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VERIFY: No, Nancy Pelosi didn't have a role in deploying the National Guard on January 6

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy implied on Fox News that the Speaker of the House held back the National Guard on January 6. She had no role in the matter.

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives is launching a committee to investigate what led to the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, a probe which Republicans may boycott after having two GOP members rejected. 

The politicization of the events that day continued on "The Ingraham Angle" where House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) implied that the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), had some role in keeping the National Guard from protecting the U.S. Capitol.

A clip posted to Twitter with more than 350,000 views shows Rep. McCarthy questioning, "was there a decision by the Speaker not to have the National Guard at the Capitol that day?" 

We're verifying if his implication that Rep. Pelosi chose not to deploy the National Guard is rooted in fact.

THE QUESTION

Did Nancy Pelosi have a role in deploying the National Guard to the U.S. Capitol on January 6?

THE SOURCE

THE ANSWER

No. The D.C. National Guard is controlled solely by the President and is sometimes delegated to the Secretary of Defense or Secretary of the Army.

WHAT WE FOUND

Out of 54 National Guard units in the United States, the D.C. National Guard is the only one which reports solely to the President of the United States; at the time of the Capitol riots, that was Donald J. Trump. The president can authorize the Secretary of Defense or Secretary of the Army to activate the guard; that was Christopher Miller (acting) and Ryan McCarthy.

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's implication that the Speaker of the House had any power over the activation of the D.C. National Guard is not rooted in fact. Simply put, she does not hold the power to activate them.

The District of Columbia's lack of statehood meant that Mayor Muriel Bowser needed to request that the federal government activate the National Guard to assist Capitol Police and D.C. Police in protecting the U.S. Capitol from rioters. A National Guard press release says Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller activated troops.

That afternoon, the D.C. Council said in a statement on Twitter that the mayor's request to activate the National Guard had been denied by the Department of Defense.

It took hours for Department of Defense officials to deploy the National Guard, and even longer for the 1,000+ troops to arrive.

In the days ahead of January 6th, the U.S. Capitol Police said they would not be requesting extra assistance from the National Guard. But, there's no evidence that any elected officials had a say in the Capitol Police decision.

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