GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik lies and says ‘Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility’ for the pro-Trump January 6 insurrection

Elise Stefanik
In this Nov. 20, 2019 file photo, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., listens during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
  • Stefanik lied on Tuesday and said Pelosi “bears responsibility” for the Jan. 6 insurrection.
  • Trump provoked the fatal insurrection at the US Capitol via his lies about the 2020 election.
  • Congressional leaders are not responsible for security at the US Capitol.
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Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York on Tuesday blatantly lied and said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “bears responsibility” for the January 6 insurrection.

“The American people deserve to know the truth. That Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility, as speaker of the House, for the tragedy that occurred on January 6,” Stefanik falsely said.

Stefanik was echoing a talking point that has become central to the GOP’s effort to whitewash the deadly insurrection and rewrite history.

Republicans have increasingly blamed Pelosi for the Capitol attack, pointing to security failures that day. But congressional leaders are not responsible for security at the US Capitol, and the insurrection itself was provoked by President Donald Trump and his lies about the 2020 election. He falsely claimed the election was “stolen” from him.

Before the violent assault on the Capitol began, Trump gave an incendiary speech filled with falsehoods about the election. This came after a weekslong effort by Trump and his allies to overturn the election, during which they pushed baseless claims of mass voter fraud. During his speech, Trump urged his supporters to march on the Capitol.

The fatal riot, which left five people dead, delayed but did not prevent the certification of President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

On Tuesday, the House select committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection began hearings. Republicans have repeatedly pushed against efforts to investigate the insurrection, and ensured that Trump was acquitted after being impeached over the Capitol attack.

Senate Republicans in late May blocked a bill to set up an independent inquiry into the events of January 6, which prompted the Democratic-led House to vote in favor of forming the committee.

Last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy picked five House Republicans to sit on the committee. Pelosi rejected two of McCarthy’s recommendations for the committee – Trump loyalists Reps. Jim Banks and Jim Jordan. McCarthy subsequently pulled all five of his picks for the committee, dismissing it as a partisan “sham.”

There are two Republicans on the committee, Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, who were selected by Pelosi. Both were among the 10 Republicans to vote in favor of impeaching Trump.