House Speaker Nancy Pelosi barred Republicans from key security-related discussions ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to a lengthy House GOP-led report issued Wednesday.
The lawmakers say internal politics and unnecessary bureaucracy under the California Democrat’s leadership led to the U.S. Capitol being left unprepared as the mob of rioters advanced.
“Leadership and law enforcement failures within the U.S. Capitol left the complex vulnerable on January 6, 2021,” the report concludes. “The Democrat-led investigation in the House of Representatives, however, has disregarded those institutional failings that exposed the Capitol to violence that day.”
The findings are a product of an independent investigation led by Republican Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Troy Nehls of Texas, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Rodney Davis of Illinois — the five members named by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to serve on the Democrat-led panel to investigate the attack on the Capitol.
Mr. McCarthy later withdrew their participation on the panel after Mrs. Pelosi unilaterally blocked Reps. Banks and Jordan from serving.
In what largely amounts to a rebuttal to the House Jan. 6 committee’s 18-month investigation and highly-anticipated final report, the Republican-led report focuses squarely on the failure to secure the Capitol — a matter the lawmakers say was overlooked by Mrs. Pelosi’s panel.
Citing anonymous witnesses described in the report as U.S. Capitol Police sources, the lawmakers say despite receiving ample warning of potential unrest surrounding the Jan. 6 certification of the 2020 presidential results, failures across the U.S. Capitol Police, House sergeant at arms and House leadership under the Democratic Party led to inadequate police mobilization on the day of the attack.
“Prior to that day, the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) had obtained sufficient information from an array of channels to anticipate and prepare for the violence that occurred,” the 141-page report reads. “However, officers on the front lines and analysts in USCP’s intelligence division were undermined by the misplaced priorities of their leadership.”
The report points to an ongoing shake-up in the USCP Intelligence and Interagency Division (IICD) weeks before the attack that included expert intelligence analysts being reassigned to new roles and instituting new processes for synthesizing threat data.
The lawmakers say the unit’s overhaul during the critical period led to a failure to warn frontline officers about the threats of violence despite IICD analysts having gathered intelligence that pointed to a need for bolstered security on Jan. 6.
The report also points to then-House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving succumbing to political pressures from the House Democratic leadership before the attack.
“Rather than coordinate in a meaningful way, Irving only provided information to Republicans after receiving instruction from the Speaker’s office,” the report reads.
“In one case, Irving even asked a senior Democratic staffer to “act surprised” when he sent the key.
information about plans for the Joint Session on January 6, 2021, to him and his Republican counterpart,” the report continues. “The senior Democratic staffer replied: “I’m startled!”
The report also concludes that “widespread concern” among Democrats “over ‘optics’” in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests that spread throughout the country in the summer of 2020 prevented “early deployment of the National Guard” on Jan. 6.
The Democrat-led House committee charged with investigating the Capitol attack has pinned the blame squarely on former President Donald Trump for the violence that took place.
Earlier this week, the panel recommended that federal prosecutors pursue charges against the former president for inciting the attack on the Capitol by the pro-Trump mob, obstructing an official proceeding of Congress, conspiracy to defraud the government and making false statements on fake presidential electors.
Mr. Trump said the move was intended to derail his 2024 campaign for the White House, but predicted the move wouldn’t harm him.
“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “These folks don’t get it that when they come after me, people who love freedom rally around me. It strengthens me.”
He said Democrats “are out to keep me from running for president because they know I’ll win and that this whole business of prosecuting me is just like impeachment was — a partisan attempt to sideline me and the Republican Party.”
Mr. Trump also claimed Monday that he “pushed for 20,000 troops to prevent violence on Jan. 6 and that I went on television and told everyone to go home.”
While Mr. Trump was involved in discussions before Jan. 6 about the National Guard response, he did not issue any orders for troops before or during the rioting. He issued a video statement about three hours after the attack began, urging supporters to go home.
The committee also began releasing key details behind its final report, including an executive summary and list of witnesses who came forward throughout the investigation.
The 161-page document released Monday focuses primarily on Mr. Trump‘s actions to overturn the 2020 election and what the committee said were his actions that led to the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The findings specifically accuse Mr. Trump of disseminating false allegations of election fraud related to the 2020 presidential contest, pressuring state and local election officials in the wake of the election, summoning his supporters to Washington on Jan. 6, and inciting violence by his supporters at the Capitol.
“None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him,” the committee concludes in the report.
The committee‘s final report is expected to be released later this week.
• Dave Boyer contributed to this report.