House Republicans are demanding that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) answer key questions about Capitol security both before and after the January 6th riots that left five people dead and dozens injured.
In a pair of requests, Republicans are demanding to know whether Pelosi had a hand in denying a request from Capitol Police chief Steven Sund for National Guard assistance ahead of the January 6th rally, and why, now that the threat of violence at the U.S. Capitol seems to have decreased markedly, National Guard troops are being asked to remain on duty in Washington, D.C., until early fall.
There are still 6,000 National Guard troops on duty in Washington, D.C., The Daily Wire reported last week, and the National Security Council has reportedly asked the Department of Defense to extend the National Guard’s stay, “for an extended period,” “at least through Fall 2021.”
Republican Rep. Lisa McClain (MI) is part of a group challenging that decision, according to an interview McClain did Monday with Fox News.
“Myself and several of my colleagues have asked Nancy Pelosi for a briefing as to ‘Why do we need these troops here?’ And we have received zero information, zero,” McClain said, noting that it is likely that Pelosi had a hand in the decision to request a continued military presence in and around the Capitol and other prominent buildings.
“It’s amazing to me that [Pelosi] can do this without any disclosure, without any information, and just continue to spend money with no briefing,” McClain added. “Doesn’t make sense to me.”
McClain went on to add that she feels “completely safe” in the city and suggested that National Guard troops on deployment in D.C. would be better put to use in their home states, handling coronavirus pandemic response.
“They’re talking about sending a thousand more National Guard troops from my state of Michigan, for reasons that we don’t know,” she said. “I would rather put those National Guard men and women to help my constituents in my state help with the distribution of the COVID relief vaccination.”
Foremost among McClain’s concerns, though, is the cost to taxpayers for a continued National Guard presence. As The Daily Wire noted last week, “keeping the National Guard in Washington, D.C., until March is slated to cost half a billion dollars, according to reports.”
While some Republicans are seeking information about the National Guard’s post-inauguration plans, others want to know why the National Guard, which has become such a visible presence in Washington, D.C., since January, was cut out of plans to secure the Capitol ahead of the January 6th rally that ultimately turned into a riot and an assault on the U.S. Capitol building.
“Top Republicans on several committees are demanding answers from Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding security decisions made leading up to and on the day of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6,” Fox News reported Monday. “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, on Monday, saying that ‘many important questions’ about her ‘responsibility for the security’ of the Capitol on Jan. 6 ‘remain unanswered.'”
Specifically, the House GOP wants to know whether Pelosi had a hand in denying a request from Capitol Police chief Steven Sund for National Guard backup.
“When then-Chief Sund made a request for national guard support on January 4th, why was that request denied?” the Republicans wrote. “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?”
Both parties have expressed interest in a “9/11 commission”-style investigation of how the Capitol riots were allowed to happen. A decision on that is not likely to be made until later this year, however.