Having Failed to Sabotage Jan 6 Inquiry, McCarthy Is Blaming Pelosi for the Riot

Republicans in Congress opposed to the January 6 commission to investigate the attack on the United States Capitol building have apparently determined that their best course of action is to attack one of the main proponents of the commission itself, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California), errantly and bewilderingly branding her as having been responsible for the violence that occurred on that day in spite of evidence contradicting those assertions.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California), who has opposed the formation of a commission at every step of the way, tried to suggest that Pelosi had endangered the lives of workers and officers at the Capitol on the day that a mob of loyalists to former President Donald Trump attempted to interrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

“On January 6 these brave officers were put into a vulnerable and impossible position because the leadership at the top failed,” McCarthy said speaking to reporters on Tuesday morning, falsely implying that it was Pelosi’s responsibility to secure the Capitol.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a Trump loyalist whom McCarthy tried to nominate to the commission but who was blocked by Pelosi over his lack of integrity, also suggested Pelosi was largely to blame for that day’s events.

“Why don’t they want to answer the fundamental question, which is why wasn’t there a better security posture on that day?” Jordan asked.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Indiana), who was also blocked by Pelosi from the commission, expressed distrust of the inquiry, and also implied Pelosi was to blame for what happened on January 6.

Any word that comes out of committee members’ mouths — including those of Republican members taking part — are “scripted by Nancy Pelosi, to talk about her narrative without looking at other narratives along the way, like why was the Capitol vulnerable to begin with,” Banks said.

The sentiments of those GOP lawmakers and others largely echo what Trump himself has said about the commission. In a statement he published on his campaign website, Trump, who in other situations has downplayed the violence and described his mob of loyalists as “loving” on that day, said that the commission ought to investigate Pelosi herself over what went down.

“Nancy Pelosi is spending a great deal of time, effort, and money on the formulation of a Fake and highly partisan January 6 Committee to ask, what happened?'” Trump said in his statement. “Will Nancy investigate herself and those on Capitol Hill who didn’t want additional protection, including more police and National Guard, therefore being unprepared despite the large crowd of people that everyone knew was coming?”

The commission, which is bipartisan, will likely question why the National Guard wasn’t deployed sooner to secure the Capitol on January 6. However, it’s unlikely that Pelosi will be blamed for such inaction, as the National Guard can only be called up by governors of the states in which they reside, or by the president. Pelosi, as Speaker of the House, has no authority to call them into the Capitol building, in the event of violent attacks or other unrest.

The insinuations by Trump and Republicans in Congress who are loyal to the former president, suggesting that Pelosi played a role in the violence of that day, also contradict who is in charge of security at the Capitol. Oversight of the Capitol Police is managed by a Capitol Police Board, which is run by various committees in the Senate and House of Representatives. Pelosi is not a member of any committee or board that has oversight over Capitol Police.

Pelosi’s press office, responding to the false allegations from McCarthy and other congressional Republicans on Tuesday, decried their attempts to “undermine and prevent a real investigation into the events of January 6th.”

“Now that the bipartisan Select Committee is beginning its work, the only tools left in House Republican’s arsenal are deflection, distortion, and disinformation,” Pelosi’s office said in a statement responding to McCarthy, adding that “every single lie uttered by the Republicans this morning has been debunked time and again.”