Jan 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi: Trump could be "accessory" to murder over deadly insurrection

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., prepares to gavel the House into recess after the chamber voted to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection on Wednesday, January 13
Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump could be an "accessory" to murder in regards to the deadly Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC Tuesday night.

Why it matters: Trump faced intense criticism after a crowd of his supporters breached the Capitol and broke into chambers, including Pelosi’s office. Five people died as a result of the insurrection.

  • Trump had spread false claims of election fraud online and urged supporters to march to the Capitol in a speech at a rally shortly before rioters broke into the building.

What she’s saying: "Presidents' words are important. They weigh a ton," Pelosi said. "And they used his words to come here."

  • If it were proven that a Congress member or Trump had colluded with rioters, they could be accessories to crimes committed during the events, she added.
  • "And the crime, in some cases, was murder," Pelosi said. "And this president is an accessory to that crime because he instigated that insurrection that caused those deaths and this destruction."

The big picture: Trump said a week after the riots that he "unequivocally" condemned the violence. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, once a Trump loyalist, said on Tuesday the mob was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

  • The House voted to impeach Trump last week on one charge: incitement of insurrection. It now goes to the Senate for trial.
  • The White House did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment on Pelosi's remarks.

Go deeper: In photos: Protesters storm U.S. Capitol

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