Pelosi accused of obstructing access to Jan. 6 records

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In letter, Rep. Rodney Davis says House speaker has blocked Republicans from conducting oversight of security preparedness of Capitol

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has obstructed congressional efforts to investigate the security vulnerabilities exposed by the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, according to a senior House Republican.

In a new letter to Pelosi, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) outlined steps he and fellow Republicans have taken to conduct oversight of these vulnerabilities, including understanding how House officials prepared for and responded to the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 of last year.

“These House officials, who are appointed by and answer only to you, have blocked our access to key records necessary for this oversight,” Davis wrote to Pelosi. “Accordingly, we write to demand that you instruct all House officers to immediately cease obstructing our oversight of the Capitol complex’s security vulnerabilities.”

Republican oversight efforts began on Jan. 13, 2021, when Davis, the ranking member of the House Administration Committee, sent letters to the acting House sergeant-at-arms, the House chief administrative officer, and the acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) asking them to preserve all records relating to Jan. 6. While the USCP complied, the sergeant-at-arms and chief administrative officer, both of whom respond directly to Pelosi, replied that they were “unable to comply with the request at this time.”

According to Davis, both officials still haven’t complied with his request. In his letter, Davis explained how their cooperation is important for congressional oversight, noting how former USCP Chief Steven Sund has stated he communicated with then-House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving about preparations for Jan. 6.

Irving denied Sund’s claims in testimony before the Senate in February. When pressed on the matter, Irving’s attorneys told the Senate that the relevant records are the property of the House, and that requests for them should go to the House Office of General Counsel.

Davis proceeded to request that House General Counsel Douglas Letter produce Irving’s Jan. 6 communications. Letter, who also reports directly to Pelosi, has not complied with or even responded to Davis’s request.

Davis detailed multiple instances over the course of last year when both the sergeant-at-arms and the chief administrative officer continued to ignore requests for Jan. 6 information.

“As various federal entities began to produce January 6 material to several House committees, Republicans made requests — including to the House Sergeant-at-Arms and the House Chief Administrative Officer — that all such material be shared equally with Democrats and Republicans,” the letter stated. “Both the Sergeant-at-Arms and the Chief Administrative Officer failed to produce any documents to Republicans pursuant to our requests, suggesting that these House officers may be providing documents only to Democrats on a partisan basis.”

By Aaron Kliegman

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