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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

Go deeper

Conservatives warn culture, political wars will worsen

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The verdict is clear: The vast majority of Republicans will stand firm with former President Trump. The next phase is clear, too: Republicans are rallying around a common grievance that big government, big media and big business are trying to shut them up, shut them out and shut them down. 

Why it matters: The post-Trump GOP, especially its most powerful media platforms, paint the new reality as an existential threat. This means political attacks are seen — or characterized — as assaults on their very being. 

Home confinees face imminent return to prison

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Thousands of prisoners who've been in home confinement for as long as a year because of the pandemic face returning to prison when it's over — unless President Biden rescinds a last-minute Trump Justice Department memo.

Why it matters: Most prisoners were told they would not have to come back as they were released early with ankle bracelets. Now, their lives are on hold while they wait to see whether or when they may be forced back behind bars. Advocates say about 4,500 people are affected.

The "essential" committee that still doesn't exist

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Nearly five months after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the creation of the bipartisan Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, it's not been formed much less met.

Why it matters: Select committees are designed to address urgent matters, but the 117th Congress is now nearly one-quarter complete without this panel assembling. When she announced this committee, Pelosi described it as an "essential force" to "combat the crisis of income and wealth disparity in America."