Pelosi Seen Saying ‘I Take Responsibility’ in J6 Footage


New footage released by House Republicans investigating the Select Committee on Jan. 6 from last Congress exposes then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledging her own responsibility in the Capitol unrest.

On Monday, the House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight released the tape obtained from HBO and filmed by Pelosi’s daughter Alexandra, who produced a documentary on the former speaker with the network. Pelosi is seen in an SUV speaking to her chief of staff, Terri McCullough, as her team headed to Fort McNair.

“Why weren’t the National Guard there to begin with?” Pelosi asks incredulously, adding that the lack of preparation for mass demonstrations in the capital that day was her responsibility. “They clearly didn’t know, and I take responsibility for not having them just prepare for more.”

The failure to preemptively deploy the National Guard or adequately arm the Capitol Police to confront potential unrest on the day of the joint session of Congress was at the center of a minority report published by House Republicans in December 2022. Banned from Pelosi’s select committee investigating the riot, Republican House members conducted their own probe into the security failures at the Capitol and found Pelosi’s office coordinated closely with senior security officials in the run-up to Jan. 6, 2021.

According to former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned following the riot, Pelosi’s deputies turned down requests for a preemptive deployment of the National Guard six times before the riot. House leadership rejected the precautionary deployment as the speaker’s staff was concerned about the “optics” of federal reinforcements in the capital after criticizing the presence of troops in Washington, D.C., during the violent summer of 2020.

Pelosi’s select committee refused to investigate the House speaker and only interviewed former Police Chief Sund once during their two-year probe.

“It was clear they wanted to get as far away as possible from any institutional failures that occurred that day or anything that put any kind of fingerprints on congressional leadership,” Sund told a D.C. radio program in March.

Sund also mentioned he desperately pleaded for policymakers to deploy the National Guard as demonstrations escalated beyond his team’s control. According to Sund, the House sergeant at arms took 71 minutes to approve additional National Guard troops while the Capitol was under attack.

In March, it was reported that then-President Donald Trump sought to arrange for 10,000 National Guard troops to bolster Capitol Police ahead of the 2020 election certification. The president faced resistance from Pentagon leadership, and corroborating evidence of White House demands was suppressed by the Select Committee on Jan. 6, which concealed testimony revealing Trump’s efforts.

Former Rep. Liz Cheney, who served as vice chair of the Democrats’ Jan. 6 Committee, discouraged any use of the military in the run-up to the electoral count with an op-ed she organized, authored by former defense secretaries, including those who served under Trump. Anthony Ornato, Trump’s deputy chief of staff, informed House investigators about Trump’s requests to enhance Capitol security, but lawmakers under Cheney hid the testimony.

In her political memoir released last December, the former Wyoming lawmaker depicted the former president as a malicious commander-in-chief who resisted calls to deploy the National Guard to quell the riot.

“To be clear, the issue was not that the Secret Service failed to brief those up the chain at the White House about the threat,” Cheney wrote in Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning. “It appeared to the Committee that this information was being conveyed up the chain, including directly to Mark Meadows and President Trump.”

Cheney painted Trump as negligent about the need for security in Washington despite clear warnings over the potential for unrest.

“With the weight of the intelligence we received via Homeland Security, it is exceptionally difficult to believe that anyone in the White House with access to this information could have failed to recognize this obvious menace,” Cheney wrote.

Tristan Justice
Tristan Justice
Tristan Justice is our western correspondent and the author of Social Justice Redux, a conservative newsletter on culture, health, and wellness. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism.

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