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Tag: capitol security

House Republicans Attempt To Smear Pelosi Over Capitol Security Breach

Reprinted with permission from American Independent =

Defenders of Donald Trump in the House of Representatives have a new target for their efforts to shift blame for the attack on the U.S. Capitol by his followers on January 6 away from Trump: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In a letter to Pelosi dated February 15 and signed by Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Devin Nunes (R-CA), James Comer (R-KY), and Rodney Davis (R-IL), the Republican lawmakers demand that Pelosi answer questions about her role in making decisions about security measures at the Capitol around the time of the attack, incited by Trump over months of his lying about voter fraud and demanding that his supporters gather on January 6, march to the Capitol, and "fight" to stop President Joe Biden from being certified the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

"Five weeks have passed since the January 6th attack on the Capitol building, and many important questions about your responsibility for the security of the Capitol remain unanswered," the letter reads. "As you are aware, the Speaker of the House is not only the leader of the majority party, but also has enormous institutional responsibilities. The Speaker is responsible for all operational decisions made within the House."

The Associated Press called the claim that Pelosi was responsible for day-to-day security at the Capitol false. Bee Barnett of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society told the AP, "No one person oversees USCP — the oversight apparatus includes representation from the Architect of the Capitol, the House and Senate Sergeants at Arms, as well as committees from both Houses of Congress."

While the Republican congressman demand that Pelosi tell them why, when U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund "made a request for national guard support on January 4th ... was that request denied?" Pelosi has no role in calling in the Guard: That authority lies with the commander in chief of the armed forces, and it was Trump himself who refused for hours to call in the Guard to assist the police during the riot situation. He instead "enjoyed" watching his supporters' actions, CNN reported.

And if Pelosi somehow were responsible for security at the Capitol, then presumably so too would be then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as leader of one of the other chamber of Congress.

But Republicans are not blaming McConnell or demanding answers from him.

The Republican members' attempt to shift blame to Pelosi comes two days after a majority of senators voted during his impeachment trial to convict Trump on the charge of inciting insurrection.

Conviction would have required a two-thirds' majority vote, but even some Republican senators who voted to acquit said Trump was responsible for the attack that left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer.

A poll released by ABC News Monday finds 58 percent of Americans think Trump should have been convicted, including 14 percent of Republicans. A Reuters poll released Saturday, the day Trump was acquitted, found 71 percent of Americans, including "nearly half of all Republicans," think Trump was "at least partially responsible" for the insurrection.

Kurt Bardella, a media strategist who left the Republican Party in 2018 and who had worked for the House Oversight Committee during Republicans' years-long investigation into the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans in 2012, tweeted on Monday, "The Republican strategy here is clear: they are looking to do to 1.6 what they did with #Benghazi. They will try to do to @SpeakerPelosi what they did to @HillaryClinton. Same exact playbook. Do not let them get away with this my fellow Democrats!"

Pelosi did not respond to the Republicans' letter.

In her own "Dear Democratic Colleague" letter marking the Presidents Day holiday on Monday, Pelosi wrote,

For the past few weeks, General [Russel] Honoré has been assessing our security needs by reviewing what happened on January 6 and how we must ensure that it does not happen again. He has been working with Committees of Jurisdiction and will continue to make proposals.
It is clear from his findings and from the impeachment trial that we must get to the truth of how this happened. To protect our security, our security, our security, our next step will be to establish an outside, independent 9/11-type Commission to 'investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021 domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex ... and relating to the interference with the peaceful transfer of power, including facts and causes relating to the preparedness and response of the United States Capitol Police and other Federal, State, and local law enforcement in the National Capitol Region."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Republicans Who Stoked Capitol Mob Demand Removal Of Security Measures

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

On Friday afternoon, Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) tweeted a copy of a letter delivered to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, signed by 42 Republicans, demanding that the security fencing installed around the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., after the complex was stormed by supporters of Donald Trump on Jan. 6 be taken down.

Many of the Republicans who signed the letter helped incite the attack on the Capitol.

Budd commented, "42 House members just sent a letter to @Speaker Pelosi demanding that the militarized Capitol fencing come down and NOT be made permanent. It's time to open the People's House."

