Stefanik easily outraising NY-21 rivals

U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, speaks to supporters on election night 2020 at her victory party in Glens Falls. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

Does House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bear some responsibility for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, as stated this week by Rep. Elise Stefanik?

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WASHINGTON — Rep. Elise M. Stefanik said Speaker of the House Nancy P. Pelosi, D-Calif., bears responsibility for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“The American people deserve to know the truth, that Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility as the speaker of the house for the tragedy that occurred on January 6,” the north country congresswoman said during a press conference outside the Capitol on Tuesday morning.

Rep. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, and other members of GOP leadership, including House Minority Leader Kevin O. McCarthy, R-Calif., called the press conference as a response to the House Select Committee on Jan. 6. The bipartisan committee, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, began its work Tuesday by hearing the testimony of four police officers who were on the front lines of that attack, which left more than 140 people injured and five dead.

In her statement, Rep. Stefanik said Speaker Pelosi is an “authoritarian who has broken the People’s House,” but also said she is a “lame duck” speaker.

Rep. Stefanik said Speaker Pelosi was made aware of potential Capitol security threats in December 2020, and chose not to act on that knowledge.

“It is a fact that the U.S. Capitol Police raised concerns and rather than providing them with support and the resources that they needed and deserved, she prioritized her partisan political optics over her safety,” Rep. Stefanik said.

Congressional leadership, including the speaker of the house, are not responsible for security at the U.S. Capitol. According to the Associated Press, the Capitol Police are overseen by the Architect of the Capitol, the House and Senate Sergeants at Arms and committees from both the House and Senate. The most direct control any member of Congress not on those committees has over the Capitol Police is in budget proceedings. The speaker of the house traditionally does not sit on any committees, and Speaker Pelosi is not a member of any House committee.

In her statement, Rep. Stefanik did not address the involvement of then-President Donald J. Trump or his supporters in the riots. On the morning of Jan. 6, Mr. Trump spoke outside the White House and encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol to protest the certification of President Joseph R. Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Many of the people who then broke into the Capitol that afternoon wore Trump merchandise, flew Trump flags and video recordings of that day show many of them chanted slogans in support of Mr. Trump.

People who broke into the Capitol have since said they were spurred on by Mr. Trump’s speech, and believed the election certification on Jan. 6 was a fraud they had to stop.

Republicans have pushed against any investigations into the Jan. 6 attack, with Senate Republicans voting down a resolution that would have created a bipartisan committee of equal Republicans and Democrats in May.

Rep. McCarthy later agreed to send five Republicans to a select committee in early July, but Speaker Pelosi rejected two of his choices, leading him to pull all five nominees.

That leaves noted anti-Trump Reps. Elizabeth L. Cheney, R-Wyo.; and Adam D. Kinzinger, R.-Il; as the only Republicans on the committee.

“The reason why Nancy Pelosi is refusing to seat accomplished and well-respected hardworking Republicans like Jim Jordan and Jim Banks is because she doesn’t want the American people to know the truth or learn the facts,” Rep. Stefanik said. “She doesn’t want a fair or bipartisan investigation, she wants a political one.”

Speaker Pelosi has said Reps. James D. Jordan, R-Ohio; and James E. Banks, R-Ind.; have made statements and taken actions that she believes would impact the integrity of the committee. Both men voted against certifying President Biden’s electoral victory on Jan. 6, and have pushed back against a congressional investigation into that day’s events.

In a statement sent Tuesday, one of Rep. Stefanik’s Democratic challengers in the 2022 election cycle, Matthew F. Putorti, decried her speech as gaslighting — manipulating and lying to someone to convince them to question their own sanity.

“Elise Stefanik’s speech blaming Speaker Pelosi for the January 6th attack on the Capitol is a dangerous attempt to distract the American people from her own endorsement of the Big Lie, which led to an armed attack resulting in the death of police officers and threatening the very foundation of our democracy,” Mr. Putorti said. “Elise is gaslighting and trying to divide, and her statement is the reason people are so disenchanted with our politics.”

According to the AP, in Tuesday’s testimony, Capitol and D.C. Metropolitan police officers recounted their harrowing ordeals on Jan. 6 — of being crushed, tased, heckled and beaten by rioters, all wearing Trump merchandise and shouting in support of the former president.

Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn recounted how his friend had sent him a message showing a plan of attack, drafted by supporters of the former president, to attack the Capitol, but had heard no news of any planned violence from his senior officers in the Capitol Police.

“Looking back now it seemed to foreshadow what happened later, though we had not received any threat warnings from our chain of command,” he told the committee Tuesday morning.

Capitol Police officer Aquilino Gonell recounted how he was crushed by Capitol rioters as he defended the building from attack.

“I thought, ‘This is how I’m going to die, defending this entrance,’” Mr. Gonell said.

After wrapping up Tuesday’s hearing, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., told reporters the committee’s membership will spend the next few weeks putting together the officers’ testimony and reviewing it. He said members would be working from their districts as Congress prepares to enter August recess, but noted the committee may call members back early for another hearing.

