Donald Trump departed the White House as president for the last time on Wednesday, leaving a town devastated after he incited a violent insurrection on Jan. 6 that claimed the lives of five people, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer. And with his presidency over, serious legal troubles are about to consume his life.
Hours before his departure, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared for an interview on MSNBC said that Trump could be an accessory to murder for fueling the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol.
“Presidents’ words are important. They weigh a ton,” Pelosi said about Trump, who continuously stoked false claims of widespread election fraud on Twitter and encouraged supporters to march to the Capitol in a fiery speech given at a “Save America” rally not long before rioters stormed the building.
“They used his words to come here,” Pelosi said. The speaker went a step further and said that if it were proven that some members of Congress collaborated with members of the group that attacked the Capitol, they — as well as Trump — would be accessories to crimes committed during the insurrection.
“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,” Pelosi told MSNBC host Joy Reid.
Pelosi’s comments represent the strongest language yet used by Democrats over Trump’s role in the riots.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also slammed the president for his role in the assault.
“The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said on theSenate floor on Tuesday. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like. But we pressed on.”
House Democrats, who were joined by 10 Republicans, voted to impeach Trump last week on a charge of incitement of insurrection. Pelosi has not said when the article of impeachment will be sent to the Senate to initiate a trial, but indicated in her interview that it would be “soon.”
"When we talk about, 'did any of our colleagues collaborate?’ — that remains to be seen … If they did, they would be accessories to the crime. The crime, in some cases, was murder. This president is an accessory to that crime," Speaker Pelosi says about the Capitol riot. pic.twitter.com/wZW5AFZmBb
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 20, 2021