Pelosi suggests criminal charges for any lawmaker who helped with Capitol riot
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested Friday that any lawmakers found to have assisted in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol may be charged criminally.
Since the assault, a number of Democrats have voiced suspicions that some Republicans might have helped the rioters logistically in the days leading up to the deadly event.
Speaking to reporters Friday in the Capitol, Pelosi said the allegations will be investigated and could lead to prosecutions of sitting lawmakers.
“We must trust each other, respect the people who sent us here. We must also have the truth, and that will be looked into,” she said. “If, in fact, it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection — if they aided and abetted the crime — there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress, in terms of prosecution for that.”
On Wednesday, a group of 30 Democrats wrote a letter to the leader of the Capitol Police and the acting sergeants-at-arms in both chambers, urging investigations into “suspicious behavior and access” facilitated by some GOP lawmakers on Jan. 5, the day before the attack on the Capitol.
The Democrats said either they or their aides had witnessed “an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex” on Jan. 5, some of them reappearing during the march on the Capitol the following day.
“Members of the group that attacked the Capitol seemed to have an unusually detailed knowledge of the layout of the Capitol Complex,” the Democrats wrote. “The presence of these groups within the Capitol Complex was indeed suspicious.
“Given the events of January 6, the ties between these groups inside the Capitol Complex and the attacks on the Capitol need to be investigated.”
The letter was spearheaded by Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), a former Navy pilot, and was endorsed by several other veterans of the military. They noted that they are “trained to recognize suspicious activity.”
None of the Democrats have mentioned any GOP lawmakers specifically, and they offered no direct evidence of involvement by a lawmaker with the riot.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has called for a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack.