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Video: New Jan. 6 footage shows Pelosi claiming ‘responsibility’ for Capitol storming

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks at her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on June 16, 2022. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
June 13, 2024

Former House Speaker and current Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appeared to describe her own personal responsibility for security failures at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, in a new video HBO documentarians provided to House investigators.

The footage, which was captured by an HBO documentary team lead by Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra Pelosi, shows the then-house speaker being evacuated from the Capitol in an SUV.

In the video, the elder Pelosi shared her dismay at security failures that played out as crowds of demonstrators entered the U.S. Capitol to protest Congress certifying the 2020 election results for President Joe Biden.

“You’re gonna ask me in the middle of the thing, when they’ve already breached the inaugural stuff, ‘Should we call the Capitol Police?’ I mean the National Guard. Why weren’t the National Guard there to begin with?” Nancy Pelosi said to her chief of staff, Terri McCullough.

“They thought that they had sufficient resources,” McCullough began to reply before the then-House speaker interjected.

“They don’t know. They clearly didn’t know,” Pelosi said. “And I take responsibility for not having them just prepare for more.”

The now-defunct, Democrat-controlled House Committee to investigate the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, had played footage captured by the HBO documentary team during primetime hearings, but House Republicans had not had full, unfettered access to the raw footage until HBO turned it over following a May 23 House records request.

National Guard troops only responded to the 2021 Capitol breach after demonstrators had entered the building and remained there for several hours. The capitol breach devolved into violent clashes between police and demonstrators in the hours before those National Guard troops arrived.

Blame for the slow National Guard response on Jan. 6, 2021, has been a topic of continuing debate.

Some Democrats have argued Trump and other members of his administration were to blame for the security failures that day.

Former President Donald Trump and some of his supporters and colleagues have insisted he offered to make National Guard troops available throughout Washington, D.C., ahead of the events that unfolded at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

READ MORE: Video: FBI tracking anyone in DC on Jan 6, fmr. rep warns

Subcommittee Chairman Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) said the newly uncovered footage undermines Democrat narratives about who was responsible for security and culpable for the security failures at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

“The Democrats’ partisan select committee went to great lengths to suppress and hide evidence that didn’t support their predetermined narrative about that day, including this video of Speaker Pelosi admitting that she was responsible for the security failures at the Capitol,” Loudermilk said Tuesday. “My committee will continue to investigate and expose all the facts. The American people deserve the truth.”

Pelosi’s office continued to deny she had any culpability in the security failures at the Capitol despite the newly released footage. 

“Numerous independent fact-checkers have confirmed that Speaker Pelosi did not plan her own assassination,” a spokesperson for her office said in a Monday social media post.

That spokesperson went on to suggest the newly released footage was taken out of context and accused House Republicans of “trying to whitewash January 6th.”