As a House panel holds its first hearing outlining what took place during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Republicans are pointing the finger at Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The hearing will start at 8 p.m. Thursday, marking an unprecedented prime-time meeting televised on most major news outlets.
Republicans are accusing Pelosi of not working to bolster security at the Capitol complex ahead of the invasion of the building. The insurrection forced members of Congress, Vice President Mike Pence, staff, and media to relocate to a secure location. It also interrupted the certification of the 2020 presidential election for several hours.
"If they really believed in getting to the truth, they would have kept Jim Banks and Jim Jordan on the committee to ask those questions and get the truth,” said Rep. Steve Scalise, the House minority whip.
However, part of their argument hinges on accusations that Pelosi waved off National Guard assistance before the insurrection. According to the Associated Press, Pelosi would have had little control over requesting National Guard assistance. The AP reported that the decision to request additional resources comes from the Capitol Police Board, which includes the House Sergeant at Arms, the Senate Sergeant at Arms and the Architect of the Capitol.
“On January 6th, the Speaker, a target of an assassination attempt that day, was no more in charge of Capitol security than Mitch McConnell was. This is a clear attempt to whitewash what happened on January 6th and divert blame,” Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for Pelosi told The Associated Press in an email.
The National Guard arrived at the Capitol hours after the insurrection started. Guard members stayed at the complex for several months.
There is also no evidence that Pelosi, nor McConnell, made any efforts to block additional security at the Capitol.
Republicans also criticized Pelosi for not permitting several Republicans from joining the committee. The panel includes two Republicans, including a former member of House GOP leadership. Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, the committee’s lone Republicans, both voted to impeach President Donald Trump.
While Republicans promised to issue a report of their own highlighting the security failures on Jan. 6, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy refused to say who he think won the 2020 presidential election.
McCarthy himself has become a target of the committee’s investigation. He has reportedly rejected a subpoena. Democrats are interested in McCarthy’s contact with the president around the time of the riot.