Jan. 6 video of Pelosi, Pence sparks conspiracy speculation online

November 26, 2023

With the recent release of footage taken at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, renewed scrutiny of the events of that day has led to a new discussion of video showing then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talking to then-Vice President Mike Pence on the phone during the unrest, with some suggesting that it is evidence of an evil conspiracy, as Newsweek reports.

According to some online commentators, the images of the two in conversation constitute proof that the scenario involving the two leaders from opposite sides of the aisle was somehow staged.

Video spurs conspiracy talk

As Newsweek explains, the controversy has stemmed from a video posted to X by a user known as Robert the Builder, which has since racked up several hundred thousand views.

In the compilation of shots, viewers see Pelosi, together with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), speaking with Pence in the early evening hours of Jan. 6, the day Trump supporters breached the Capitol in protest of the 2020 election.

Pence is heard to say to the Democratic lawmakers, “I'm at the Capitol building. I'm literally standing with the Chief of Police, of the U.S. Capitol Police,” before the feed halts.

The then-vice president is then heard to say, “They believe that the House and the Senate will be able to reconvene in roughly an hour.”

Speculation swirls

However, the next clip at issue reveals the same two Democratic legislators speaking to Pence but doing so while standing next to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), in which Pelosi and Schumer engage in nearly the same conversation with the vice president depicted in the earlier clip.

Following the two versions, the X account displays the words, “Exact same recording. Two different shots. One with Grassley – one without Grassley,” fueling skepticism about the authenticity of what is portrayed.

Online poster Just Greg remarked, “The whole damn thing was staged, filmed and orchestrated by Pelosi,” while the X account of user Christina Olnick mused, “Pelosi and Schumer's mannerisms are different as well. They aren't talking to Pence, just listening. Both takes could be staged. By who? CNN? Pelosi?”

A Pelosi spokesperson shot down the online speculation in short order, however, saying, “These incoherent conspiracy theories are nonsense. As numerous independent fact-checkers have repeatedly proven, Speaker Pelosi did not plan her own assassination.”

Skepticism abounds

It is not just anonymous posters on X who have recently expressed concerns about video footage and official narratives of what occurred on Jan. 6, with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) recently calling for a probe into the House Select Committee that probed the events of that day and also the actions of certain members of the panel who were hand-picked by Pelosi to serve.

The senator has suggested that panel members such as then-Rep Liz Cheney (R-WY) and then-Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) went to improper lengths to downplay or withhold key portions of video footage taken that day that did not fit their preferred storyline of what happened.

“Why didn't Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger ever refer to any of these tapes? Maybe they never looked for them. Maybe they never even questioned their own narrative,” Lee said, adding, “Maybe they were just too busy selectively leaking the text messages of Republicans they wanted to defeat.”

Echoing the lingering suspicions that he and millions of other Americans still have about what occurred on Jan. 6, Lee said of the footage selectively chosen for release by people such as Cheney, “P.S., How many of these guys are feds?” and reiterated his demand for an investigation of the panel and – by extension – of Pelosi, who was the ultimate arbiter of who was – and was not – allowed to participate in the official probe of the unrest.

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