House Republicans released a counter report on the origins of the January 6th insurrection, blaming Speaker Nancy Pelosi for hindering the security response and arguing Capitol Police had inadequate staff and equipment on the day of insurrection.
The 141-page report, compiled by a ‘shadow’ group of GOP lawmakers, was released ahead of the January 6th committee’s final report, which is expected to come out on Thursday and to be highly critical of Donald Trump.
The GOP findings focus on what they call ‘political pressures’ from Pelosi and her office that handicapped security officials in the Capitol. The report does not address whether Trump played in a role in inciting his supporters to march on the building.
House Republicans released a counter report on the origins of the January 6th insurrection, blaming Speaker Nancy Pelosi for hindering the security response
‘Leadership and law enforcement failures within the U.S. Capitol left the complex vulnerable on January 6, 2021,’ the report begins.
‘The Democrat-led investigation in the House of Representatives, however, has disregarded those institutional failings that exposed the Capitol to violence that day,’ it says.
The report was written by the five Republican lawmakers who were part of the GOP group originally appointed to the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack.
But they were pulled by House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy after Pelosi refused to seat two of his picks – Reps. Jim Banks and Jim Jordan – citing their objections to Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who sat on the House January 6th committee, said their final report will address security concerns.
‘There will be material in the report that we’ll be releasing later this week on that very issue – on the nature of the intelligence that agencies have, the degree to which it was shared or not shared, the degree to which was acted upon or not acted upon, the coordination or lack of coordination among law enforcement. So those issues are addressed in our report,’ he said earlier this week.
The official House committee released an executive summary of its findings on Monday, where it detailed actions by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The lawmakers on the panel voted unanimously to refer the former president to the Justice Department on charges of inciting insurrection, conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruction of an act of Congress, and conspiracy to make a false statement.
The GOP report, meanwhile, focuses on the intelligence gathering and security procedures ahead of January 6th, constraints on the House Sergeant at Arms, and communications between the House Sergeant at Arms and Pelosi staff.
While it does noteTrump’s tweet late in the day on Jan. 6th asking the rioters to go home, it doesn’t detail the hours of inaction on the part of the then-president, which was outlined in the public hearings held by the January 6th committee.
There is also little information on the activities of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, who, at the time, was the leader in the Senate. Nor does it touch on communications between McConnell’s office and the Senate Sergeant at Arms that day.
Pelosi is not the only official targeted in the GOP report.
Then House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, the top security official in the House, is blasted for deferring to the speaker and for being distracted by other events surrounding January 6th – including the swearing-in of new members of Congress and the upcoming presidential inauguration.
‘Irving carried out his duties in clear deference to the Speaker, her staff, and other Democratic staff,’ the report states.
Irving resigned in the wake of January 6th.
House Republicans released their own report to counter that of the January 6th committee’s official findings – above (from left to right) key GOP lawmakers Jim Banks of Indiana, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Kevin McCarthy of California
The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack will put out its final report on the January 6th riot on Thursday
The Republicans argue that, on the House side, there was ‘a pattern and practice of seeking and obtaining permission from the Speaker for all security decisions. This delayed the request for help from the National Guard.’
Pelosi has repeatedly denied GOP allegations she was in charge of security for the complex and that she hindered any security actions on that day. In one of its final hearings, the Jan. 6th panel showed video footage of Pelosi working the phones that day, asking for National Guard and police from Virginia and Maryland to be sent to the Capitol.
The speaker of the House is not responsible for Capitol Security. That is the pervue of the Capitol Police Board, which oversees the US Capitol Police and approves requests for National Guard assistance.
One of the recommendations in the GOP report is to reform the Capitol Police Board for ‘the separation of security decisions from politics.’
The report was compiled through public documents, news accounts, interviews with officials and from witnesses and USCP sources whose identities are protected for fear of retaliation.
It claims that there were also concerns about a ‘perception problem’ if the National Guard had been pre-set at the Capitol on January 6th, which then contributed to the slow decision to call them in after the riot started.
‘The documents and communications show concerns about the public perception of military personnel at the Capitol and how the use of force by officers against violent protestors were well known among Irving, Democratic leadership, and USCP leadership,’ the report states.
The report also took to task U.S. Capitol Police leadership for failing to train officers for such an event or give them the equipment they need. And it notes changes made in the intelligence-gathering divison of the agency that crippled USCP’s ability to prepare for the insurrection.
‘The failure to limit the scope of the attack on January 6, 2021, was as much a management failure as an intelligence failure,’ it says.
‘The USCP was set up to fail, and there have been scant signs of progress toward addressing these weaknesses.’
One of the final hearings of the January 6th committee shows footage of Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on the day of the insurrection, calling for security help
It notes that a division chief at USCP changed the procedure so analysts no longer conducted proactive social media searches, which left them unaware of many of the threats circulating the internet.
Several agencies on Capitol Hill, including USCP, conducted their own internal investigations in the wake of January 6th and came up with new recommendations on procedures.
A bipartisan panel also recommended changes to the Capitol Police Board.