Democratic ‘Squad’ member Ayanna Pressley says she felt a ‘deep and ancestral’ terror while she was barricading herself in her office during last month’s Capitol riots as she slammed white supremacist mobs.
‘As a black woman, to be barricaded in my office using office furniture and water bottles on the ground in the dark, that terror, those moments of terror, is familiar in a deep and ancestral way for me,’ Pressley said.
The 46-year-old went on to say that she was haunted by images of black Capitol workers cleaning up after MAGA mob rioters stormed the building on January 6.
‘One of the images that I’m haunted by is the Black custodial staff cleaning up the mess left by that violent white supremacist mob,’ she said. ‘That is a metaphor for America. We have been cleaning up after violent, white supremacist mobs for generations and it must end.’
Ayanna Pressley spoke her fear in an interview on CNN ‘s State of the Union on Sunday – exactly one month after the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol
Asked if she still felt unsafe going to work at the Capitol, Pressley said that living with threats wasn’t new and, again, likened to attacks black Americans have faced in the past.
‘I feel safe. Living with threats and living with bigots, who are as vile in their rhetoric as they are in their policies… and the harm they seek to cause in the most marginalized communities – black Americans in particular, is not new,’ she said.
‘Again, this is familiar in an ancestral sort of way. So, it is not going to deter or obstruct me from doing my job on behalf of the American people.’
Pressley suggested that those who rioted at the Capitol were able to do so because the US has not addressed systemic issues such as racism and inequality.
‘As a country, we have been turning the page,’ she said.
‘If we really believe that this is a moment of reckoning in every way, then we must act accordingly.
‘And that means that Donald J. Trump must be held accountable because he is culpable for having incited this insurrection by perpetuating this big lie.
‘This House has twice done its job. He will forever be the twice-impeached president.
‘And now the Senate must honor their oath and impeach.’
She called on senators to convict him so he can be prevented from holding office again.
The 46-year-old went on to say that she was haunted by images of black Capitol workers (pictured) cleaning up after MAGA mob rioters stormed the building on January 6
Asked if she still felt unsafe going to work at the Capitol, Pressley said that living with threats wasn’t new and, again, likened to attacks black Americans have faced in the past
Lawyers for Trump on Monday blasted the impeachment case against him as an act of ‘political theater’ and accused House Democrats on the eve of the former president’s trial of exploiting the chaos and trauma of last month’s Capitol riot for their party’s gain.
Trump’s legal brief is a wide-ranging attack on the House case, foreshadowing the claims his lawyers intend to present on the same Senate floor that was invaded by rioters on January 6.
The sharp-tongued tone, with accusations that Democrats are making ‘patently absurd’ arguments and trying to ‘silence a political opponent,’ makes clear that Trump’s lawyers are preparing to challenge both the constitutionality of the trial and any suggestion that he was to blame for the insurrection.
‘While never willing to allow a ‘good crisis’ to go to waste, the Democratic leadership is incapable of understanding that not everything can always be blamed on their political adversaries, no matter how very badly they may wish to exploit any moment of uncertainty on the part of the American people,’ the defense lawyers say.
In their brief, they suggest that Trump was simply exercising his First Amendment rights when he disputed the election results and argue that he explicitly encouraged his supporters to have a peaceful protest and therefore cannot be responsible for the actions of the rioters.
They also say the Senate is not entitled to try Trump now that he has left office, an argument contested by even some conservative legal scholars, and they deny that the goal of the Democrats’ case is justice.
‘Instead, this was only ever a selfish attempt by Democratic leadership in the House to prey upon the feelings of horror and confusion that fell upon all Americans across the entire political spectrum upon seeing the destruction at the Capitol on Jan. 6 by a few hundred people,’ the lawyers wrote.
House impeachment managers filed their own document Monday, asserting that Trump had ‘betrayed the American people’ and that there is no valid excuse or defense.