The letter reads in part,

It's time for healing and it's time for the removal of the fencing so the nation may move forward. ... Of course, we all understood that some increase in security was necessary after the tragic events of January 6, but now there is no valid reason to continue the same level of security measures. It is appalling that Communist China allows their citizens more freedom to visit historical sites like Tiananmen Square than currently exists for Americans who want to visit the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The fencing was placed around the Capitol at the recommendation of the acting Capitol Police chief, Yogananda Pittman, after a mob of far-right extremists spurred on by Trump attacked the building, leaving five dead. The fencing was originally intended to be temporary, but Pittman recommended it be made permanent.

"In light of recent events, I can unequivocally say that vast improvements to the physical security infrastructure must be made to include permanent fencing, and the availability of ready, back-up forces in close proximity to the Capitol," Pittman said.

Lawmakers who signed the letter also tweeted their disapproval of the fencing.

"The US Capitol is the PEOPLE'S HOUSE," tweeted Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA). "It shouldn't be a fortress. Why do @HouseDemocrats seem totally comfortable with barbed wire fencing when it's protecting them, but not when it's along the southern border protecting the entire country?"

Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) tweeted, "National Guard troops will still be in DC in February. Permanent fencing is being proposed around the Capitol. Many security perimeters are still in place. Where was all of this protection for American businesses when their stores were looted for WEEKS last summer?"

The fencing also drew criticism from the Democratic mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser.

"Based on conversations with federal partners, there are some potentially volatile events upcoming that will require extra security. Fencing and the presence of troops will be a part of that," shetweeted Jan. 28. "But we will not accept extra troops or permanent fencing as a long-term fixture in DC."

Thirty-five of the 42 House Republicans who signed the letter also voted on Jan. 6 against certifying the results of Electoral College voting in the 2020 presidential election, charging that the election had been stolen from Trump and thereby supporting the lie that had motivated the mob that made extra security measures necessary in the first place.

Other signatories more directly incited the attempted takeover of the Capitol.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) not only voted against the certification of electoral votes, but has faced calls for her resignation by colleagues for her behavior Jan. 6, tweeting, "This is 1776" the morning of the attack and tweeting Pelosi's movements during the attack.

A month before the attack, Trump loyalist Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) told a crowd at an event held by the right-wing organization Turning Point USA to threaten lawmakers who wouldn't vote to overturn the election.

"Call your congressman and feel free, you can lightly threaten them and say, you know what, if you don't start supporting election integrity, I'm coming after you, Madison Cawthorn is coming after you, everybody's coming after you," he said. Cawthorn also voted against certifying the election results.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), another lawmaker who signed the letter, was named by Ali Alexander, a far-right extremist and organizer of the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the insurrection, as a fellow organizer of the riots. Biggs denied the allegations, but also sought clemency from Trump for his involvement.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) did vote to certify the results of the Electoral College voting, but he made inflammatory remarks encouraging violence. Days before the attack, he told Fox News' Tucker Carlson, "If we have a Democratically controlled Senate, we are basically at full-scale hot conflict in this country, whereas right now, we're at a cold civil war."

Telling Republican voters in Georgia's two Senate runoff elections in January to "hold the line," Roy said, "That's what is at stake."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Pelosi Confirms House Will Send Impeachment Resolution To Senate Monday

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed a "dear colleague" letter to Democrats indicating that the House will send the article of impeachment of Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday, a "momentous and solemn day, as the House sadly transmits the Article of Impeachment."

"Our Constitution and country are well-served by our outstanding impeachment managers – lead manager Rep. Jamie Raskin and Reps. Diana DeGette, David Cicilline, Joaquin Castro, Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, Stacey Plaskett, Madeleine Dean, and Joe Neguse," she wrote. She also low-key slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had tried to dictate the timing of the impeachment by telling Pelosi to wait until the last half of February to start the process. "The House has been respectful of the Senate's constitutional power over the trial and always attentive to the fairness of the process," she wrote. "When the Article of Impeachment is transmitted to the Senate, the former President will have had nearly two weeks since we passed the Article."

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