On Wednesday, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) proposed a new conspiracy theory about the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol to CNN reporter Melanie Zanona.
Specifically, Nehls — himself a former sheriff — claimed that the movements of the National Guard on that day suggest that Capitol Police secretly wanted the attack on the Capitol. "I think the Capitol Police didn't have the National Guard here because maybe they just wanted it to happen," he said.
In fact, National Guard officials have made clear from the beginning that it was former President Donald Trump's Department of Defense that was the bottleneck in getting them deployed to help, as NPR reported at the time.
"It took more than three hours for former President Donald Trump's Defense Department to approve a request for the D.C. National Guard to intervene in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the commanding general of the outfit told senators on Wednesday," wrote Alana Wise in March 2021. "Maj. Gen. William Walker testified that he had National Guard troops at the ready and sitting idly for hours before he was finally given authorization to send them into the field. Walker said that the delay was caused at least in part over concerns of the optics of sending uniformed troops to the scene." He testified he had received a "frantic call" from Capitol Police hours before that authorization was given.
Nehls, who is running the GOP's "alternative" January 6 investigation effort, was originally one of the members proposed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to serve on the main select committee.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) did not reject him for the committee, but rejected two of McCarthy's other picks, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jim Banks (R-IN), after which McCarthy withdrew all his nominations and boycotted the panel altogether.