A new video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the time of the Capitol riots last year has been revealed in which she can be heard saying that if Donald Trump had entered the building, she would “punch him out” even if it means “going to jail”.
The never-seen-before footage was obtained by CNN from Alexandra Pelosi, a documentary filmmaker and the House speaker’s daughter, and was aired on Thursday.
“If he comes, I’m gonna punch him out,” Ms Pelosi said, referring to the one-time president.
“I’ve been waiting for this, for trespassing on the Capitol grounds. I’m gonna punch him out, and I’m gonna go to jail and I’m gonna be happy.”
The video captured the moment Ms Pelosi was watching Mr Trump’s speech at the “Save America” rally before the riots at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021.
During the rally that preceded the riots, Mr Trump had encouraged his followers to “fight like hell” and said they will march to the Capitol to protest the Electoral College vote certification.
A staffer then informed Ms Pelosi that the Secret Service had told Mr Trump to not come to the Capitol so that he would be safe, adding that “at the moment he is not coming but that could change”.
The House select committee investigating the riots released clips during Thursday’s hearing, showing Ms Pelosi and other lawmakers frantically coordinating behind the scenes as the mob ransacked the Capitol. The lawmakers were evacuated to other locations such as the Army’s Fort McNair fearing violence.
More expansive footage by CNN showed Congressional leaders contemplating whether to continue Electoral College proceedings at Fort McNair. Ms Pelosi spoke to former vice president Mike Pence to have a “backup plan” while officials worked on details on how to evacuate hundreds of lawmakers to the Army base.
“We have got to finish the proceedings or else they will have a complete victory,” Ms Pelosi said in one clip.
The remarkable footage showed urgency in actions and tense moments. In another clip, Ms Pelosi is heard on the phone with Virginia’s governor Ralph Northam to secure urgent aid of hundreds of police and National Guard troops as backup.
“Governor, I don’t know if you’ve been approached about the Virginia National Guard,” the House speaker was seen telling Mr Northam on her cell phone.
At one point, Ms Pelosi was told by staff members that the Secret Service told Mr Trump they would not have resources to protect him at the Capitol.
“Tell him if he comes here, we’re going to the White House,” Ms Pelosi responded.
The House committee hearing, which could be the last, has culminated in a unanimous vote to subpoena Mr Trump to answer questions about his role in the attack on the US Capitol.