A screenshot of video capturing Special Agent David Lazarus arriving at the bottom of the Rotunda stairs, where he claims to have witnessed a confrontation between Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and members of the Oath Keepers. The encounter had ended minutes before Lazarus arrived. (Image source: Oath Keepers trial discovery footage)
© 2023 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
A Blaze Media investigative journalist said it appears a Capitol Police officer assigned to protect then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Jan. 6, 2021, gave false testimony regarding his whereabouts during a key encounter that day with members of the Oath Keepers.
Steve Baker said his investigation is based on his examination of Capitol closed-circuit TV video to which he's been given access.
What's the background?
Baker noted that Jan. 6 prosecutors — in their attempt to prove Oath Keepers were guilty of trying to overthrow the U.S. government — said members of the group were involved in a contentious interaction with law enforcement at the top of the stairs next to the Capitol Rotunda, which also is known as the small or mini rotunda or the Speaker’s Lobby.
However, Baker said no video evidence from Capitol CCTV cameras was presented to the jury — despite the existence of at least 1,700 cameras in and around the building and grounds and 41,000 hours of footage. In fact, Baker said much of the video footage has been kept from the public defenders as well as the public.
With that, Baker said prosecutors instead relied on the accounts of two law enforcement officers.
One of them, Baker said, is U.S. Capitol Police Special Agent David Lazarus, a member of Pelosi's security detail. Baker said Lazarus testified that he passed USCP Officer Harry Dunn engaging with four Oath Keepers “three or four times” while he was evacuating Pelosi staffers trapped in a locked office in her chambers.
More from Baker's investigation:
Lazarus went on to explain that he observed Dunn “arguing” with rioters and that during that exchange, he eventually found an opening through the rioters and was able to rescue “11 or 12” of Pelosi’s staffers. During his sworn testimony, Lazarus went into great detail about the problems he had getting through the crowd of rioters gathered at the top of the stairwell where Dunn was having what became a much-publicized interchange with the Oath Keepers.
However, Baker said Capitol CCTV video appears to prove Lazarus wasn't in that part of the Capitol Building at the time he claimed. Rather, Baker said Capitol video seems to show Lazarus instead in the lower tunnels that lead to the Senate office buildings at that time, escorting senators away from the Capitol.
More from Baker's investigation:
By analyzing the footage from multiple CCTV cameras and comparing the timelines associated with Officer Dunn’s actual interaction on camera with the Oath Keepers, it is clear that Lazarus did not arrive at the bottom of the staircase until three and a half minutes after the last of the Oath Keepers had left the area and were exiting the Capitol Building. Lazarus emerged from the top of the stairwell just after 3:05 p.m., after tactical units from the ATF and D.C. Metro Police had completely cleared the top of that staircase, the Speaker’s Lobby, and the speaker’s offices of all protesters.
In the absence of video evidence at trial, Lazarus’ testimony served as verification by a trustworthy law enforcement official of Dunn’s account to the jury of his interaction with the Oath Keepers.
But even without consulting the new video evidence, both men are on record offering conflicting accounts of the circumstances in which they supposedly encountered each other at the top of the Rotunda staircase.
While Lazarus claimed he saw Dunn involved in a conflict with the Oath Keepers as Lazarus came up the stairs, Baker explained that Dunn said the opposite in an upcoming book of his: “Standing My Ground: A Capitol Police Officer's Fight for Accountability and Good Trouble After January 6th." The advance copy of the book indicates Dunn saw Lazarus involved in a conflict as Dunn came up the stairs, Baker noted.
More from Baker's investigation:
Capitol CCTV reveals that Dunn reached the top of the staircase landing at exactly 2:44 p.m. Dunn could not have seen Lazarus there, as Lazarus is clearly identifiable on video in the tunnels near the Senate office buildings at the same time. And Lazarus could not have seen Dunn interacting with the Oath Keepers “three or four times” in a “very antagonistic” encounter, because Lazarus did not arrive at that staircase until 2:56:45 p.m. The last Oath Keeper left 2:53:30. Again, Lazarus arrives well over three minutes after the Oath Keepers had departed the area.
In Lazarus’ own trial testimony, he claimed he was not present when video footage shows that Dunn was actually at the top of the stairs. This important element of Lazarus' testimony was missed not only by all eight of the Oath Keepers’ defense lawyers but also by the journalists reporting on the trial from the first-floor media room in the courthouse.
In the end, Baker noted, prosecutors got their convictions of the Oath Keepers, who were soon sentenced to numerous years behind bars. Baker in his investigative piece asked, "Did the special agent assigned to the protection of Nancy Pelosi commit perjury, lying under oath to bolster a narrative against the defendants? If so, why — and who put him up to it?"
Capitol Police on Wednesday did not immediately respond to Blaze Media's request for comment regarding Baker's assertions in his investigative story.
'It just did not happen'
Baker on Wednesday morning appeared on the radio program of Glenn Beck, founder of TheBlaze — and Baker recounted details of the work he began a year ago and how it all led to his investigative piece.
Baker reiterated that the testimony Lazarus offered with "great detail" in regard to an encounter with the Oath Keepers appeared to be disproven by Capitol cameras he examined: "It just did not happen."
Beck noted to Baker that "in any other time ... in American history, this case would be thrown out now" based on what Baker has seen on Capitol video: "This is our government setting American citizens up, withholding evidence that's exculpatory, sentencing them to long sentences. ... This is as bad as it gets."
Here's Beck's interview with Baker:
Pelosi’s Head of Security Likely PERJURED Himself With Jan 6 LIE | Blaze Media EXCLUSIVEyoutu.be
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!
Want to leave a tip?
We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Sr. Editor, News
Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.