Jan. 6 Probe Wants To 'Destroy Donald Trump' but Ignore Police Chiefs: GOP Shadow Panel

A Republican shadow panel on the January 6 attack will focus on police leaders' failings, one of its members has detailedinsisting the House's official panel is only seeking to "destroy" Donald Trump.

Troy Nehls told Newsweek the shadow panel's report will focus on a lack of preparation from Capitol Police chiefs and the failure to deploy the National Guard at the Capitol, rather than look at the actions of rioters or former President Trump.

The Representative from Texas is one of five Republicans in the party's shadow panel conducting their own interviews and inquiries about January 6, to build a counter report to the House investigation ahead of the midterms in November.

"They're not out to get the truth. They want to destroy Donald Trump," Nehls said of the House committee, which consists of seven Democrats and two Republicans.

"That's the whole objective, to try to hurt the Republicans as much as they can in the midterms and make sure Donald Trump doesn't come back in 2024.

"Once we release our report, the American people will get more truth than you will from this sham committee."

A mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building in the deadly attack shortly after the outgoing president told a crowd nearby: "We fight. We fight like hell and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."

More than 700 have been arrested over the riot; several blamed Trump for their involvement. Seven Capitol Police officers are suing Trump over the riot.

But Nehls said the House committee has been too focused on trying to make Republicans "look like we're absolutely crazy," rather than uncover why police were so underprepared that day—the focus of the shadow committee.

"If the National Guard would have been deployed on January 4, January 6 would have happened," Nehls said. "January 6 was a law enforcement failure, a complete failure of security," Nehls said.

The Republican, who was pictured assisting officers fending off rioters from the House Chamber on January 6—just his third day as a congressman, said: "I would never accuse the rank and file, they need an apology."

Troy Nehls with police on January 6
U.S. Capitol Police agents aim their guns as a pro-Trump mob tries to break into the House of Representatives chamber at the U.S. Capitol in D.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, in blue shirt, talks to one of the rioters. J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Nehls was among five GOP lawmakers originally selected by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy last July to join the House select committee, along with reps. Jim Banks (IN) , Jim Jordan (OH), Rodney Davis (IL) and Kelly Armstrong (ND).

McCarthy vowed to launch his own investigation after he withdrew his picks following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's refusal to allow Banks and Jordan to join.

The GOP shadow committee does not have power to subpoena witnesses as the House committee does, meaning it will rely on voluntary interviews and public remarks.

Policing on Jan. 6

Yogananda Pittman, the head of Capitol Police on January 6, apologized before Congress last January for the department's lack of preparation despite being aware armed militia groups and white supremacists organizations could be present that day.

A bipartisan Senate report published in July 2021 also said that Capitol Police's lead intelligence unit failed to share "critical information" regarding threats of violence ahead of January 6 to their own department and other law enforcement agencies.

The report also found that the National Guard were delayed in being released to the Capitol because multiple agencies awaited confirmation to do so.

Secret commandos with shoot-to-kill authority were at the Capitol, as exclusively revealed by Newsweek.

jan 6 police
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol in Washington D.C on January 6, 2021. Brent Stirton/Getty Images

The then-head of the Capitol Police, Steven Sund, previously told The Washington Post that Paul Irving, the then House sergeant-of-arms, had denied his request for the National Guard be placed on standby on January 4. Irving denies the claim.

Both Irving and Michael Stenger, the Senate serjeant-at-arms, resigned in the wake of the Capitol attack.

"There needs to be serious questions asked of Mr. Irving as to why there wasn't an emergency declaration declared to get the National Guard here on January 6, because the National Guard didn't show up until 5:20 p.m," Nehls said.

"This is about [Yogananda Pittman] who was overseeing intelligence on January 6, and all the intelligence was glaring at her and staring her right in the face.

"Why in the hell did she not act upon this? Why was this intelligence not shared with people?"

Troy Nehls defends Donald Trump over January6
Rep. Troy Nehls (left) speaks in D.C. at a news on July 21, 2021, conference on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to reject two of Leader McCarthy’s selected members from serving on the committee investigating the January 6 riot; Trump supporters (center) clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the U.S. Capitol; and Donald Trump (right) attends a CPAC conference at the Hilton Anatole on July 11, 2021. A GOP shadow panel into the January 6 attack will explore police leadersip failures, Troy Nehls has told Newsweek. Getty Images

Trump has frequently attempted to suggest Pelosi is responsible for arranging security at the Capitol in her role as House Speaker. Security is actually handled by the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms, in coordination with the Capitol Police chief—not at Pelosi's direction.

Trump has also tied to blame Pelosi for rejecting his request to deploy 10,000 National Guard troops on January 6. The Pentagon and Pelosi's office have said there is no evidence that request was made, nor would Pelosi have the power to reject it.

Nehls repeated the common conservative tactic of suggesting Pelsoi should shoulder more of the blame for the riot.

"We're focused on the leadership, and the leadership in the end is all eventually moves right up to Nancy Pelosi, because she appoints the sergeant-at-arms."

Without the power of subpoena, Nehls said the shadow panel "may not be able to find the truth" until after the midterms, if the GOP retake control of the House and Senate.

"Some of those difficult questions that this committee doesn't seem to want to ask, will be asked once we get the majority back in 2023," Nehls said.

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack has been contacted for comment.