No one has milked the events of January 6 more than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). She set the official narrative early and often, a storyline her scribes in the news media have dutifully repeated without question or scrutiny.
“[Y]esterday, the president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America, the gleeful desecration of the U.S. Capitol, which is the temple of our American democracy,” Pelosi lamented in a hyperdramatic press conference the day after the raucous protest. She accused President Trump of “sedition” and urged his cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him just two weeks before he officially left the White House.
Nearly every word in her opening statement that day is untrue. The president didn’t “incite” the violence; it was not an insurrection, armed or otherwise, and the only person who used a firearm was a still-unidentified Capitol police officer who killed an unarmed female veteran.
Aside from a few smashed windows, no one gleefully desecrated property—one could convincingly make the argument that the daily presence of lawmakers such as Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Cori Bush (D-Mo.), among others represents the true desecration of the property—and America isn’t supposed to believe in sacred “temples” of governmental power. It’s also the same place where Democrats plotted for four years to “attack our democracy” by attempting to remove the duly-elected president of the United States.
To the contrary, buildings paid for by taxpayers to conduct the official business of taxpayer-funded employees once considered public servants but who now consider their taxpaying constituents the servants to their heavy-handed mastery is the ideal location to rise up against the U.S. government.
It has always been this way. For example, it was just fine when thousands of hysterical protesters occupied the Hart Senate Office building and stalked U.S. senators in 2018 to try to stop the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, screaming from the Senate gallery then pounding on the doors of the Supreme Court in an effort to disrupt his swearing-in ceremony. An MSNBC reporter at the time called the chaos “an extraordinary moment,” not an “insurrection.”
It also was totally cool when thousands of climate activists, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), occupied Pelosi’s office that same year to demand action on the environment. Pelosi didn’t scold those activists for desecrating the temple of democracy; she quickly acquiesced to their public pressure campaign.
Pelosi has lied about what happened to Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, orchestrating optics such as his memorial service in the Capitol rotunda and subsequent procession and burial at Arlington National Cemetery. She has incorrectly said on numerous occasions that “multiple people” died in the melee. (Again, the only person killed was Ashli Babbitt.)
Her henchmen in Congress executed a second impeachment trial against Donald Trump after he left office based on a number of her falsehoods about January 6; she has referred to Republican House members as the “enemy within.”
That’s just a short list of Pelosi’s lies, hyperbole, and political machinations tied to the events of January 6. Fearful she’ll again lose the speaker’s gavel after next year’s midterm elections, Pelosi hopes to weaponize the Capitol protest against Republicans in 2022.
Pelosi has now announced Democrats will go it alone—with the exception of turncoat Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)—to investigate January 6. Describing the four-hour disturbance “one of the darkest days in our history,” Pelosi confessed that she is suffering from “trauma she can never forget.” (Apparently many of Pelosi’s Democratic underlings and even Capitol Police officers cannot get past the Saigon-like siege of the Capitol on January 6. USCP officers are receiving comfort from the department’s new emotional support dog, Lila.)
“Nearly six months later, many questions regarding the circumstances of this assault on our democracy and the response to it remain,” Pelosi said during a June 24 press conference announcing the formation of her select committee. “It is imperative we seek the truth.”
For once, I agree with Pelosi. Americans indeed deserve the unvarnished truth about what happened before, during, and after January 6. The overheated spin cranked out on an hourly basis by none other than Pelosi herself should be set aside and replaced with reality.
To start, Pelosi’s commission should demand the release of the 14,000 hours of USCP surveillance footage the government wants to keep secret. Americans need to see minute-by-minute what unfolded on January 6. The commission should also demand to see all the materials related to the now-closed investigation into the killing of Ashli Babbitt. The full autopsy results for Babbitt, Sicknick, Roseanne Boyland, Kevin Greeson, and Benjamin Phillips should be made public; ditto for autopsy reports on the two police officers who allegedly committed suicide.
Additionally, here are just a few questions Pelosi’s inquisition should answer:
1) Why were requests made by USCP, a federal agency under the purview of Congress, for extra security ahead of January 6 denied?
2) Why did law enforcement including USCP and D.C. Metro Police show up wearing full riot gear including gas masks and batons?
3) Who authorized police to attack the peaceful crowd with flashbangs, sting balls, and tear gas around 1:00 p.m.?
4) Have any police officers been charged with assault?
5) Who seeded the lie that Brian Sicknick was killed in the line of duty and who told the New York Times he was murdered by a Trump mob with a fire extinguisher?
6) Did any FBI agents or informants infiltrate groups such as the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and Three Percenters before January 6?
7) Who were the officers caught on tape allowing protesters into the building?
8) Who opened the doors on the upper west terrace at approximately 2:30 p.m. at the direction of an unknown USCP officer?
9) How much damage did the building sustain? The architect of the Capitol originally claimed $30 million in damages. But in court filings, the government claims the building only sustained about $1.5 million in damages.
10) On January 7, Pelosi called the Capitol riot an “armed insurrection?” How many people have been charged with carrying a firearm into the building?
11) Why was Pelosi’s son-in-law reporting from the scene that day?
12) How many Americans have been charged with sedition?
13) How many Americans remain incarcerated under pre-trial detention orders awaiting delayed trials that won’t start until next year?
14) Who authorized the opening of the “pod” in the D.C. Correctional Treatment Facility jail to house January 6 defendants specifically?
15) Are there reports of mental and physical abuse of January 6 detainees by D.C. prison guards, including solitary confinement conditions for months on end and lack of access to defense lawyers?
16) How much money is being spent on the various investigations into January 6?
17) Should social media companies including Facebook and Twitter be criminally charged for allowing protesters to organize the “insurrection” on their platforms?
18) Who are the anonymous “proud members of the United State Capitol Police” threatening to withhold security from members of Congress who did not support a commission?
19) How many “white supremacists” have been identified by law enforcement?
20) Who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt?
It’s unlikely, of course, that Pelosi’s truth-seeking mission will result in anything more than reheated political spin, recriminations, and fuel for nonstop media attention. But Americans, and Republican leaders including Donald Trump, should keep asking legitimate questions and demanding truthful answers.