Home 25th Amendment Fitton: Judicial Watch Sues for Records of Pelosi Call with Pentagon Chief

Fitton: Judicial Watch Sues for Records of Pelosi Call with Pentagon Chief

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., arrives for the the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. At left is Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and right is former President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

In psychology the term projection describes the act of attributing your own negative trait to someone else. Nobody does this better than Nancy Pelosi. If you’ve read her January 8 letter attacking then-President Trump to her colleagues you would agree. In it, she talked about her anti-Trump phone call to the nation’s top military chief.

We want to know more, so we filed a FOIA suit against the U.S. Department of Defense for records of Pelosi’s January 8, 2021, telephone call with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Defense (No 1:21-cv-00593)).

Pelosi acknowledged the call in her January 8 letter to her fellow Democrats. In the letter, Pelosi described her purported discussion with Milley earlier that same day: 

“This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike. The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.”

We sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Defense Department failed to respond to a January 11, 2021, Freedom of Information (FOIA) request for:

  • Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the telephone call between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and General Mark Milley on or about January 8, 2021. This request includes, but is not limited to, any and all transcripts, recordings, and/or summaries of the call, as well as any other records produced in preparation for, during, and/or pursuant to the call.
  • Any and all additional records of communication between Gen. Milley and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi between November 1, 2020 and the present.

In a section of the letter headed “Removing the President From Office,” Pelosi also told her colleagues:

“As you know, there is growing momentum around the invocation of the 25th Amendment, which would allow the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet to remove the President for his incitement of insurrection and the danger he still poses. Yesterday, Leader Schumer and I placed a call with Vice President Pence, and we still hope to hear from him as soon as possible with a positive answer as to whether he and the Cabinet will honor their oath to the Constitution and the American people.”

If Speaker Pelosi’s description of her conversation with General Milley is true, it sets a dangerous precedent that could undermine the president’s role as commander in chief and the separation of powers. Our lawsuit aims to uncover truth about the call. 

The Wall Street Journal editorial page called her call “A Coup of Pelosi’s Own”: 

Mrs. Pelosi’s call to Gen. Milley is itself a violation of the separation of powers by seeking to inject herself into an executive-branch military decision. She can offer advice all she wants, but this call at this time has the sound of an order. It might even be construed by some as its own little coup—conniving with the military to relieve of command the person who remains the elected President.

It is remarkable, but par for the course, that it is up to Judicial Watch is doing the heavy lifting to get more details about this dangerous Pelosi call as Congress and a corrupted partisan media sit on their thumbs in the face of yet another attack on constitutional governance.