Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has indicated that he doesn’t believe former President Donald Trump bears responsibility for the insurrection last month, but along with three other House Republicans, Jordan is keen on blaming Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for a pro-Trump mob breaching the Capitol.
In a move that Democrats described as a blatantly partisan effort to deflect responsibility for the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol from former President Donald Trump, Ohio’s Rep. Jim Jordan and three other top U.S. House Republicans on Monday questioned whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bears some responsibility for security failures that allowed rioters into the building where 2020 presidential electoral votes were being tallied.
Jordan, who is the House Judiciary Committee’s top Republican, joined his counterparts on the House Administration, Intelligence and Oversight and Reform committees in a letter that asked why a Capitol Police request for National Guard support during the protest was denied several days before before the incursion where five people died. The letter also asked what security guidance was provided by Pelosi and her staff.
Citing published reports that the House Sergeant at Arms denied the request for National Guard support “because the ‘optics’ of having the National Guard on site were not good and the intelligence didn’t support the move,” Jordan’s letter suggested that was done on Pelosi’s behalf — something a spokesman for Pelosi said was not true. The letter also said Democrat-appointed House officers haven’t provided information that Republicans requested about the incident so they can “properly conduct oversight on the January 6th events.”
The Republicans wrote: “Five weeks have passed since the January 6th attack on the Capitol building, and many important questions about your responsibility for the security of the Capitol remain unanswered.”
“As you are aware, the Speaker of the House is not only the leader of the majority party, but also has enormous institutional responsibilities. The Speaker is responsible for all operational decisions made within the House.”
The publication reported that Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill wrote off the letter as an attempt to deflect responsibility from Trump, noting that Jordan and another lawmaker who signed the letter “voted to overturn the results of a fair election, just hours after the Capitol was sacked by an insurrectionist, right-wing mob” by objecting to electoral votes from states Trump contested.
Hammill said that when the committees that oversee Capitol Hill security were briefed before the Jan. 6 incident, Sund and Irving told them “the Capitol Complex had comprehensive security and there was no intelligence that groups would become violent at the Capitol during the certification of electoral votes.” After the insurrection, Hammill said Pelosi asked retired Gen. Russel L. Honoré to “lead an immediate security review of the U.S. Capitol Complex and has called for a 9/11-style commission to investigate, with legislation creating such a panel to be introduced in the coming days. The USCP is also conducting an internal security review.”
“With this transparently partisan attempt to lay blame on the Speaker, who was a target of assassination during the insurrection fueled by the lies of House Republicans, the Ranking Members are trying to absolve former Police Chief Sund, former Sergeant at Arms Stenger and the leader who appointed him, Mitch McConnell, of any responsibility,” said Hammill. “We look forward to these Ranking Members asking these same questions of former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”
Jordan’s letter also blasted Pelosi for making the decisions to fire Irving, demand Sund’s resignation and appoint Honoré to head the security review without consulting House Republicans.
“To the General’s credit he has reached out to several Republicans to brief on his work to date,” the letter said. “We are hopeful his review will result in beneficial recommendations that are not influenced by political motivations. However, it is easy to understand why we and our Senate counterparts remain skeptical that any of his final recommendations will be independent and without influence from you.”
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