The top Republican on the House committee that oversees U.S. Capitol security is blasting Speaker Nancy Pelosi for refusing to release key evidence showing the security planning prior to the Jan. 6 riots and is warning that the police force that protects lawmakers has not reformed itself enough to avoid another tragedy.
“We know there were intelligence analysis failures at the Capitol Police,” Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) told the John Solomon Reports podcast during an interview Thursday on the one-year anniversary of the Capitol riots. And frankly, John, I don’t think those have been corrected yet.
“Our job is to protect the Capitol, and they’re making the same bad decisions,” he said.
Capitol Police have said they have implemented numerous reforms since last year’s riots and have fundamentally changed the way they evaluate security threats, but not all lawmakers are convinced enough change has been made.
Davis has twice been at the center of harrowing security incidents involving Congress, the riot last year and the summer 2017 shooting when he scrambled to safety after a Bernie Sanders-inspired activist opened fire on lawmakers practicing for the annual congressional baseball game. The latter incident, deemed an act of terrorism, left Rep. Steve Scalise seriously wounded and was ended when Capitol Police officer killed the suspect after a long gun battle.
Davis, the ranking Republican on the House Administration Committee, which oversees Capitol security, said lawmakers are frustrated that Pelosi has blocked the release of information — including contemporaneous communications — showing what the Capitol Police and the House Sergeant at Arms discussed as security needs before a planned Jan. 6, 2021 protest by pro-Trump supporters that eventually spiraled out of control into the riots.
The former Capitol Police chief, Steven Sund, has said he requested National Guard be sent ahead of time to assist his force but was told the request was rejected for reasons of “optics.” The Trump administration had offered to activate the Guard days before the riots.
Another official disputed the ex-chief’s account, but the documents showing what actually transpired between them have been blocked from release by Pelosi, even as the Democrat-led Jan. 6 Select Committee demands documents and testimonies from former Trump officials about the Jan. 6 tragedy.
“They will not comply and give that info to us,” Davis told Just the News. “At a time when the Speaker through this sham Select Committee is asking and getting voluntarily thousands of communications from people who are no longer employed by government, she is denying that committee of jurisdiction access to government communications. What is she hiding?
“All we ever asked for is we want communications leading up to and on Jan. 6, we want to be preserved, we want to be turned over to us, because my job, my job is to make sure that the Capitol is secure. And it’s laughable to think that that’s not germane to making sure that we don’t make those same mistakes again.”
Davis said he is determined to get the withheld documents, and his best chance may be if Republicans win control of Congress in the November elections.
“I fully expect to be chairman when we take the majority. And I guarantee you, we will get these communications,” he said. “But by then, it’s two years past the time when the American people should have seen what did, or in many cases, did not happen to prepare our cops and our security apparatus prior to January 6.”
Davis also said lawmakers have not been able to get an explanation for why a security request was made Jan. 5, 2021 to remove bike racks from the Capitol grounds, another tantalizing sign that officials may have feared violence was coming.
Davis sent a letter renewing his request for the withheld memos that lay out the biggest unanswered questions about security lapses before and during the Jan. 6 attack. They include:
- Why was then-Chief Sund’s Jan. 4 request for National Guard support denied?
- Did then-Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving get permission or instruction from Pelosi’s office on Jan. 4, 2021 prior to denying Chief Sund’s request for the National Guard?
- What conversations did the Speaker’s office have with and what guidance did it provide to the Sergeant at Arms leading up to Jan. 6 specific to the security posture of the Capitol?
- What conversations did Pelosi’s office have during the attack on the Capitol, and what response did you give security officials on January 6 when Chief Sund requested National Guard support that required your approval?
- Why are House Officers refusing to comply with preservation and production request to turn over requested materials relevant to the events of Jan. 6?