‘A president’s words are important, they weigh a ton’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed Tuesday that outgoing President Donald Trump could be held criminally liable for the deadly violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Pelosi already led a successful second effort to impeach Trump last week, officially charging him with “incitement of insurrection.” But speaking on MSNBC, Pelosi said Trump could be deemed an “accessory” to murder for the deaths that occurred, in the view of many Trump critics, due to Trump’s rhetoric surrounding the integrity of the election.
What did Pelosi say?
During her interview, show host Joy Reid asked Pelosi how Congress can move forward with Trump allies still seated, especially representatives who supported Trump’s claims of a “stolen” or “rigged” election.
“We have security beyond what anybody ever thought would be the need. And why? Because this president has been telling people that the election was not legitimate and these people believe him, they believe a president,” Pelosi began.
“A president’s words are important, they weigh a ton,” Pelosi continued. “And if you’re Donald Trump talking to these people, they believe it and they used his words to come here. So, when we talk about ‘did any of our colleagues collaborate?’ Well, that remains to be seen. We have to get the evidence of that.”
“And if they did, they would be accessory to the crime. 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.”
"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
Will Trump be charged?
District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine admitted Sunday that his office could criminally charge Trump for his role in the Capitol violence.
In fact, Racine explained on MSNBC that Trump could be charged with “a misdemeanor, a six-month-in-jail maximum.”
“Let it be known that the office of attorney general has a potential charge that it may utilize,” Racine said. “It’s law in DC since 2011. It makes illegal the statements of individuals that clearly encourage, cajole, and otherwise, you know, get people motivated to commit violence.”
Racine added that Trump’s “conduct prior to the mob storming the Capitol is relevant. I think his conduct during that time and immediately thereafter is also relevant.”
However, no prosecutor, either within D.C. or federally, has indicated they will pursue criminal charges against Trump.
Author: Chris Enloe