Pelosi Pushes for Finding 'Truth' Behind Capitol Riot as House GOP Demands Answers From Her

To answer questions as to how a riot was able to transpire in the heart of the nation's government, House Republicans are looking to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is looking to an independent commission.

The lack of security at the Capitol as legislators convened to certify President Joe Biden's Electoral College win became a lightning rod for criticism in the aftermath of the January 6 riot. Some raised concerns that it showed the world how vulnerable America's government is to attack and on Monday, Pelosi announced there will be a 9/11-style commission to get to the "truth of how this happened."

After an investigation, the commission will report on the "facts and causes" relating to the Capitol riot, including information about the preparedness and response of Capitol police and federal, state and local law enforcement.

Legislators largely hailed Capitol Police officers as heroes for risking their lives to protect Congress from the mob and awarded officer Eugene Goodman, who lured rioters away from the Senate floor, the Congressional Gold Medal. However, in the immediate aftermath of the riot, a bulk of the blame for security lapses fell on the top officials in charge—the House and Senate Sergeants at Arms, Paul Irving and Michael Stenger, and Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund.

All three officials left their positions after the riot and on Monday, Republicans put some blame on Pelosi.

pelosi republicans capitol riot commission letter
House Republicans sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday that implied she bore some blame for security lapses during the Capitol riot. Pelosi speaks during her weekly press conference at the US Capitol on February 11 in Washington, D.C. Samuel Corum/Getty

In a letter to the Speaker, Republican Representatives Rodney Davis, James Comer, Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes, said, "many important questions" about her security responsibility on January 6 "remain unanswered," according to Fox News.

"As you are aware, the Speaker of the House is not only the leader of the majority party but also has enormous institutional responsibilities," they wrote. "The Speaker is responsible for all operational decisions made within the House."

After resigning from his position, Sund told The Washington Post that he requested assistance six times ahead of and during the attack on the Capitol but each was denied or delayed. Irving, he said, was concerned with the "optics" of declaring an emergency and rejected requests for a National Guard to be on standby just in case. Had his request for the National Guard been granted, Sund said law enforcement could have "held them at bay longer until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive."

Republican Representatives pointed to Sund's interview in their letter to Pelosi, questioning if Irving got "permission or instruction" from her staff to deny Sund's request. Drew Hammill, told Newsweek it was already reported that Irving said he didn't present any request for the National Guard to House leadership.

The day before the riot, Hammill said Sund and Irving assured the Appropriations Committee that the "Capitol Complex had comprehensive security and there was no intelligence that groups would become violent" during the certification.

Hammill accused Republicans of trying to "deflect responsibility" for the Capitol attack and said he looks forward to them asking Mitch McConnell, who was Senate majority leader at the time, the same questions.

Pelosi will introduce legislation in the coming days to create the 9/11-style commission and with control of the House, Democrats will likely be able to pass it even if there's Republican opposition.