New video from Capitol riot shows then-Speaker Pelosi saying 'I take responsibility' for security failures

 June 12, 2024

For the past three years, Democrats have attempted to hold former President Donald Trump solely responsible for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021. Republicans, meanwhile, have countered that there is plenty of blame to go around for the security failures that day, including for then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Now, in never-seen-before footage from that fateful day, then-Speaker Pelosi admitted on camera as the riot was ongoing that she bore a "responsibility" for the lack of preparedness by Capitol law enforcement and security personnel, Fox News reported.

In response to the video's release, now-Rep. Pelosi's office engaged in predictably over-the-top hyperbole and blame-shifting to dodge the accountability that the Democratic leader herself acknowledged on the day of the Capitol riot.

Pelosi said, "I take responsibility" for Capitol security failures

On Monday, the Republican-led House Administration Committee's Oversight Subcommittee posted on X a previously unreleased brief video clip of then-Speaker Pelosi speaking with staffers in a vehicle after she was evacuated from the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 riot in 2021.

"We have responsibility, Terri," Pelosi told her Chief of Staff Terri McCullough. "We did not have any accountability for what was going on there, and we should have."

"This is ridiculous," she continued. "You’re going to ask me in the middle of the thing when they’ve already breached the -- the inaugural stuff -- that, should we call the Capitol Police? I mean the National Guard? Why weren’t the National Guard there to begin with?"

McCullough attempted to reply that the Capitol Police thought they had been sufficiently prepared, but Pelosi cut her off and said, "No! That is not a question of how they had -- they don't know. They clearly didn't know and I take responsibility for not having them just prepare for more."

Dueling statements in response to video clip

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), chair of the subcommittee that released the video clip, told Fox News, "As Nancy Pelosi was being evacuated from the Capitol on January 6, 2021 she admitted that, as Speaker of the House, she was ultimately responsible for the security failures, and for not having the National Guard at the Capitol that day."

"Then, she proceeded to spend nearly 20 million of taxpayer dollars for her Select Committee to blame President Trump for her failures," he added. "The Democrats’ partisan January 6 select committee went to great lengths to suppress and hide any evidence that didn’t support their predetermined narrative about that day, including a video of Speaker Pelosi admitting her responsibility. My committee will continue to investigate and expose all the facts we find, because the American people deserve to know the truth."

As for Rep. Pelosi, a spokesperson provided Fox News with non-sequitors and untruths in response to the video clip, and said, "Numerous independent fact-checkers have confirmed again and again that Speaker Pelosi did not plan her own assassination on January 6th."

"As the footage in its entirety plainly shows, Speaker Pelosi sprang into action in response to the attack on the Capitol -- mobilizing the defense of the Capitol, urging the Administration to deploy the National Guard, and coordinating the continuity of government," the spokesperson added. "Cherry-picked, out-of-context clips do not change the fact that the Speaker of the House is not in charge of the security of the Capitol Complex -- on January 6th or any other day of the week. Three years later, House Republicans are still attempting to whitewash the deadly insurrection."

Pelosi at least partially responsible for Jan. 6 Capitol security failures

Except as even supposed "independent fact-checkers" like Politifact were forced to acknowledge in the aftermath of the 2021 Capitol riot, while not solely accountable for what occurred, then-Speaker Pelosi does share a sizeable portion of the responsibility for the lack of security measures put in place ahead of the congressional certification of the 2020 election results on Jan. 6, 2021.

Capitol security and event preparedness is the joint responsibility of the House and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and the Capitol Police, which is governed by a four-member board that includes the two sergeant-at-arms, with the House Sergeant-at-Arms reporting directly to and taking orders from the House Speaker -- which of course was Pelosi in the days before and after the Capitol riot, making her at least partially responsible for the security shortcomings and preparedness failures.

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