In the months leading up to the Capitol riot, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her office opposed having National Guard on Capitol Grounds due to "optics," according to Tuesday comments reportedly made to House Admin by former Sergeant at Arms, Paul Irving, while making what he described as a "blender of decision making" before the inauguration.
Three sources 'with direct knowledge of Irving's talk' told the Daily Caller that the discussions came at a time when Democrats were against the deployment of federal resources to quell civil unrest.
The discussion, if accurate, raises questions as to what role Pelosi’s office had in the security failures that resulted in the resignations of both Irving and former Chief of Capitol Police Steven Sund. Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill did not deny the allegations in a statement to the Daily Caller. -Daily Caller
"The Speaker’s Office has made it clear publicly and repeatedly that our office was not consulted or contacted concerning any request for the National Guard ahead of January 6th. That has been confirmed by former Sergeant at Arms Irving in sworn testimony before Senate committees. The Speaker expects security professionals to make security decisions and to briefed about those decisions," said Hammill, adding "It is our understanding that Committee on House Administration Ranking Republican Member Davis was briefed in advance of January 6th about security preparedness, but took no action to address any security concerns that he might have had."
The Seargent at Arms is one of three officials with the power to vote on the Capitol Police Board, and is both chosen by, and takes direction from, the Speaker of the House.
Irving testified that he first received a formal request from Sund to activate the National Guard after 2 pm on Jan. 6th. Additionally, when Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley asked if he had to run the request “up the chain of command,” Irving replied “no,” in testimony before a joint Senate Homeland Security and Rules Committee.
The New York Times previously reported that the Speaker’s office confirmed that the National Guard was approved around 1:43 pm. Sund said he sent a request for help from the National Guard to Irving around 1:09 p.m, according to CNN. Irving said he was contacted about the matter after 2:00 pm, Axios reported. Sources questioned how Irving got the request after 2 pm but Pelosi approved the request at 1:43 pm. -Daily Caller
"If you believe Irving’s timeline that he testified under oath to, how could he ask for permission from the Speaker 20 minutes before he got the request?" said one Caller source. "Also if you believe his sworn testimony that he never had to run the request up the chain, why did the Speaker’s office confirm he did just that?"
According to the Caller's third source, "Irving is covering for Pelosi. There’s no doubt."