J6 Unmasked: Security footage shows Pelosi evacuating Hollywood-style from Capitol as daughter films

Ex-Capitol Police chief says Pelosi's actions that day created a 'major distraction,' put unnecessary strain on her security detail.

Published: June 1, 2023 5:04pm

Updated: June 1, 2023 6:33pm

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has described having to evacuate a riotous Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 as traumatic. But Capitol Police security footage obtained by Just the News shows the long-time Democrat leader exited Hollywood-style from the home of Congress that fateful day with her daughter filming her as security officers tried to guide her through a secret safe passage corridor.

The footage, made available by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and aired for the first time on the Just the News, No Noise television show on Real America's Voice on Thursday night, provides three different angles of Pelosi's evacuation the afternoon of Jan. 6. Each show her daughter Alexandra roving around her mother's delegation with a camera as they moved briskly through corridors, led by members of the Capitol Police protective detail.

The video shows then-Speaker Pelosi was not in jeopardy after fleeing the breached Capitol chamber, because the footage shows no protesters or rioters penetrated the evacuation route. Capitol Police confirmed to Congress the woman holding the camera in the footage was Pelosi's daughter, Alexandra.

Steven Sund, the former Capitol Police chief, who was fired after the Jan. 6 tragedy, viewed the evacuation footage Thursday for the first time and said he was deeply concerned that Pelosi's actions that day put an unnecessary strain on her security detail.

"When you look at the footage, what you need to realize is a protective detail is specifically for the protectee. You're there, you're protecting the protectee," Sund told Just the News. "Now, Capitol Police statutorily do have the authority to protect family members. And it's my understanding the person holding the camera was Pelosi's daughter. But she's there in the position of being media.

"The protective detail isn't there to protect media. And whoever else was there with her for the sole purpose of videotaping creates a major distraction for the protective detail," he added. "You know, they don't train to protect those additional people."

Sund said the filming operation also likely created consequences for the specialized vehicle that was sent to whisk Pelosi to a safe location at Fort McNair.

"There's a limited number of seats in the armored vehicles that, you know, if you're going to put one of those additional people into the armored personnel carrier, or the armored vehicle, you're going to lose one of your security detail. And that's not what's meant to happen so it creates a distraction."

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene reacted to the newly released Capitol security footage of Pelosi being filmed by her daughter during the evacuation. 

"They use that situation to film it so that their family can make millions of dollars later by selling the video footage and a documentary," she said. "I believe that is one of the most abusive things."

Former Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee when the riot took place, argued that a Republican congressional leader being filmed by a family member on Jan. 6, 2021 during the evacuation would be treated differently.

"If they had somebody, even a family member, filming them, they would have gotten a subpoena in front of the January 6th select committee," he said.

Spokespersons for Pelosi and her daughter did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Just the News blurred portions of the security video that potentially revealed security measures along the secret escape route but left unblurred the heart of the footage showing Pelosi, her daughter and the security detail on the route.

Just the News plans to air several more never-before seen security videos from the Jan. 6 riot in the next month that identify security failures and questions left unanswered by the Democrat-led House Jan. 6 select committee.

Alexandra Pelosi has acknowledged filming her mother that day and using some of the footage to produce a documentary about her mother that was released on HBO last December called, "Pelosi in the House." That footage showed Pelosi at various points during the riot but it did not show the impact of the video operation on the security detail, as the security footage did.

On Jan. 7, 2021, Pelosi said that many Capitol Hill staff members were traumatized by the riot a day earlier.

"What's sad about it is, of course, as members of Congress we sign up for the exposure that we have, but to see in the eyes of so many of the staff people especially the younger ones the trauma, the fright that it was for them to be locked into rooms with terrorists banging on the doors, hiding under desks, under tables and the rest of that. They did not sign up for that. We did not sign them up for that," she said at a news conference the day after the riot.

"It's a blessing to be interested in public service, to learn from it here, perhaps to go on into public service but to carry that important value into whatever they do in life but to see, to meet with them and to see how frightened they were, how traumatized they were, because these thugs, these Trump thugs, decided they would desecrate the Capitol with no thought of what harm they might do physically, psychologically or any other way. And they will be prosecuted. Justice will be done," she added.

In January of this year, Alexandra Pelosi said her mother never formally gave her permission to film her for the HBO documentary.

"A lot of it was filmed without her consent. She never gave me permission to film her. A lot of it's filmed on an iPhone. This is what you call vérité, so it's in the moment," she said. "It's just that over the course of many years, I saw interesting things happening and I turned my phone on."

She joked that her mom would not sue her over the documentary.  "She likes me enough that she wouldn't sue me," she said.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

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