Democrat calls for footage of Republican’s tirade against pages to be released

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) on Tuesday called for the release of security footage of his fellow Wisconsin Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R), who cursed out teenage Senate pages last week.

Pocan wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that he wants “greater transparency” around the incident, which occurred early Thursday morning. Pocan also included a letter he wrote asking Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Committee on Administration, for the footage.

According to a transcript obtained by The Hill, Van Orden called the pages resting in the rotunda “jackasses” and “little s----," and he told them they were “defiling the space.”

“If widely shared reports are accurate, Representative Van Orden’s behavior towards the pages was completely unacceptable and further calls into question his fitness for office,” Pocan said in the letter. “It is critical that members of the public, including his constituents in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District, know the truth of what happened that evening.”

Van Orden defended his actions in the wake of the incident, saying he thought the pages were disrespecting the space. In a statement to The Hill, he said the rotunda’s history contributed to his reaction. 

“The history of the United States Capitol Rotunda, that during the Civil War it was used as a field hospital and countless Union soldiers died on that floor, and they died because they were fighting the Civil War to end slavery. And I think that place should be treated with a tremendous amount of respect for the dead,” Van Orden said.