'People died here on January 6': Pelosi says Congress will not give Trump a 'get-out-of-jail' card just because he's out of office




Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi  
  • House Speaker Pelosi said Trump won't receive a "get out of jail" card for the Capitol riot.

  • "People died here on January 6," she said. "That is damage that must be addressed."

  • The Senate will soon hold an impeachment trial and determine whether to bar Trump from public office.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shot down the notion that impeaching former President Donald Trump could alienate Republicans and undercut the message of unity that the newly-inaugurated Biden administration is advocating.

"I'm not worried about that," Pelosi said at a news conference Wednesday when she was asked about the ongoing impeachment proceedings. "The fact is, the president of the United States committed an act of incitement of insurrection. I don't think it's very unifying to say, 'Oh, let's just forget it and move on.' That's not how you unify."

Pelosi went on to say of Trump, "Just because he's now gone - thank God - you don't get to say to a president, 'Do whatever you want in the last months of your administration. You're going to get a get-out-of-jail card free because people think we should make nice-nice and forget that people died here on January 6.'"

The California Democrat was referring to the attempted coup at the Capitol that was led by Trump supporters and repeatedly egged on by the former president as part of his crusade to stop the peaceful transfer of power. Five people died as a result of the siege, including a Capitol Police officer whom Trump supporters beat with a fire extinguisher.

On January 13, the House of Representatives impeached Trump for incitement of insurrection over his actions leading up to the riot.

With 10 Republicans siding with Democrats, it was the most bipartisan impeachment vote in US history. Trump is also the only president who has been impeached twice.

Pelosi pointed out on Wednesday that several Republican members of Congress steadfastly backed Trump's effort to block the legislative branch from formalizing President Joe Biden's victory.

"There is no question that there were members in this body who gave aid and comfort to those" who stormed the Capitol "with the idea that they were embracing a lie," she said, adding that lawmakers and Hill staffers are still traumatized from the events.

"That is damage that must be addressed," Pelosi said.

The timing of Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate is currently in limbo. For one, the former president doesn't have any lawyers defending him as people he was once close to have distanced themselves from him in the wake of the riot.

The House has also not transmitted the article of impeachment against Trump to the Senate yet, and the upper chamber is also working out the mechanics of holding an impeachment trial while working to get Biden's Cabinet picks confirmed and push forward his legislative priorities related the the COVID-19 crisis and economic recovery.

When asked Wednesday if she could provide clarity on when the article of impeachment against Trump will be forwarded to the Senate, Pelosi said she will talk to the House impeachment managers "in the next few days" about when "the Senate will be ready" to receive the article.

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