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House Republicans on Monday called for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to answer “many important questions” about her “responsibility for the security” of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the building.
Republicans on several committees sent Pelosi a letter asking why, among other things, former Capitol Police Chief Steve Sund had his January 4 request for National Guard assistance rejected by former Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, according to Fox News.
Irving reportedly 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,” said the letter, written by 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.
“The Speaker is responsible for all operational decisions made within the House,” the letter says, adding that Pelosi, her staff and an army of appointed House officials had kept a “very heavy-handed and tightly controlled approach to House operations” over the past two years.
“When then-Chief Sund made a request for national guard support on January 4th, why was that request denied?” the group 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?”
The letter adds that on the day of the Capitol riots, Sund moved to notify the Sergeant at Arms of his request for national guard assistance and said it “took over an hour for his request to be approved because the SAA had to run the request up the chain of command.” That chain “undoubtedly included” Pelosi and her “designees,” the Republicans say.
They blast Pelosi for her “partisan” decision to “unilaterally” fire Irving and demand Sund’s resignation.
While Pelosi said on January 7 that she had called for Sund’s resignation as he “hasn’t called us since this happen,” the Republicans say that claim was “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.”
Davis, Jordan, Comer and Nunes also questioned the reliability of the independent security review being conducted by General Russel Honoré, who Pelosi appointed on her own last month “without consultation of the minority.”
They expressed concerns that House officers have denied requests to “procure and preserve information” on Pelosi’s behalf.
“Such information is necessary to properly conduct oversight on the January 6th events,” they letter says. “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,” the Republicans add. “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.’”
The group says 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,” they wrote.