Livid about what she called the “failure at the top” in the wake of the January 6th breach of the U.S. Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., insisted that the Sergeant at Arms for the House of Representatives be fired. He subsequently resigned and Speaker Pelosi appointed an interim Sergeant at Arms. The Senate made a similar move.
Speaker Pelosi also moved to fire the Chief of the Capitol Police. The Mercury News’ headline bellowed, “Pelosi Calls for Resignation of Capitol Police. Speaker of the House says either he resigns or she will fire him.”
At a press conference on January 7, Speaker Pelosi said, “There was a failure at the top of the Capitol Police, and I think Mr. (Steven) Sund – he hasn’t even called us.”
Who is ultimately “at the top of the Capitol Police?” Speaker Pelosi knows she is. She and the Senate Leader, though they don’t manage day-to-day operations, have ultimate authority over Capitol security. They failed.
HOUSE REPUBLICANS DEMAND ANSWERS FROM PELOSI ON SECURITY DECISIONS LEADING UP TO CAPITOL RIOT
She quickly vowed to fire the Sergeant at Arms and the Chief of Capitol Police. But what about her own responsibilities and culpability in what all agree was an inadequate response, intelligence failure, and shameful preparation for such an event?
Speaker Pelosi’s long-term approach to security has apparently failed to protect herself, the greater United States Capitol, Members of Congress, and the public. If we’re serious about holding the people at the top accountable, Pelosi should also have to answer questions about her own leadership.
Here are 13 questions we should demand Speaker Pelosi answer:
1. What was your role in authorizing or denying National Guard support before and after January 6?
2. Representatives Rodney Davis, R-Illinois, Jim Jordan, R-Ohio and James Comer R-Ky., on Feb. 15 asked you five pointed questions about your role in Jan. 6 and your preservation and compliance with document requests. Will you answer them?
KEEPING NATIONAL GUARD IN DC HAS COST AN ESTIMATED $438 MILLION
3. After the 2011 shooting of now former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., what changed with regard to security?
4. After the shooting of Republican House Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., were any changes made to security?
5. What happens when a member of Congress’s life is threatened? How are they expected to protect themselves?
6. In 2018, $25,000 was allocated to each Member’s Reimbursement Allowance (MRA) for security. Did that work?
7. Do you have enough cameras in the public spaces inside and outside the Capitol?
8. Why can’t law enforcement secure doors in the Capitol and why isn’t there bulletproof glass?
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9. Why were known COVID-infected members allowed on the grounds of the Capitol? This is especially relevant given the disparate treatment of Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney’s son. A Naval Academy graduate, he was denied Floor access (in the plexiglass COVID box you created so COVID-positive members could vote for you for Speaker) to see his mother sworn in when every other member was allowed a guest.
10. You insisted members should be fined $5,000 if they failed to pass through metal detectors. Should you be fined for not passing through the metal detector?
11. You said the enemy is within. What did you mean and who specifically are you afraid of in Congress?
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12. How do you respond to the February 1 letter from former Capitol Police Chief Sund?
13. Your own home was vandalized this year on January 1. Yet nobody was arrested. The San Francisco Police Department was quoted saying, “Unidentified suspect(s) had painted graffiti on the garage door and left a pig’s head on the sidewalk.” How does this happen to the Speaker of the House?
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