By Frank Fang
House GOP Conference Chairwoman Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) has called out Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chair of the Jan. 6 Committee, questioning why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has remained “off-limits” from the committee’s scrutiny over the events that led up to violence on Jan. 6, 2021.
“You have only one office that’s off-limits to investigation and that office is Nancy Pelosi’s office,” Stefanik told Fox News’ “Life, Liberty and Levin” on July 16.
“Bennie Thompson said at the start of this witch hunt that everything is fair game,” she added, “except for the speaker of the House’s office.”
In October 2021, Thompson told CNN that “nobody is off-limits” from the committee’s investigation, including former President Donald Trump.
“We know that the speaker’s office was made aware of potential threats, potential violence that day. They failed to do their job to ensure the Capitol Police had the support they needed to secure the Capitol,” Stefanik said. “And they have not turned over the communication with the sergeant at arms office.”
Pelosi is facing questions about claims that she rejected a preemptive National Guard presence ahead of the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. According to former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, he requested that the National Guard be brought in to ensure the Jan. 6 rally went smoothly. However, Sund claims that Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, overseen by Pelosi, rejected the request, citing concerns over the “optics” of deploying Guard personnel in the city.
Sund’s requests were eventually denied or postponed six times, according to his interview with The Washington Post.
“The American people deserve to have that information,” Stefanik said.
She added the Jan. 6 committee is “a waste of taxpayer dollars.”
“It’s not dealing with the crises that are actually impacting and hurting the American people resulting from Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi’s failed policies,” she said.
The Jan. 6 committee consists of seven Democrats and two Republicans, all of them having voted to impeach Trump. Last year, GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) withdrew all of his picks for the committee after Pelosi rejected two of his selections, Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Pelosi then picked Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to sit on the Democrat-dominated panel.
In June, Trump told Punchbowl News that it’s “not even a question” that McCarthy should have put GOP lawmakers on the panel.
“Well, I think in retrospect, I think it would have been very smart to put Republicans on the committee and again, I wasn’t involved in it from a standpoint so I never looked at it too closely. But I think it would have been good if we had representation,” Trump said.
Trump added that it “would’ve been great” if Banks and Jordan were on the panel.
“But when Pelosi wrongfully didn’t allow them, we should’ve picked other people. We have a lot of good people in the Republican Party,” Trump said.
Stefanik said at a press conference in June that the Jan. 6 committee “is not about seeking the truth.”
“It is a smear campaign against President Donald Trump, against Republican members of Congress, and against Trump voters across this country,” Stefanik said.
Also in June, Banks took to Twitter to warn that the committee was “NEVER about addressing security failures at the Capitol or ensuring something like Jan 6 never happens again.”
“Has ALWAYS been a witch hunt and a Trojan horse effort to advance radical left wing agenda like abolishing Electoral College,” he added. “Don’t be fooled!”