May 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi condemns GOP lawmakers for downplaying Jan. 6 Capitol attack

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday tore into Republican members of Congress who downplayed the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot during a House hearing on Wednesday, telling reporters: "I don't know [of] a normal day around here when people are threatening to hang the vice president."

Why it matters: House lawmakers are currently in negotiations over forming a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission to examine the attack and the events that led up to it.

  • An agreement has been delayed in part because Republicans have pushed to expand the scope of the commission to far-left violence during protests last summer.
  • At a House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday, multiple GOP lawmakers characterized the Capitol rioters as law-abiding "patriots" and attempted to cast doubt on whether they were even Trump supporters.

What they're saying: At Thursday's briefing, Pelosi specifically focused on comments by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), who claimed that footage from the attack would look like a "normal tourist visit" of the Capitol building if a viewer didn't know it was from Jan. 6.

  • "Well, I don't know [of] a normal day around here when people are threatening to hang the vice president of the United States or shoot the speaker in the forehead or disrupt and injure so many police officers," Pelosi said.
  • "I don't consider that normal. Multiple people were killed. Over 140 police officers were [injured]. A gallows was put up. Attackers chanted, 'Hang the vice president.' Normal?" she asked.

The big picture: New body camera footage aired on CNN Wednesday showed the moment D.C. Metropolitan police officer Michael Fanone was brutally attacked by Trump supporters during the riot, underscoring the violence of the siege.

  • The officer was swarmed, beaten and Tasered by pro-Trump rioters. He suffered a mild heart attack and concussion during the attack, and he's still dealing with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder from the event.

Go deeper: Former Pentagon chief blames media "hysteria" for lack of troops on Jan. 6

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