US Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund laid the blame directly on Nancy Pelosi for the breakdown in security, which led to the Jan 6 Riot at the Capitol in 2021, noting she refused to deploy the National Guard.
Testifying before the House Administration Oversight subcommittee Tuesday, Sund said Pelosi never wanted the National Guard deployed, noting he had spoken with House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving and Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger about calling in help.
Sund said Stenger told him that he would ask the Maj. Gen. William Walker, who was the commander of the National Guard, how quickly he could deploy troops to the Capitol to quell the riot,
Sund said that months after the riot, Stenger told him Pelosi did not wish to give guard to be delayed on capitol grounds that day, the Washington Times reported.
“I said, ‘Mr. Stenger, you came up with that response fairly quickly for me to call Gen. Walker,” Sund said.
“And he told me Paul Irving had called him ahead of time and said, ‘Sund came here asking for the National Guard,” he added.
“We’ve got to come up with another plan. Pelosi will never go for it.’ I was floored by him saying that,” Sund continued.
Sund also said that he contacted Irving at 12:58 p.m. and requested they call the National Guard as it became apparent that protesters were storming the Capitol.
“He was fully aware of just how bad it was outside …. and I did not get the approval,” he said.
Sund said Irving told him he would “run it up the chain” to get approval.
Sund interpreted the “final approval” from Pelosi but was not received for another 71 minutes.
On Jan 16, 2021, Sund resigned from his position after Pelosi called for him to step down, blaming him for not securing the Capitol.
However, Sund maintains he requested the National Guard six times for three days prior to the attack, but they did not deploy.
Republican lawmakers blasted Pelosi and Irving for making Sund the “Fall guy” for the Capitol breach and riot.
“None of us in this room are saying what happened on Jan 6 was correct. But I absolutely believe the conditions for that to occur rests at the former speaker’s lap, and those the two Sergeant at Arms and complicit with other individuals,” said Rep. Greg Murphy of North Carolina.
“It’s one thing for something to occur, but it’s another thing to create the conditions for that to occur,” Murphy added.
Rep. Norma Torres of California tried to flip the blame on President Donald Trump for the attack.
“In the weeks and months leading up to Jan 6, Trump continued to incite unrest, accusing Democrats of rigging the election and referring to it as the biggest scam in our nation’s history,” she said.
“The former president orchestrated a corrupt scheme to overturn the results of a free and fair election. And when that didn’t work, he incited he incited his supporters to violence,” Torres added.
Earlier this week, Trump accused Pelosi of being “responsible” for the riot at the Capitol on Jan 6, 2021.
During an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump said, “Nancy Pelosi was in charge of security and turned down 10,000 soldiers; if she didn’t turn down the soldiers, you wouldn’t have Jan 6.”
Host Kristen Welker asked, “Did you call military or law enforcement?”
“I’m not going to tell you anything. Let me put it this way: I behaved so well. I did such a good job. Nancy Pelosi turned down 10,000 soldiers. If she didn’t do that,” Trump responded.
“We have it. Nancy Pelosi also was asked, and she turned it down. The police commissioner of Capitol Police.”
“Capitol Police said that he wanted it, and Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t accept it. She’s responsible for Jan 6,” Trump said.
“Nancy Pelosi is responsible. And the J6 Committee refused to interview her,” Trump continued.
The news comes just a day after Ray Epps, who directed protesters “to go into the Capitol,” was charged with just one criminal count related to the riot, while other protesters are facing decades in prison.
In a court filing in US district court in Washington DC, federal prosecutors charged Epps with disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds.