Democrats rushed to blame Trump for J6 riots while Pelosi privately admitted some responsibility

The new revelation comes from a short clip that was part of a trove of videos turned over to Congress.

Published: June 10, 2024 11:00pm

Democrats and mainstream media spent three years since the Jan. 6 riot placing the blame for myriad security failures solely on former President Donald Trump’s shoulders, but Republicans believe a 40-second videotape of former Speaker Pelosi upends that narrative. Pelosi has referred to the rioters as "a terrorist mob" and insisted to an unquestioning ABC News that Trump "incited an insurrection."  

The footage, released by House Administration Committee Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., Monday depicts Speaker Pelosi and her chief of staff in a tense moment as an SUV whisked them away from the Capitol complex, speeding through an underground parking garage.

“We have responsibility, Terri,” Pelosi exclaimed to her chief of staff Terri McCullough at the beginning of the short video.

"What was interesting is when I saw the clip, I'm like, well, hey, this is actually an act of leadership that I was a little bit surprised to have, yes, she should take responsibility. But, it doesn't answer the questions that we've been asked after. Why were they caught flat footed? What was the failure? And why did not her select committee investigate that failure?” Loudermilk told “Just the News, No Noise” TV show Monday.

“That turned into simply a committee to tie Trump into all these failures instead of looking at the failures within the Capitol,” Loudermilk said of the Democrat-led Jan. 6 Select Committee. "And so you know, when I saw…the video clip that we got from HBO, just it didn't surprise me. But it did show me that at least the speaker herself…admitted that they were not prepared.”

The videotape, which Loudermilk posted publicly on social media on X, shows that the then-Speaker at least appears to recognize that Democratic leadership at the Capitol perhaps bore some responsibility for the security failures.

“We did not have any accountability for what was going on there, and we should have,” Pelosi said. “This is ridiculous.”

“You’re going to ask me — in the middle of the thing when they’ve already breached the inaugural stuff — ‘should we call the Capitol Police, I mean the National Guard?’” she added. “Why weren’t the National Guard there to begin with?”

“They thought that they had sufficient…resources” her chief of staff, McCullough, replied as the Speaker’s SUV raced through an underground parking garage.

“No, that’s not a question of how they had… they don’t know. They clearly didn’t know. And I take responsibility for not having them just prepare for more,” Pelosi said, clearly frustrated.

The footage was recorded by Pelosi's daughter Alexandra, who helped HBO shoot a documentary about the Jan 6 riot. But the video was not aired in its entirety until Monday, when Republicans on the House Administration Oversight Subcommittee released it after obtaining it from the TV network. She has made 15 documentaries for HBO, mostly about about America’s political class, 

Pelosi's reaction to the Capitol riot depicted in the footage was reported by Politico on Sunday. However, some of the key quotes above were not included by the outlet, which reviewed the footage independently. 

"Numerous independent fact-checkers have confirmed that Speaker Pelosi did not plan her own assassination. Cherry-picked out-of-context clips don't change that. Three years later, House Republicans are still trying to whitewash January 6th. It’s shameful, unpatriotic and pathetic," a spokesperson for Pelosi told Just the News.

House Republicans renewed criticisms of the Democrat-led Jan. 6 Select Committee after the footage was made public, emphasizing that the committee’s credibility has been undercut after it was originally constituted to investigate how and why the breach at the Capitol occurred.

"Pelosi’s J6 Select Committee spent taxpayers' money chasing false political narratives and using Hollywood producers for their ‘investigation,'" Subcommittee Chairman Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., said in a social media post on X. "Her admission of responsibility directly contradicts their own narrative.”

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, told Just the News that some House Republicans are considering measures to prevent two former Trump aides, Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro from enduring prison time for refusing subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee, citing the newly emerging evidence.

“[W]hat we didn't do is find out the truth about what actually happened on January 6. What Nancy Pelosi created was a sham partisan committee that was designed to cover up the failures, not you know, of other things,” Davidson told the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show Monday.

The new revelations follow years of Just the News reporting that showed the story was more complicated than former President Trump’s political opponents, primarily on the January 6 Select Committee, had insisted.

In 2019 then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund sounded the alarm to the Democrat-led House Administration Committee in 2019, only months into Nancy Pelosi’s tenure as speaker. Capitol Police memos reviewed by Just the News in 2022 showed Sund’s primary concerns were echoed to Congress by the Government Accountability Office, the Capitol Police Inspector General and the Capitol Architect between 2017 and 2020. The agencies were chiefly concerned with the Capitol Police’s leadership, intelligence analysis capabilities and a dysfunctional relationship with its governing board.

If the reports hinted at trouble, little was done before the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol.

Since the riot, Loudermilk’s investigation has uncovered further evidence of significant security failures on that day. Months after the event, a Capitol Police after-action review identified 53 areas of failure which need corrective action according to a June 4, 2021, report obtained by Just the News and reported in June 2022.

The report found that the Capitol Police received intelligence from outside sources, like the FBI, that suggested a potential for violence on that day, including specifically against lawmakers. This intelligence was not transformed into an operational plan that adequately warned officers of the dangers.

Steven Sund, the former Chief of the U.S. Capitol Police who resigned after Jan. 6, told Just the News in early 2023 that Pelosi’s political bureaucracy of in Capitol put optics over safety in the lead up to the riot. Sund also warned that the Capitol remains vulnerable to similar events, especially because it appears the political leadership did not learn from the failures.

“I point out in the book how politicized security on Capitol [Hill] is, and that hasn't changed. It's still the same," Sund said. "You still have way too much politics playing a role in security. All the oversight over the police department is all politically aligned. And anytime you have oversight that reports to a certain political party, it's a recipe for disaster.”

In July 2023, Just the News reported that Secret Service had brought Vice President-elect Kamala Harris into a Democratic National Committee parking garage just yards from where a pipe bomb had been planted the night before.

Loudermilk said that this was troubling. He told the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show at the time that the committee knows there was “actionable intelligence that there was going to be an attack on the Capitol.” He said that he believes the Secret Service had access to this information, so he asked: “So, why did they not catch a pipe bomb?”

Other documented security failures and open questions include:

  • A Capitol door left unlocked and unguarded which allowed hundreds of protestors to swarm into the building.
  • Footage of plainclothes D.C. Metro Police officers in the crowd, seen exhorting protestors
  • A D.C. Metro Police officer on video saying “we go undercover as Antifa”

Loudermilk said that he would like Pelosi to come talk to his committee about Jan. 6 after the release of the footage, though a subpoena will likely have little effect.

“I would like for her to come and talk to us. As far as subpoenaing her, you know, it's kind of established when they tried to subpoena many of our members on our side during the Select Committee's investigation, it's questionable of whether you can actually subpoena a sitting member of Congress,” Loudermilk said.

“Hopefully having a hearing here in the next few weeks to call in some witnesses, try to figure out: was this intelligence that was received by the Capitol Police purposely suppressed? Was it incompetence? Either way there was a cover up who in in the Democrat leadership knew of this intelligence, if anyone, so there's a lot of questions that, you know, I think it would be great if she'd be willing to come in and sit down to with us and just talk about it,” he added.

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