New January 6 video contradicts Republican’s claims about Nancy Pelosi
Steve Scalise questioned whether Democrats sought help on January 6, but video shows him standing near Pelosi as she called for national guard troops
The second-highest ranking Republican in the US House, Steve Scalise, is facing criticism for questioning what Democrats did to halt the deadly January 6 Capitol attack on the day of the riots despite being shown on video standing beside chamber speaker Nancy Pelosi as she called for back-up from national guard troops.
Scalise, whose Louisiana district includes a large suburban area outside New Orleans, at one point questioned the lengths to which top Democrats went to end the assault on the Capitol staged by a mob of Donald Trump supporters as the former president questioned the results of the 2020 election that he lost to Joe Biden.
But a video released last week by the bipartisan House committee investigating the Capitol attack showed Scalise, the Republican whip in the chamber, got an up-close look at the Democratic majority’s leadership trying to summon troops who could help quell the insurrection.
The video was timestamped at 3.46pm on the day of the attack. Part of it showed the House majority leader, Democratic Maryland representative Steny Hoyer, saying: “We need active duty national guard.”
After some back and forth over whether or not such reinforcements were possible as well as calls by Senator Chuck Schumer to have the grounds evacuated, Pelosi – the House speaker and yet another Democrat – told the person on the phone: “Just pretend for a moment it were the Pentagon or the White House, or some other entity that was under siege. And let me say you can logistically get people there as you make the plan.”
The video shows Scalise mere footsteps away from Pelosi, Schumer and Hoyer, listening to them engaging in the conversation about securing the building on speakerphone.
Nonetheless, in a news conference held in June to discuss the Capitol attack, Republican Indiana congressman Jim Banks said: “Was Speaker Pelosi involved in the decision to delay National Guard assistance following January 6? Those are serious and real questions that this committee refuses to even ask.”
Scalise at that session thanked Banks for those remarks and added: “Banks just raised some very serious questions that should be answered by the January 6 commission, but they’re not. And they’re not for a very specific reason. And that’s because Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want those questions to be answered.”
MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough has since fiercely denounced Scalise for “lying through [his] teeth.”
“He was in the room,” Scarborough said. “He was in the room where it happened. … I mean, come on.”
The former chair of the Republican National Committee and now frequent critic of the GOP, Michael Steele, said: “Why are we surprised to see Scalise in the room, at the table, next to the phone that’s open for everybody to hear and then go out there and lie about it?”
Scalise has not responded to the video released by the January 6 committee or the criticism. But in a statement provided to the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper’s website, a spokesperson for Scalise said the Republican whip’s comments at the June press conference referred to broader security failures at the Capitol days rather than singling out any Democrats.
The video in question came just weeks ahead of the 8 November midterm. Scalise is expected to easily win another term as the House representative for Louisiana’s first congressional district, with his only real challenger being Democratic candidate Katie Darling.
Darling did capture some national attention after a recent campaign ad featuring her pregnant and calling out the extremely restrictive Louisiana abortion laws that went into effect after the US supreme court in June voted to overturn the nationwide right to terminate a pregnancy that had been established by the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade case.
The ad shows Darling going to the hospital in a wheelchair as she is about to give birth – then holding her infant baby.
“We should be putting pregnant women at ease, not putting their lives at risk,” she says in the political spot.
In the ad, Darling is seen going to a hospital by wheelchair as she is about to give birth. Then, while holding her newborn son in the hospital, she looks at the camera and declares, “I’m running for Congress … for him.”
Scalise and his Republican colleagues hope to seize back control of both the House and the Senate, where the Democrats have razor-thin advantages going into the midterms.
- US Capitol attack
- US midterm elections 2022
- US politics
Source: US Politics - theguardian.com