Top Republicans from various House committees teamed up on Monday to send Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) a letter demanding answers from her on security decisions she made before the Capitol riot last month.
House Administration Committee Ranking Member Rodney Davis, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan, House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer and House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes sent a letter to Pelosi saying that “many important questions” about her “responsibility for the security” of the Capitol on Jan. 6 “remain unanswered,” according to Fox News.
The Republican lawmakers brought up the fact that former Capitol Police Chief Steve Sund claimed that two days before the riot, he went to the sergeants at arms to request the assistance of the National Guard. In a letter to Pelosi last month, Sund alleged that the former Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving said he was concerned about “the optics” and didn’t feel the “intelligence supported it.”
“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 Republicans wrote. “The Speaker is responsible for all operational decisions made within the House.”
They added that over the past two years, they have observed a “very heavy-handed and tightly controlled approach to House operations that has been exerted by yourself, your staff, and an army of appointed House officials.”
“When then-Chief Sund made a request for national guard support on January 4th, why was that request denied?” the Republicans continued. “Did Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving get permission or instruction from your staff on January 4th prior to denying Chief Sund’s request for the national guard?”
They went on to point out that when Sund notified the Sergeant at Arms of his request for national guard support, it “took over an hour for his request to be approved because the SAA had to run the request up the chain of command,” saying that chain “undoubtedly included” Pelosi and her “designees.”
The Republicans then blasted Pelosi for her decision to “unilaterally” fire Irving and demand the resignation of Sund.
“These decisions were made in a partisan manner without any consultation of House Republicans and therefore raise questions about the political motivations of your decisions,” they wrote.
Though Pelosi claimed the day after the riot that she had demanded Sund’s resignation because he “hasn’t called us since this happened,” the Republicans said this claim was easily “refuted” by Sund, who “detailed two occasions that he briefed you on the situation on the Capitol campus—the first occurring at 5:36 p.m. and the second at 6:25 p.m., both on January 6th.”
Later in the letter, the Republicans expressed concerns over the “obstruction and inability to procure and preserve information” from House officers when they have requested it.
“Such information is necessary to properly conduct oversight on the January 6th events,” they wrote. “Preservation and production requests were sent to the SAA and the House Chief Administrative Officer, among other legislative agencies, requesting that such relevant information concerning the attack on the Capitol, including correspondence, video footage, audio recordings, and other records, be preserved and produced to the relevant committees.”
“In multiple cases, your appointees, acting on your behalf, have denied requests to produce this information,” they added. “The response we received was: ‘We regret to inform you that given the scope of the information requested and the concerns implicated by the nature of the request… we are unable to comply with the request at this time.’”
They argued that despite the officers’ “refusal to comply with the request,” they learned that “some of the same material we requested was provided to the House Judiciary Committee on a partisan basis.”
“This is unacceptable. Madam Speaker, that direction could only have come from you,” the Republicans wrote.
“Lastly, your hyperbolic focus on fabricated internal security concerns has taken critical resources away from the real threat, which is from outside the U.S. Capitol,” they wrote. “Your decision to install magnetometers around the House Chamber is yet another example of this misdirection and misappropriation of House resources, which could be better used to protect members, staff, and official visitors from real, confirmed threats.”
“Tellingly, Madam Speaker, you have failed to comply with this requirement yourself,” they concluded. “End this political charade, and work with us to protect the Capitol and those who work here every day.”
Pelosi has yet to respond, and her office declined to comment when contacted.