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

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Sonam Sheth
·3 min read
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Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump wouldn't receive a "get out of jail" card for the Capitol riot.

  • "People died here on January 6," she said, adding, "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 on Wednesday shot down the notion that impeaching President Donald Trump could alienate Republicans and undercut the message of unity that the new Biden administration is advocating.

"I'm not worried about that," Pelosi said at a news conference when she was asked about the 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.'"

Read more: 'It was degrading': Black Capitol custodial staff talk about what it felt like to clean up the mess left by violent pro-Trump white supremacists

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

On January 13, the House of Representatives impeached Trump, charging him with incitement of insurrection over his actions leading up to the riot. Ten Republicans sided with Democrats, making it the most bipartisan impeachment vote in US history. Trump is also the only president who was 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 were still traumatized.

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

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

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

Read the original article on Business Insider