Speaker Nancy Pelosi said President Donald Trump could be an accessory to murder for his role in inciting the MAGA mob that rioted on Capitol Hill and resulted in five deaths, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.
‘[The] 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. 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 accessory to the crime. And the crime, in some cases, was murder,’ she told MSNBC’s on Tuesday night.
Pelosi led an impeachment vote against Trump one week after the attack on the Capitol, which resulted in him becoming the only president to be impeached for a second time. The House of Representatives charged President Trump with ‘incitement of insurrection’ in the January 6th riot.
She described the outgoing president as a ‘stain on our country.’
‘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,’ she told MSNBC.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said President Donald Trump could be an accessory to murder for his role in inciting the MAGA mob that rioted on Capitol Hill
President Trump faces a second impeachment trial in the Senate where he faces a charge of ‘incitement of insurrection’ for the January 6th riot
And, when asked her final message for President Trump, she called on him to formally concede the election. Trump has acknowledged a new administration will take office on Wednesday but he has not mentioned incoming President Joe Biden by name nor reached out to his successor.
‘Well, the first thing I would say to him is accept the results of the election, concede to the President, Joe Biden, and call off the terrorists that you have unleashed,’ Pelosi said. ‘If I had to leave him a note, it would be very short. Man up. Concede the election, nothing more.’
Pelosi and Trump had a contentious relationship. The last time they saw each other or spoke was last year’s State of the Union Address where Trump refused to shake her hand and she tore up the text of his remarks when he finished speaking.
The speaker has not yet formally sent the article of impeachment to the Senate, which will try Trump. Democrats were working on rules that would allow the upper chamber to operate on the dual tracks of confirming Biden’s cabinet nominees while trying President Trump.
Even some Republicans fault Trump for the violence in the Capitol.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell denounced President Trump on Tuesday, saying the president was responsible for ‘provoking’ the MAGA mob.
‘The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people,’ he said in a dramatic speech on the Senate floor.
‘They tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government, which they did not like,’ McConnell continued.
‘But we pressed on. We stood together and said an angry mob would not get veto power over the rule of law in our nation.’
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said during remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday that Donald Trump ‘provoked’ the crowd who stormed the Capitol two weeks ago is his most outright denunciation of the president to date
‘The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people,’ McConnell said of Trump’s speech to thousands of his supporters before they descended on Capitol Hill
The speech takes McConnell much closer to publicly declaring he will convict Trump at his Senate impeachment trial and gives significant cover to members of the GOP caucus to vote to convict too.
Notably, unlike President Trump’s last impeachment trial, McConnell is telling senators to vote their conscience – a dramatic difference from last year when McConnell actively worked to acquit Trump when he was impeached the first time.
To convict Trump, 17 Republican senators would have to vote for that charge. As an alternative, senators could consider voting in favor of disqualifying Trump from holding future office. The Senate could apply that punishment by a simple majority vote, but only if two-thirds of senators first found Trump guilty. It’s an option that could appeal to many Republican senators since it would prevent Trump from running for president again in 2024.
The debate shows the deep divisions inside the Republican Senate, with the only members to make their positions known so far three who say they will not convict: Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul and Tom Cotton.
Even some Republicans have faulted President Trump for inciting the mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6th
During his remarks, McConnell honored the sacrifice Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick (pictured) gave in defending the Capitol. He died the day after the riot after being hit over the head with a fire extinguisher
He also paid tribute to fellow Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood (pictured), who committed suicide in an off-duty incident three days after the attack
McConnell’s break with Trump comes as several Republicans, including former administration officials, turn against the president in the fallout of the Capitol riot by thousands of Trump supporters.
Vice President Mike Pence and Congress’ top two Republicans – McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – will scorn Trump on his way out the door.
None of the three men will attend Trump’s departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews on Wednesday morning.
McCarthy also faulted Trump for his actions on January 6th.
‘That doesn’t mean the president is free from fault. The president bears bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding,’ McCarthy said last week during the House debate on impeachment.
‘These facts require immediate action by President Trump, accept his share of responsibility, quell the brewing unrest and ensure President elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term,’ McCarthy said.
When Trump was impeached the first time, in December 2019, no Republicans in the House voted against him.
The opposite was true in the second impeachment vote, with 10 Republicans voting with every Democrat in the House to impeach.
Other Republicans have faulted Trump for stirring up the crowd on January 6th. At a rally the morning of riot, Trump told his supporters to march on the Capitol. As the mob swarmed the building, Trump waited several hours before asking them to stand down.
On Monday, former Attorney General Bill Barr told ITV News that the attack on the Capitol was ‘precipitated’ by Trump’s repeated claims of election fraud. He also compared those involved in the mob to Islamic terrorists.
‘That was the thing that precipitated riots on the Hill,’ Barr said when asked if the debate over election integrity contributed to the scene at the Capitol.
‘I’ll leave it to the people who are looking into the genesis of this to say whether incitement was involved,’ Barr said, stopping short of calling Trump’s words ‘incitement of insurrection.’
Hundreds were injured in the riot two weeks ago and five died, including a Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, who was hit over the head by a protester with a fire hydrant and a female pro-Trump demonstrator, Ashli Babbit, who was shot in the chest in the chaos.
McConnell also praised law enforcement during his floor remarks Tuesday for already making more than 100 arrested related to the riot.
‘A great deal has already been said about the disgraceful events of January 6,’ the Kentucky Republican said. ‘More will be said in the weeks ahead. I understand the FBI has already made at least 100 arrests and the Justice Department reports more than 275 persons are under investigation, a number that is climbing fast.’
He added: ‘I want to commend the work of the department to swiftly investigate and bring offenders to justice.’
‘I want to reaffirm the huge respect and gratitude that I have and I believe all senators have for the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police, who put their own safety on the line every single day that they clock in and stand guard.’
He paid tribute to Sicknick, the only law enforcement to die as a result of the violent attack, as well as fellow Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood, who died three days after the riot in an off-duty suicide.
‘Neither the institution of Congress nor the American people will ever forget the bravery and the valor of Officer Brian Sicknick, who sacrificed himself to protect this place and those inside,’ McConnell said. ‘We’ll not forget our friend, Officer Howard Liebengood, and we’ll never forget our debt to all the brave USCP officers and their families.