Speed Reads

Paul Pelosi Assault

Capitol Police cameras reportedly captured the Pelosi break-in, but nobody was watching it live

The U.S. Capitol Police installed security cameras outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) San Francisco house years ago, and they monitor them around-the-clock from a command center in the U.S. Capitol when she is home, but nobody was watching the feed early Friday morning when an intruder broke into the home looking for her and brutally assaulted her husband, Paul Pelosi, instead, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Tuesday night, citing at least three people familiar with events. 

Capitol Police discovered the break-in at Pelosi's house when an officer running through the department's 1,800 camera feeds saw flashing police lights outside the San Francisco residence, the Post reports. "The officer in D.C. quickly pulled up additional camera angles from around Pelosi's home and began to backtrack, watching recordings from the minutes before San Francisco police arrived. There, on camera, was a man with a hammer, breaking a glass panel and entering the speaker's home."

The costly wasted minutes between the cameras capturing the break-in and Paul Pelosi's 911 call and arrival of San Francisco police "were flagged by a security review of the episode undertaken by the Capitol Police," the Times reports.

The attack sent shockwaves through Congress and revived internal conversations about how best to protect lawmakers. "We believe today's political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for members of Congress," Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said Tuesday. Nancy Pelosi is one of only a handful of lawmakers who have 24/7 government-provided security details. 

Congress is "cheap as hell" about member security, retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré tells the Times. Honoré recommended that the Capitol police hire more than 800 new officers among other upgrades after studying congressional security in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol.

The Capitol Police have been working to implement those recommended security improvements, "but the department has simultaneously faced a tenfold increase in threats to members of Congress," the Post reports. "While other members of Congress may face episodic threats, Pelosi is the subject of the most violent death threats against any lawmaker, and their volume is both high and continuous, a law enforcement official said. Police attribute the scale of the threats to her being demonized by Republicans, being a woman, and being second in line to the presidency."