Additionally, security officials said they had been “denied again and again” the resources needed to protect the US Capitol.
The report showcased evidence that had been ignored by the Democrat-led Jan. 6 Select Committee and concluded the Capitol was left vulnerable on Jan. 6 due to failures of Democratic leadership in the House and law enforcement officials in the Capitol Police who allowed concerns about the “optics" in the aftermath of summer 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, of having National Guardsmen and armed officers visible to the public, to trump the need for enhanced security.
Texts and emails obtained by the Reps. Kelly Armstrong, Jim Banks, Rodney Davis, Jim Jordan, and Troy Nehls following months of investigations illustrated that going back to December 2020, Pelosi’s chief of staff Terri McCullough, and another aide assigned to Pelosi’s staff, Jamie Fleet, attended regular meetings to discuss the security plan for Jan. 6 and that Pelosi’s top aide edited some of the plans.
In July 2021, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy selected five Republican members, which included Banks and Jordan, to serve on the January 6 Select Committee, but Pelosi blocked the pair's appointment. In response, McCarthy pulled the rest of his nominees in protest.
The report noted that the majority of the security meetings excluded Republican lawmakers in the House. “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. He coordinated closely with the Speaker and her staff and left Republicans out of important discussions related to security,” the report stated.
After the January 6 riot when Pelosi forced Irving to resign, a staffer in the House sergeant at arms office sent an email alleging that Democratic leadership had made Irving and Capitol Police Chief Steve Sund the patsies in order to cover up the failure to provide the necessary security resources.
According to the report, the staffer wrote to Irving, “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 added, “This is not your fault. Or Sund’s fault. If anything, Appropriations should be hung out to dry.”
The report conflicts with Pelosi’s narrative from February 2021 where she claimed she had “no power” over the security plan or Capitol Police. According to the report, “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.”
Pelosi’s chief of staff was so involved in the planning that she was asked to edit a security plan letter that was going to lawmakers in advance of January 6. According to the report, “Irving sent the draft to McCullough and Fleet and requested any edits comments or concerns. McCullough responded shortly afterwards with edits.”
The report blamed Irving for being distracted by other duties, as well as a ranking intelligence official, for the Capitol Police for making alterations to intelligence analysis that kept knowledge of the dangers from frontline officers. The report said, “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.”
According to the report, “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.”
The report also corroborated prior reports that the Capitol Police received specific warnings beginning in mid-December that there could potentially be significant violence against lawmakers and the Capitol by protesters who planned to attend the certification of the 2020 election. “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 committee also revealed that the Capitol Police does not have the equipment necessary to protect its officers, nor has the department implemented important recommendations issued by oversight bodies.
Additionally, the GOP committee found that the leadership of the Intelligence and Interagency Coordination Division had overhauled the division in the weeks before January 6, 2021, and created new processes for obtaining and assessing intelligence data, which caused confusion and that the leadership of the Intelligence and Interagency Coordination Division allegedly retaliated against subordinates who spoke out about the division’s shortcomings.
Rep. Banks said the report counters the Democrat narrative that ignored security failures by politicians and police. "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. Unlike the sham January 6th Committee, House Republicans produced a useful report that will keep our Capitol and USCP officers safe with no subpoena power and no budget."
The report also called out the behavior of supporters of then-President Donald Trump who rioted at the Capitol stating, “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.”
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