the Speaker and her staff and left Republicans out of important discussions related to security.”
After the devastating events of Jan. 6 when Pelosi forced Irving to resign, a staffer in the House sergeant at arms office sent a stinging email suggesting the Democratic leadership had made Irving and Capitol Police Chief Steve Sund the fall guys to cover up the failure of lawmakers to provided adequate security resources.
“For the Speaker’s knee-jerk reaction to yesterday’s unprecedented event (and God knows how Congress lives for its knee-jerk reactions and to hell with future consequences . . . ). to immediately call for your resignation . . . after you have been denied again and again by Appropriations for proper security outfitting of the Capitol (and I WROTE several of those testimonies, dangit) . . . and to blame you personally because our department was doing the best they could with what they had and our comparatively small department size and limited officer resources . . . and because other agencies stepped in to assist just a fraction too late . . . again, for Congress to demand your resignation is spectacularly unjust, unfair, and unwarranted,” the staffer wrote Irving, according to the email included in the report.
“This is not your fault. Or Sund’s fault. If anything, Appropriations should be hung out to dry,” the staffer added.
The GOP report directly challenges the story Pelosi gave in February 2021 that she had “no power” over Capitol Police or the security plan for Jan. 6. “Documents provided by the House Sergeant at Arms show how then-House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving carried out his duties in clear deference to the Speaker, her staff, and other Democratic staff,” it said.
It noted that Pelosi’s chief of staff Terri McCullough and another aide assigned to Pelosi’s staff, Jamie Fleet, head regular contact with police and the sergeant at arms over the security planning for Jan. 6 starting in early December 2020. At one point, McCullough was so involved she was asked to edit a security plan letter that was going to lawmakers a few days ahead of the tragic events.
“Irving sent the draft to McCullough and Fleet and requested any edits comments or concerns,” the report said “McCullough responded shortly afterwards with edits.”
The report faults Irving for being distracted by other responsibilities and a top intelligence official for the Capitol Police for making changes to intelligence analysis that kept front line officers from knowing the dangers they were about to face that day.
“Officers on the front lines and analysts in USCP’s intelligence division were undermined by the misplaced priorities of their leadership. Those problems were exacerbated by the House Sergeant at Arms, who was distracted from giving full attention to the threat environment prior to January 6, 2021 by several other upcoming events,” the report said.