House Majority Whip James Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat, says he doesn’t think the U.S. Capitol Police was “being negligent” when it reportedly missed the break-in at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home on a live video feed.
Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, was asked Wednesday whether he thinks there should be a full investigation into the agency’s handling of the situation and if the individual in charge of monitoring the feed should be held accountable.
In response, Clyburn said lawmakers “have not stepped up to do what we need to do” in terms of security measures for members of Congress.
“There was nobody with the Capitol Police there because Nancy was not there so the Capitol Police was following Nancy,” he said during a news conference, in response to a question from Just the News. “And now we’ve got the local police understaffed and not having anybody there to monitor. So I don’t think they were being negligent. They’re trying to utilize resources.”
However, he acknowledged the matter should be reviewed.
“We need to take a look at it, but we should not be pointing fingers,” he said. “We should just look at ourselves and ask ourselves, are we sufficiently funding this part of our process?”
In the Oct. 28 incident, Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was allegedly struck in the head with a hammer by a man who entered the couple’s San Francisco home at about 2 a.m. The 82-year-old Pelosi, as a result, required surgery to repair a fractured skull.
The alleged attacker, David DePage, 42, of Richmond, Calif., has been charged with several federal offenses including assault of an immediate family member of a U.S. official with the intent to retaliate against the official on account of the performance of official duties and attempted kidnapping of a U.S. official on account of the performance of official duties, according to the Justice Department.
Police said DePage originally told them he intended to kidnap the Democrat House speaker and “break her kneecaps” if she didn’t admit to telling lies. He has since pleaded not guilty to the related state charges.
A source revealed to Just the News that the officer who was in charge of monitoring the video feed at the Pelosi residence when the incident occurred didn’t notice that the break-in occurred until the flashing strobe lights from responding San Francisco police squads were visible on the feed.
Security spending for lawmakers has increased since the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.
Security measures for congressional leaders have been thrust back into the spotlight after the break-in and attack.
Clyburn was asked if he thinks the spouses of congressional leaders should have Capitol Police protection.
“There are a lot of non-leaders in Congress who get these threats as well,” he said, referring to threats made against lawmakers. “I think you need to make an assessment of the people in the Congress.”
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said that the department is conducting a formal review of the Pelosi assault incident but declined to provide further detail in a statement that was released on Tuesday.