Former President Donald Trump attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, blaming her for "not properly securing" the United States Capitol on January 6, the day a mob of his supporters, spurred by his lies, attacked the seat of government on the false premise that the 2020 general election had been stolen.
Trump, who had urged his supporters to "fight like hell" to keep him in office, falsely asserted that Pelosi could have or should have done more to prevent the attack. However, the responsibility for security lies not with Pelosi but with the United States Capitol Police and its board, which can request help from federal as well as Washington, D.C. authorities.
In an emailed statement to his supporters dessiminated by his spokesperson Liz Harrington, Trump also criticized the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the attack, demanding that they investigate his false allegations that the 2020 election was rife with fraud and abuse.
He also demanded that the committee investigate Pelosi while insisting that the committee "wants nothing to do with that subject because they know it was the fault of Nancy Pelosi and, to a lesser extent, the Mayor of D.C."
“Why isn’t the corrupt Unselect Committee of political hacks and highly partisan sleazebags in Washington investigating the massive voter fraud and irregularities that took place in the 2020 Presidential Election, rather than spending all of its time investigating those who were protesting its result?" ...
"Also, why is Crazy Nancy Pelosi and her files, which reportedly have been largely destroyed and deleted, not under investigation for not properly securing the Capitol with Soldiers or the National Guard that were strongly recommended to her by me and others?"
Trump proceeded to skirt his responsibility for encouraging his supporters to attack the Capitol, insisting that he knew the crowd would be large because they were protesting an election he continues to falsely claim was "RIGGED."
He went on to suggest that he had requested security for the Capitol but that his requests were denied by Pelosi:
"Capitol security was her job, not the President’s, and the American people now know that. If she did with security what she should have, there would have been no 'January 6' as we know it." ...
"So, if I recommend Soldiers and if she refused to use them, why am I, and those around me, responsible for anything? We’re not, plain and simple!”
However, Trump's claim is false.
While there were numerous warnings about the possibility of an attack, the Capitol Police planned only for a free speech demonstration and turned down offers of assistance from the Pentagon on two separate occasions.
Three days prior to the attack, the Pentagon had suggested deploying the National Guard. On the day of the attack, as the mob proceeded to attack the Capitol, the Pentagon suggested bringing in agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Capitol Police denied both offers of assistance,, which ultimately handicapped the force's ability to contain the threat.
Aides and allies of the former President had pleaded with him to call for an end to the violence but Trump had initially resisted sending in the National Guard even as rioters grew progressively more violent.
In fact, Trump's refusal to respond, widely perceived as further evidence that he not only encouraged but ultimately endorsed the attack, forced Vice President Mike Pence to take the lead on the decision to mobilize the National Guard.
Many have criticized Trump for attacking Pelosi and playing fast and loose with the facts of who ultimately bore responsibility for the attack.
Debates over Capitol security have intensified since the attack and the agency was forced to boost security around lawmakers who received threats afterward.
The Senate later called for former Senate Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper Michael Stenger, former House Sergeant at Arms Paul D. Irving, former Chief of U.S. Capitol Police Steven Sund, and Robert Contee, chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, to testify on the events of January 6 amid criticism of their response.
So widespread were criticisms of the Capitol Police, even among its ranks, that the U.S. Capitol Police Labor Committee, the union that represents thousands of U.S. Capitol Police officers, announced that the overwhelming majority of Capitol Police officers––92%––voted that they had no confidence in Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman, who was later replaced by Thomas Manger.
The union also provided votes of no confidence on other members of the department, saying in a news release that the board "took this unprecedented step after reviewing details of the events on, and leading up to, January 6th and the subsequent deaths of 6 people, and injuries to approximately 140 Capitol and Metropolitan Police officers.”