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Pelosi denounces 'punk' seen wearing 'Camp Auschwitz' shirt in Capitol riot

Dylan Stableford
·Senior Writer
·2 min read
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Two days after the impeachment of President Trump for his incitement of last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday urged her fellow lawmakers to be “dispassionate” as they prepare for his Senate trial.

But Pelosi admitted that she couldn’t help but be overcome with anger when she saw one of Trump’s supporters who stormed the Capitol wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the words “Camp Auschwitz.”

“To see this punk with that shirt on,” Pelosi said during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, “and his anti-Semitism that he has bragged about, to be a part of this white supremacist raid on this Capitol requires us to have an after-action review to assign responsibility to those who were part of organizing it and incentivizing it.”

The man, later identified as Robert Packer of Virginia, was seen in a widely circulated photo with Trump supporters inside the Capitol building who were holding a piece of a sign with Pelosi’s name on it.

A man is seen wearing an Auschwitz sweatshirt inside the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 riot. (ITN/DOJ)
Robert Packer, left, inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot wearing a sweatshirt with the words “Camp Auschwitz” on it. (ITN/DOJ)

He was arrested Wednesday. According to the criminal complaint, a store owner near Newport News, Va., recognized Packer as a customer and contacted law enforcement.

Pelosi recalled that a year ago, while taking a congressional delegation to visit Israel to observe the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, she visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in Poland, which is built on the site of the former Nazi extermination camp.

“To see the dehumanizing of people that was perpetrated there was so, so overwhelming,” she said.

Pelosi stressed the need for lawmakers to carry out their “solemn” duty despite the raw emotions they may be feeling.

“I find this to be a very emotional time,” the House speaker said. “I said to the members, we’re very passionate to our reaction to this assault on our democracy, on this temple to democracy. We’re very passionate about our reaction, but we must be dispassionate in how we make decisions to go forward.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Friday. (Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday at her weekly Capitol Hill press briefing. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

On Wednesday, the House voted to impeach Trump for his “incitement of insurrection” in connection with the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol. Ten Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach Trump, who is the first president ever to be impeached twice. He now faces a Senate trial that will likely start after he leaves office.

Pelosi has yet to transmit the article of impeachment she signed Wednesday to the Senate, which would formally set in motion the process for Trump’s trial.

At the press conference Friday, she would not say when she plans to do so.

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