As a House panel holds its first hearing describing what happened during the January 6, 2021, uprising at the United States Capitol, Republicans are pointing the finger at Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The hearing will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, marking an unprecedented prime-time meeting televised on most major news outlets.
Republicans accuse Pelosi of not working to bolster security at the Capitol complex ahead of the building’s invasion. The insurgency forced members of Congress, Vice President Mike Pence, staff and media to relocate to a safe location. It also halted certification of the 2020 presidential election for several hours.
“If they really believed in getting the truth out, they would have kept Jim Banks and Jim Jordan on the committee to ask these questions and get the truth out,” said Rep. Steve Scalise, House Minority Whip. .
However, part of their argument hinges on accusations that Pelosi forfeited National Guard assistance before the insurgency. According to the Associated Press, Pelosi reportedly had little control over the National Guard’s request for assistance. The AP reported that the decision to request additional resources came from the Capitol Police Board, which includes the House Sergeant-at-Arms, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and the Capitol Architect.
“On January 6, the President, the target of an assassination attempt that day, was no more in charge of Capitol security than Mitch McConnell. This is a clear attempt to whitewash what happened on January 6 and deflect blame,” Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for Pelosi, told The Associated Press in an email.
The National Guard arrived at the Capitol hours after the uprising began. Members of the guard remained at the compound for several months.
There is also no evidence that Pelosi, or McConnell, made any effort to block additional security at the Capitol.
Republicans also criticized Pelosi for not allowing several Republicans to join the committee. The panel includes two Republicans, including a former House GOP executive. Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, the only Republicans on the committee, both voted to impeach President Donald Trump.
While Republicans promised to release their own report highlighting the security flaws on Jan. 6, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy declined to say who he thinks won the 2020 presidential election.
McCarthy himself became the target of the committee’s investigation. He reportedly rejected a subpoena. Democrats are interested in McCarthy’s contact with the president at the time of the riot.
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Post expires at 3:39am on Tuesday June 21st, 2022