Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee has questioned the role of major social media companies accusing them of protecting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the face of tough questions about security lapses in the Jan. 6 riots on Capitol Hill.
“Ultimately, she’s responsible, OK, whether or not her staff or her sergeant of arms, you know, she’s the mayor of the capitol. It’s a big responsibility,” Nunes said in remarks to Just the News.
Nunes cited reports that Capitol Police had requested National Guard as well as protective fences that surrounded the building before protesters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
However, that request was rejected by a panel made up of Paul Irving the House sergeant-at-arms, as well as Michael C. Stenger the Senate sergeant-at-arms and a Capitol architect.
According to the Huffington Post, the U.S. Capitol Police are charged with protecting Congress.
The force, which is composed of more than 2,300 officers and employees, is governed by the Capitol Police Board, which in turn is made up of three voting members: the House sergeant-at-arms, the Senate sergeant-at-arms and the architect of the Capitol.
“If you go back in time, somebody would say she [Pelosi] ought to be coming out and be pushed on these questions: Who in your office knew? And when did they know it? Did you know it?” asked Nunes.
“And she ought to be out there saying, look, here’s what happened. We, you know, made a mistake. You know, we collectively as in the Capitol Hill,” Nunes added in the interview with reporter John Solomon.
“Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy didn’t tell Pelosi or the sergeant-of-arms, ‘Hey, no fences, no National Guard,'” he added.
During an interview in January with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) also pointed to Pelosi’s responsibility in securing the Capitol Building, stating that Republicans would get to the bottom of the issue, over security lapses.
“I understand what happened on January the 6th was one of the low points in my time in office,” Graham told Maria Bartiromo. “It was horrendous to see these people take over the Capitol, the House, and the Senate, beat officers, defile the seat of government,” he continued.
“How in the hell could that happen? Where was Nancy Pelosi, it was her job to provide Capitol security? We will get to the bottom of that,” Graham added.
Nunes said that during the morning of Jan. 6, he was approached by Capitol Police hours before the riot occurred to share their concerns about the possibilities of an attack, but Nunes was unable to offer them assistance since congressional leadership had not provided members with details about security.
“The Capitol Police were worried about this,” said Nunes. “I mean, so much so that they would come to me as the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, the top Republican, and say, ‘Hey, you know, what’s going on here?’ And I said, ‘Gosh, it doesn’t sound good.’ And you know what? I hadn’t at that point, I had no idea that they had asked for fencing, they had asked for additional guards.”
According to Nunes, so far basic questions about the assault on the capitol such as how many people entered have yet to be answered, leading to frustration with constituents.
The Republican representative likewise criticized the media and social media giants for not pushing for answers.
“Somebody should be able to get me an estimate,” he said. “There’s plenty of cameras. How many people went into the Capitol, right? OK. We still don’t have that number … Secondly, you’d want to know, who were the people that actually broke the windows and did the damage? Those people need to be prosecuted immediately, right.”
“Nobody knows the truth. Why? Because the press, that the Democrats own, are not asking the questions that a real press would do. And then of course, if you say anything about it, John, if you report the facts, good luck, because … Facebook’s gonna take the post down. Twitter, Instagram, you name it, they’re going to take it all down,” he added.