House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Tuesday said that because former President Donald Trump directed the January 6th siege on the United States Capitol which killed five people, he is an “accessory to the crime” of murder.
Reid asked the Speaker how she intends to manage the House of Representatives when certain lawmakers participated in the attempted coup:
How do you then go forward in a Congress that includes people who – some of the Democratic members have said they’re afraid of them – there are people who have said, ‘I don’t know,’ people have said they’re afraid of their own colleagues because they see them as having been on the other side?
First, Pelosi contrasted Barack Obama’s first inaugural address with Trump’s, which she described as “disgusting” and “dark.”
She then turned to the fallout from Trump’s insurrection, which led to his second impeachment:
So here we are now because of the instigation of that president, that dark president, we have security beyond any history or what anybody thought would be the need. And why? Because this president has been telling people that the election was not legitimate and these people believe him. They believe a president, alright? They believe a president. A president’s words are important, they weigh a ton. And if you’re Donald Trump talking to these people, they believe it and they used his words to come here.
Pelosi said that Trump and members of Congress who aided the deadly siege are “accessories to that crime” of murder:
So when we talk about ‘did any of our colleagues collaborate?’ Well, that remains to be seen. We have to get the evidence of that. And if they did, they would be accessories to the crime. And the crime, in some cases, was murder.
And this president is an accessory to that crime because he instigated that insurrection that caused those deaths and this destruction. So again we’ll have to see what the evidence is and if that’s the case it’s not a question of whether we’re comfortable serving with them, it’s about their prosecution as people who are accessories to the crime. But let’s see.
Pelosi noted that there are “other concerns” with Republicans who want to violate congressional rules:
We have other concerns with them. They want to bring guns on the floor. The disrespect that they have for the institution of Congress is so palpable, I mean, you can see it all the time. They don’t think any rules apply to them. But that’s another order of business. One is prosecution if they wittingly or unwittingly contributed – aided and abetted – the other, how they obey the rules of the House and how we keep people safe who are serving here.
Pelosi later added that Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election saved American democracy:
I do think that we’re bigger than all of this. Donald Trump was a stain on our country. I don’t think we could have sustained our democracy if he had two terms in office, for what he was doing to our institution or what he was doing to our Constitution. He dishonored it.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.