House GOP leaders teed off on Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats seek to cool simmering tensions Louisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid House Democrats unveil legislation to curtail presidential power MORE (D-Calif.) Tuesday morning, accusing her of neglecting her duty to defend the Capitol on Jan. 6 and demanding answers about her role in the violent attack that injured more than 140 police officers.
"On Jan. 6 these brave officers were put into a vulnerable and impossible position because the leadership at the top failed," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyWoodward: Milley was 'setting in motion sensible precautions' with calls to China Thompson says he hopes Jan 6. committee can complete work by 'early spring' Juan Williams: Shame on the anti-mandate Republicans MORE (R-Calif.) told reporters just outside the Capitol.
The accusations served as a prebuttal to the House select committee's investigation into the attack, which was set to kick off shortly after the Republican press conference without any allies of former President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE on the panel.
Yet in a sign of just how partisan the debate surrounding the insurrection has become, the Republicans offered no critique of the former president, who had encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol on Jan. 6 to block the certification of his election defeat — the spark that inspired the deadly riot.
They also did not answer reporters' questions about why Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling Franken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Woodward: Milley was 'setting in motion sensible precautions' with calls to China MORE (R-Ky.), who was Senate majority leader on Jan. 6, should not bear the same responsibility they say Pelosi does for the security lapses.
Instead, they accused Pelosi of first failing to approve the activation of the National Guard that day and now seeking to avoid tough questions by refusing to seat two Trump allies — Reps. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanAllies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid Republican leaders misjudged Jan. 6 committee Watchdog group seeks ethics probe over McCarthy's Jan. 6 comments MORE (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.) — on the select committee.
"Why don't they want to answer the fundamental question, which is why wasn't there a better security posture on that day?" Jordan asked.
Pelosi's office quickly issued a statement pushing back against the charges. The statement noted that congressional leaders do not oversee the everyday decisions surrounding Capitol security — a responsibility of the Capitol Police Board — while asserting that the Speaker never denied a request to active the National Guard.
"Now that the bipartisan Select Committee is beginning its work, the only tools left in House Republicans’ arsenal are deflection, distortion, and disinformation," her office said.
That hasn't prevented Republicans from bashing Democrats for a riot orchestrated by Trump supporters. And Pelosi was not the only target of the GOP attacks Tuesday morning.
McCarthy and the Republicans also went after Rep. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenBiden to raise refugee cap to 125,000 in October Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Spotlight turns to GOP's McCarthy in Jan. 6 probe MORE (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, which has jurisdiction over the workings of the Capitol complex, for staying away from Washington for much of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They blasted Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in Thompson says he hopes Jan 6. committee can complete work by 'early spring' Jan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer MORE (D-Miss.), the chairman of the select committee, for suggesting that Pelosi would not be required to testify before the panel. And they hammered Reps. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in Trump, allies launch onslaught as midterms kick into gear The Memo: Never Trumpers sink into gloom as Gonzalez bows out MORE (Wyo.) and Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerThe Memo: Never Trumpers sink into gloom as Gonzalez bows out Kinzinger says Trump 'winning' because many Republicans 'have remained silent' 'Justice for J6' rally puts GOP in awkward spot MORE (Ill.) — the two Republican Trump critics appointed by Pelosi to the select committee — characterizing them as "Pelosi Republicans" who no longer speak for the GOP.
"This committee is completely partisan from top to bottom," said Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas), a former sheriff who was among McCarthy's initial picks for the select committee.