Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) made false claims about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s actions during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The Ohio Republican claimed that Pelosi initially denied the Capitol police request for National Guard assistance, and then waited nearly an hour to approve a second request — but a Washington Post fact-checker found that’s not what happened.
Capitol Police requested National Guard help prior to January 6th.
That request was denied by Speaker Pelosi and her Sergeant at Arms.
During the attack, Capitol Police made the request again.
It took over an hour to get approval from Pelosi’s team! https://t.co/ctOWZ4PExw
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) February 15, 2021
Three key figures involved in Capitol security, each of whom resigned under pressure following the riot — former Capitol police chief Steven Sund, former House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving and former Senate sergeant-at-arms Michael Stenger — testified before Congress last week about what went wrong.
Sund wrote Feb. 1 to Pelosi that he approached two sergeants-at-arms to ask for help from the National Guard, which he didn’t have authority to do without an emergency declaration by the Capitol police board, but Irving — who had been appointed in 2012 by former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), not Pelosi — said he was concerned about the optics of that and didn’t feel there was enough evidence to support additional security.
Stenger, however, suggested that Sund should find out how quickly the National Guard support could be ready in case that was needed, and the former Capitol police chief contacted Gen. William Walker, commanding officer of the D.C. National Guard, who said he could have 125 troops ready to act quickly, once approved.
“There is no indication that Pelosi was at all involved,” wrote the Post‘s Glenn Kessley. “Irving supposedly had made a vague reference to ‘optics,’ but there is no indication what that means. Moreover, the Stenger, the Senate sergeant-at-arms, was also reluctant to support an immediate dispatch of National Guard troops. So there is little reason to suggest Irving, acting under Pelosi’s direction, only was responsible. It appeared to have been a joint decision.”
Irving testified last week that he did not care about the appearance of National Guard troops guarding the Capitol, and did not see the need to alert House leadership that he may request that assistance until early on Jan. 6, the same Stenger notified former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s staff.
A spokesman for Pelosi said there had been no discussions between Irving and the House speaker or her staff about the National Guard before Jan. 6, saying security professionals are expected to make decisions about security.
“Without evidence, Jordan asserted that House Speaker Pelosi had denied a request for National Guard troops two days before the insurrection,” Kessley concluded. “Instead, public testimony shows she did not even hear about the request until two days later. Jordan also tried to pin the blame on House sergeant-at-arms, but testimony shows the Senate sergeant-at-arms also was not keen about the idea.”
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