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(18) comments

HotelMike

Find out role FBI played in Jan 6th rally/demonstration. That’s the real question.

kathy303

She takes after her hero Trump, who lies his butt off.

Joseph Savoca

https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/28/politics/republican-jan-6-hearing-counterprogramming-fact-check/index.html

Facts First: The Speaker of the House is not in charge of Capitol security. That's the responsibility of the Capitol Police Board, which oversees the US Capitol Police and approves requests for National Guard assistance.

Jane L. Campbell, president and CEO of the US Capitol Historical Society, told CNN that "the Speaker of the House does not oversee security of the US Capitol, nor does this official oversee the Capitol Police Board."

KRobbins

I’d like to think the whole idea that Pelosi is supposed to be responsible for training and strategizing and assessing threats for the Capitol police, in addition to being Speaker might be a little hard to swallow.

Also, the argument seems to be that “Pelosi didn’t raise a large enough force to defend against the army of MAGA goons that Trump was sending there.” That’s bizarre.

In any case, Liz Cheney yesterday said that all will be investigated and that will include what Stefanik is saying. She also said our rep should be “deeply ashamed” to be floating this nonsense and trying to make the attack into a political argument.

I assume Cheney and Kinzinger are putting themselves into physical as well as political danger with their stances. God bless their courage, honor and patriotism. 🙏

zeitgeist

Excellent work, Alex Gault.

In noting the truth, you ensure that Stefanik's inaccurate and outlandish claim doesn't go unchallenged. You hold her accountable. You demonstrate you will not tolerate misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, false narratives and lies. In effect, you convey, "I and my news organization are committed to integrity and the truth."

HotelMike

How many times have we heard this? Hate and divisiveness rule this House run by Democrats?

The real question is why did pelosi leave the Capitol Police undermanned and unprotected?

forsythia

Stefanik continues to break one the the Ten Commandments #9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" Thou shall not lie Elise. There ae no exceptions.

hermit thrush

telling egregious lies is simply what you have to do if you want to make it big in republican politics.

Farmer Liz

She has always lied and embellished to promote her own agenda. She lied about Tedra Cobb during two campaigns, even though she was busted for her falsehoods repeatedly. Nothing will stop her from lying, and nothing will end her loyalty to The Former Guy. Sadly, her minions will now embrace her newest take on the Jan. 6 insurrection. She is among the unAmericans "serving" in Congress, and voters need to wake the heck up.

Eagle24

Riot? What riot? It was a lovefest... a beautiful thing...DJT..

Caino

Wow! If anyone believes any of that stuff, I have a bridge to sell you.

FormerResident

I can’t sum it better than this…

For sale: human soul, never used.

KRobbins

Also, it shouldn’t be overlooked that if the attackers had encountered Elise Stefanik she’d have likely faced no danger. If Nancy Pelosi or Mike Pence or AOC or Mitt Romney or Adam Schiff or really any Democrat had fallen into their hands they likely wouldn’t have fared as well as our Star. That makes it just a bit more disgusting to blame Pelosi for not defending the Capitol.

KRobbins

Praises on Alex Gault for the fact check on our congresswoman’s pushing of this talking point that’s on almost every Republican’s lips.

Even if what she was saying was true it’s kind of a ridiculous defense. “Nancy Pelosi didn’t raise a large enough force to protect the Capitol from the army of goons Trump was sending there.” Really?

KRobbins

“The American people deserve to know the truth, that Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility as the speaker of the house for the tragedy that occurred on January 6,”

Stefanik said Speaker Pelosi is an “authoritarian who has broken the People’s House,” but also said she is a “lame duck” speaker.

Pelosi didn’t call a seditionist mob to DC to overthrow the election and keep Trump in the presidency. Considering Stefanik’s support of the Texas lawsuit and her vote on January 6th that fits her better, but I’m not that intemperate. Trump promised that it would be wild. One of the rare instances of him telling the truth. There will likely be testimony of how he watched his handiwork with glee in the WH as it unfolded. Maybe the anticipation of that is why our rep is flailing so.

I agree we deserve the truth. I can handle it. Not sure Stefanik or her Leader can. He can’t even handle the fact that he lost.

Pelosi is not an authoritarian. She’s a better leader in her sleep than McCarthy or Stefanik are wide awake. I’m surprised Elise didn’t trot out that Pelosi Republicans insult that McCarthy has been using against Cheney and Kinzinger who have more patriotism and honor than the rest of their party. It’s just her sort of childish insult, like Taxin’ Tedra.

I wouldn’t count my ducks before they’re hatched. November 2022 is still over 15 months away and Republicans are attached very firmly to Donald Trump still. We’ll see if total obedience to a loser is a good look.

HotelMike

How's the Congressional investigation of the Democrats that encouraged riots and protests that resulted in dozens dead, billions of dollars in losses, many, many law enforcement officers going to the hospital, entire city blocks on fire and boarded up, businesses looted and destroyed and more?

Joseph Savoca

It’s always like blaming the victim of a crime. The woman shouldn’t have been walking alone at night in the wrong part of town, etc.

Rambo

A very bias rebuttal to the statement made by Rep Stefanik. I didn’t care for it.

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