Dramatic video shows Pelosi, Schumer making urgent calls on Jan. 6
Never-before-seen footage presented at Thursday’s Jan. 6 select committee hearing shows Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) making urgent calls from secure locations during the Capitol riot.
“We have got to … finish the proceedings or else they will have a complete victory,” Pelosi tells someone on the phone at 2:23 p.m. while walking through the Capitol, with an alarm audible in the background.
Multiple outlets reported the videos were taken by Alexandra Pelosi, the speaker’s daughter, who is a documentary filmmaker. ABC News reported she accompanied her mother on Jan. 6 for a documentary project.
In a separate clip from a secure, undisclosed location the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021, Pelosi tells a room full of a few people, including House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), “There has to be some way we can maintain the sense that people have, that there’s some security, or some confidence, that government can function and that you can elect the president of the United States.”
When an unidentified person tells Pelosi that all individuals on the floor are putting on tear gas masks “to prepare for a breach,” the Speaker turns to Clyburn and others in the room and asks, “Do you believe this?”
The committee also showed video taken around the same time of members walking through the Capitol, rioters running through the building and a group of people inside screaming “bring her out here.”
In a clip filmed at 3 p.m., Schumer tells Pelosi, “I’m going to call up the effing secretary of [Defense].”
“We have some senators who are still in their hideaways,” Schumer tells acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller on the phone in a separate video, with Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) beside him. “They need massive personnel now. Can you get the Maryland National Guard to come too?”
“I have something to say, Mr. Secretary,” Pelosi says into the phone. “I’m going to call the mayor of Washington, D.C., right now and see what other outreach she has, other police departments as Steny, Leader Hoyer, has mentioned.”
The panel then showed clips of Pelosi making calls to local leaders asking for help amid the riot.
“Hi governor, this is Nancy,” Pelosi says on the phone to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D). “Governor, I don’t know if you have been approached about the Virginia National Guard, Mr. Hoyer was speaking to [Maryland] Gov. [Larry] Hogan [(R)], but I still think you probably need the OK of the federal government in order to come into another jurisdiction.”
In the same clip, Pelosi is seen watching live video of the riot on CNN.
“Oh my gosh,” she says to Northam. “They’re just breaking windows, they’re doing all, all, kinds of, I mean it’s really, that somebody, they said somebody was shot.”
“It’s just, it’s just horrendous. And all at the instigation of the president of the United States,” she adds.
The panel also showed video of Pelosi and Schumer speaking with acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen from the secure location at 3:25 p.m.
“They’re breaking windows and going in, obviously ransacking our offices and all the rest of that. That’s nothing. The concern we have about personal harm,” Pelosi says.
“Safety,” Schumer chimes in.
“Personal safety is, it just transcends everything,” Pelosi says. “But the fact is on any given day, they’re breaking the law in many different ways, and quite frankly, much of it at the instigation of the president of the United States. And now, if he could at least, somebody.”
“Yeah, why don’t you get the president to tell them to leave the Capitol, Mr. Attorney General, in your law enforcement responsibility? A public statement, they should all leave,” Schumer said.
In a subsequent video, Pelosi and Schumer are seen huddling with Republican leaders Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Rep. Steve Scalise (La.) and Sen. John Thune (S.D.). They are on the phone with the Defense Department.
“This cannot be just we’re waiting for so-and-so, we need them there now, whoever you’ve got,” Schumer says.
“How soon in the future can you have the place evacuated? You know, cleaned out?” he asked.
At 4:22 p.m., Pelosi spoke with Pence.
“We’re trying to figure out how we can get this job done today,” the speaker told the then-vice president. “We talked to Mitch about it earlier — he’s not in the room right now but he was with us earlier — and said ‘yeah, we want to expedite this,’ and hopefully they could confine it to just one complaint, Arizona, and then we can vote and that would be, you know, then just move forward with the rest of the states.”
Pelosi also told Pence, “The overriding wish is to do it at the Capitol. What we are being told very directly is, it’s gonna take days for the Capitol to be okay again. We’ve gotten a very bad report about the condition of the House floor. There’s defecation and all that kind of thing as well. I don’t think that that’s hard to clean up, but I do think it is more from a security standpoint of making sure that everybody is out of the building and how long will that take?”
Eight minutes later, Pelosi informed the group of her conversation.
“I just got off with the vice president,” the speaker said. “What we left the conversation with, cause he said, he had the impression from Mitch that Mitch wants to get everybody back to do it there.”
“I said well, we’re getting a counterpoint that it could take time to clean up the poo poo that they’re making all over the, literally and figuratively in the Capitol, and that it may take days to get back,” she added.
The panel then showed a video taken just before 6 p.m. featuring Pence on speakerphone with Pelosi and Schumer. The vice president said he had been informed that both chambers would be able to reconvene in an hour.
“Good news,” Schumer responded.
“Thank you very much Mr. Vice President,” Pelosi said. “Good news.”
Updated at 5:32 p.m.