Were Pelosi, McConnell warned of potential violence before Capitol riot? Offices remain mum

Representatives of the Speaker of the House and Senate Republican Leader are also silent on whether the leaders weighed in on having National Guard troops bolster security at the Capitol prior to the events of Jan. 6.

Published: January 21, 2021 4:43pm

Updated: January 22, 2021 9:05am

The offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell won't say whether the congressional leaders were briefed on potential violence ahead of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol — or whether they weighed in on requesting help from the National Guard to bolster Capitol security.

Just the News reached out to representatives for Pelosi and asked if the speaker was briefed about threats of violence in advance of the rally. Her office was also asked if the speaker favored or opposed having National Guard troops help Capitol Police to protect the Capitol Building before the rally. Her office didn't provide a response.

McConnell's press office was asked the same questions, but they did not return a request for comment. 

Security sources told Just the News that Pelosi's staff was briefed on threats of violence, but it is unclear if Pelosi herself was briefed directly or indirectly on the situation.

In a timeline of events from the Pentagon, defense officials wrote that U.S. Capitol Police twice said that they did not need help from the military. According to the timeline, Capitol Police confirmed that stance to Defense Department officials and to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. 

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund reportedly asked House and Senate security officials if they wanted National Guard troops to assist the Capitol Police in protecting the Capitol complex in advance of the Jan. 6 rally. According to The Washington Post, House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving said he was not in support of declaring an emergency ahead of the rally. Sund and Irving have since resigned. 

President Trump delivered remarks at a pro-Trump rally before the riot at the U.S. Capitol. The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed an article of impeachment against former President Trump last week for "incitement of insurrection."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has raised questions about the events leading up to the Jan. 6 riot.

"We should get to the bottom of this," McCarthy said on Thursday. "There are so many questions that need to be answered. There are so many questions that I have personally as a leader. I read in the paper that the FBI, prior to any rally, had information that something was going to happen here and conveyed that to the Capitol Police. I want to know why was the Republican leader not notified of that? Why was I not notified to make sure that we protect?"

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