House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and other House GOP leaders blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Tuesday morning, accusing her of being ultimately responsible for security failures at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Prior to a hearing by the House's commission that is looking into the events of that day, McCarthy pointed to failures at the top that may have contributed to what happened that day.
"Dec. 14, the leadership knew there was a problem," McCarthy said. "Even prior to that, an Inspector General report told us there was failed leadership at the top of the police for the training." The minority leader noted that no hearing was held to address that report.
House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., echoed this, claiming that in December 2020 Pelosi "was made aware of potential security threats to the Capitol and she failed to act."
On Jan. 4, House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving – who reports to Pelosi – denied a request to send in the National Guard to help handle the crowd on Jan. 6.
"The American people deserve to know the truth that Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility as speaker of the House for the tragedy that occurred on Jan. 6," Stefanik said.
Pelosi as speaker does not directly oversee the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP), according to the Associated Press, but does appoint the House sergeant-at-arms, who is on the Capitol Police Board that oversees the department. The department is also overseen by committees from both houses of Congress.
Stefanik also accused Pelosi of running a biased commission based on politics, not a desire for the truth.
"She's an authoritarian who has broken the people's House," she said.
House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., claimed that Pelosi's commitment to her own narrative of what happened is akin to her failure to hold a hearing on the origins of COVID-19.
"Too often we've seen this pattern by Speaker Pelosi of trying to cover up a narrative that she doesn't want out there when we should be trying to get all of the facts," he said.
McCarthy stressed the importance of investigating what happened, but claimed that the commission will not look at the whole picture.
"But unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi will only pick on people onto the committee that will ask the questions she wants asked," McCarthy said. "That becomes a failed committee and a failed report, a sham that no one can believe. If you want the true answers, do not be afraid of the questions that will get asked and drive the evidence to wherever it comes forward."