Republican lawmakers have leapt to escape accountability for their embrace of former President Donald Trump's lies about the validity of the 2020 election—lies which culminated in the deadly failed insurrection against the United States Capitol on January 6.
One key talking point from Republicans is the lie that Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California denied requests to send in the D.C. National Guard.
Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California—incensed after Pelosi rejected two of his appointments to the House Select Committee investigating the riots—amplified this lie during an interview with far-right Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
The Minority Leader mused:
"Was there a decision made by the Speaker not to have the National Guard at the Capitol that day?
In reality, the D.C. National Guard is the only National Guard unit out of the 54 in the United States that reports solely to the U.S. President, who—on January 6—was Donald Trump.
Though the President presides over the D.C. National Guard, these duties are sometimes delegated to the Secretary of Defense. Trump's Acting Defense Secretary—Christopher Miller—restricted the Guard to require his explicit approval before taking action to quell any unrest.
What's more, though Trump lied that he "immediately" called in the National Guard, reports show the riots went on for hours before the D.C. National Guard intervened, despite multiple calls from Capitol Police officers for assistance. Ultimately, it was Vice President Mike Pence—whom the rioters were calling to hang for not overturning the election—who facilitated the decision to bring in the Guard to clear the Capitol.
McCarthy's suggestion that Pelosi was somehow in charge of the National Guard's actions that day was quickly fact-checked by social media users, who pointed out that Trump was in control of the D.C. Guard.
While McCarthy's lies may go unchallenged by far-right mouthpieces like Ingraham, some believe these lies will be laid to rest as the 1/6 Commission's work gets underway.
The Committee's first hearing is on July 27th.