Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) began January 6, 2021, by mugging for the cameras—more specifically, a camera operated by her filmmaker daughter, Alexandra Pelosi, who just happened to record every moment of her mother’s movements on what would become one of the most infamous days in American history.
As a clearly tense Pelosi prepared to convene the joint session of Congress during which Republican members of the House and Senate planned to debate the Electoral College outcome in six states—Pelosi also is seen conducting a caucus video conference that morning criticizing Republican plans to delay certification—her chief of staff warned that President Trump might go to the Capitol following his noon speech at the Ellipse. “I hope he comes, I’m gonna punch him out,” she told Terry McCullough.
Turning toward her daughter’s camera, Pelosi continued her tirade. “I’ve been waiting for this, for trespassing on Capitol grounds. I’m gonna punch him out, I’m gonna go to jail, and I’m gonna be happy.”
Less than two hours later, members of Congress, including Pelosi, were evacuated when the building was breached shortly after 2 p.m. Alexandra Pelosi later told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour the events of January 6 “offended her [mother] in her soul.”
But if Pelosi’s soul was indeed offended, unseen footage released today by Just the News founder John Solomon suggests otherwise. Pelosi is seen cooly walking through the evacuation route on her way to a secure location at Fort McNair in Washington—with Alexandra just a few steps ahead, walking backwards, to capture the moment. Far from being under mortal threat by selfie-taking Americans in the Rotunda above, Pelosi is surrounded by her security detail as she is led to a chauffeured vehicle. Her daughter also traveled with her mother to the Army base located two miles from the Capitol.
The surveillance video shows a different angle than the recordings released to CNN by Alexandra Pelosi in October. In that footage, Pelosi appears to engage in a bit of play-acting as the camera rolls. “If they stop the proceedings, they will have succeeded in stopping the validation of the president of the United States,” she told McCullough through a face mask as they walked through unidentified hallways in the Capitol. “If they stop the proceedings, we will have totally failed.”
“We have got to finish the proceedings, or else they will have a complete victory,” Pelosi said to someone on her cell phone right before she entered an SUV headed for Fort McNair.
Alexandra’s fortuitous timing gifted the January 6 committee with powerful footage intended to show Nancy Pelosi in calm command on January 6, as well as the imminent danger faced by lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence. At one point, Pelosi suggested Congress should reconvene the joint session at the military base.
Alexandra Pelosi also used her footage to produce a documentary about her mother. “Pelosi in the House” aired on HBO in December. “Following Pelosi at both work and home in real-time during consequential political moments in the country’s recent history, the film offers a unique look at American politics through her efforts on—two impeachments as well as a record of the events of January 6, 2021, following Pelosi and other lawmakers at a secure location as the crisis unfolded,” the film’s trailer promised. While Pelosi’s every physical move on January 6 is in the history books, her records related to January 6 are not. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the now-defunct select committee, said Pelosi and her office were “off limits” from the investigation. Pelosi has not produced a single document, email, or call log to detail what she did in the weeks before January 6, even though her office was primarily responsible for security.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), at the behest of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) authorized Just the News and American Greatness to access thousands of hours of surveillance video captured by security cameras before, on, and after January 6. (Another reporter also has access; his name has not yet been released to the public.)
In March 2021, the Justice Department designated the recordings “highly sensitive government material” and placed every clip under strict protective orders in court. January 6 defendants have complained for more than two years that exculpatory evidence could exist within the massive trove. McCarthy’s office has allowed some defendants and their attorneys to view the footage.
Solomon, in conjunction with American Greatness, will release additional clips in the coming weeks.