Democratic California Representative Adam Schiff on Monday told Republican former President Donald Trump “you were in charge” after Trump blamed the January 6 Capitol riot on Democratic failures.
“The highly partisan Unselect Committee is just a sideshow to distract America from MASSIVE failures by Biden and the Democrats,” Trump wrote in a Monday evening statement, referring to the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attacks.
“What happened to the Capitol would have never happened if the people in charge did their job and looked at the intelligence,” Trump continued. “Instead of holding bad leaders accountable, the Democrats are going after innocent staffers and attacking the Constitution.”
Trump’s statement blaming the Democrats specifically named Schiff, who sits on the committee. Trump referred to Schiff as “shifty” and called the commission “the Radical Left’s Witch Hunt.” Trump has previously used the term “witch hunt” to refer to any investigations into his alleged wrongdoing.
Schiff’s committee has issued several subpoenas against former Trump officials and allies whose actions are believed to have contributed to the Capitol riot.
In response to Trump’s statement, Schiff tweeted, “Thanks for the shout-out, Mr. Former President.”
“As for your statement that the attack on the Capitol would never have happened if ‘the people in charge had done their job’ You do realize that you were in charge on January 6th? Right? Just checking,” Schiff added.
In the months leading up to the riot, Trump baselessly claimed that an unprecedented nationwide conspiracy of voter fraud “stole” the election from him. His former attorney general, head of U.S. cybersecurity infrastructure and statewide audits have all concluded that there’s no real evidence that the 2020 election was stolen.
During the riots, thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to prevent Congress from certifying the electoral victory of President Joe Biden. Rioters shattered windows while trying to access congressional chambers, smeared feces in the hallway and stole computer equipment, potentially constituting a national security breach.
Five people died in the riots and roughly 140 police officers were injured. The police injuries included a broken spine, a lost eye, lost fingers, brain damage and multiple cases of PTSD. Four Capitol Police officers have died by suicide since then.
In February, the Democrat-led House impeached Trump for inciting the riots. However, Trump and other Republicans have tried to blame Democrats for the violence during the riots.
In a February 15 letter to Pelosi, four top Republican House members blamed her for allowing the security breaches that facilitated the January 6 rioters. “The Speaker is responsible for all operational decisions made within the House,” the letter stated.
However, the fact-checking website PolitiFact said the letter incorrectly blamed Pelosi. Capitol security is neither solely the responsibility of Pelosi nor does she control its day-to-day operations, the site said. Rather security measures are handled by the sergeants-at-arms of the House and Senate and by Capitol Police.
In response to the GOP letter, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, accused Republican leaders of “trying to deflect responsibility for the Capitol attack from Donald Trump.” He called the letter a “transparently partisan attempt to lay blame on the Speaker.”
Newsweek contacted Schiff’s office for comment.