On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed former President Donald Trump for the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol, which took place almost a year ago.
“I’ll never forgive the former president of the United States and his lackeys, and his bullies that he sent to the Capitol, for the trauma that was exerted on our staff,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference in the Capitol.
Younger congressional staffers, according to Pelosi, have been particularly rattled by the day’s violence, which resulted in the deaths of three people.
“You cannot erase that,” she said.
Prosecutors have brought charges against more than 700 persons for their roles in the violent attack on the Capitol in November, which aimed to prevent Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election from being certified.
Pelosi went on to say that she was “very proud” of the work that the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack was doing. That committee is now looking into how involved Trump and his close aides were in preparing the morning rally against the election’s certification in the area. By the afternoon, the gathering had devolved into a brawl, with pro-Trump supporters assaulting police officers and looting the Capitol.
Trump and his Republican backers have insisted that they had no prior knowledge of the incident. Some, including the former president, have played down the incident, with one Republican House member referring to it as a “regular tourist visit.”
House Democrats were debating how to punish Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., for launching a series of Islamophobic comments against Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., when the speaker spoke. They chastised Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, for uploading an anime movie in which he was seen killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., earlier this month.
Hundreds of congressional staffers, including dozens of Muslims, wrote a letter to House leaders on Wednesday expressing their dread and anxiety as a result of Boebert’s remarks. Some Democrats want Boebert’s committee positions removed, but Pelosi avoided the topic in her Wednesday remarks.
“The responsibility is on them,” Pelosi said of Republican leaders, even as she blasted the “disgraceful, unacceptable behavior” of GOP members, a likely reference to Boebert and her allies.
Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Gosar convened a press conference on Tuesday to draw attention to what they call the unjust treatment of the Jan. 6 insurgents, whom they have constantly championed.
“We are going to take power after this next election,” Gaetz stated.
Pelosi also used her press conference on Wednesday to pay tribute to former Senator Bob Dole, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 98. Dole will be laid to rest at the United States Capitol on Thursday. He was a staunch conservative, but he represented a level of sobriety and civility on Capitol Hill that has all but vanished.
“He was a person,” Pelosi said, “who taught everyone here about dignity, duty, integrity, and patriotism.”
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