Pelosi on eve of Jan. 6: Capitol rioters ‘lost’ bid to stop peaceful transfer of power

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) addresses reporters during a press conference on Thursday, December 9, 2021 to discuss the passage of the Protecting Our Democracy Act.
Greg Nash

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) on Wednesday said the rioters who stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, “lost” their bid to stop the peaceful transfer of power.

“Democracy won that night,” Pelosi told The Associated Press on the eve of the anniversary of the deadly riot.

“These people, because of the courageous work of the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police and others, they were deterred in their action to stop the peaceful transfer of power. They lost,” she added.

Thursday marks one year since supporters of former President Trump stormed the Capitol in an effort to thwart Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote.

The demonstration delayed the certification process for hours until Congress reconvened in the early hours of Jan. 7 to finish the constitutionally mandated process.

Five police officers who were present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 died in relation to the riot, according to The New York Times, including four by suicide in the weeks following the attack. 

The House is holding a series of events on Thursday to commemorate the attack. A moment of silence will be held on the House floor, a prayer vigil will be held on the Capitol Center steps and historians Jon Meacham and Doris Kearns Goodwin are scheduled to participate in a conversation “to establish and preserve the narrative of January 6th.”

Additionally, President Biden and Vice President Harris are slated to deliver remarks from the Capitol.

Trump was initially scheduled to hold a press conference on Thursday before scrapping those plans days before. GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) announced they would be holding a “Republican response” to the anniversary. 

In a letter to Republican colleagues over the weekend, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) accused Democrats of using Jan. 6 as a “partisan political weapon to further divide our country.”

Pelosi told the AP on Wednesday, though, that “our democracy was on the brink of catastrophe” and encouraged the country to turn to its “better angels” and study the day to ensure that no such incident occurs again.

“This has to be a period of remembrance, of reconciliation,” Pelosi said, pointing to former President Lincoln as a model for behavior.

“Lincoln said, With malice toward none, with charity toward all” when the Civil War was coming to a close. “We have to extend the hand of friendship.”

The House Speaker also reflected on the role Trump played in the Jan. 6 attack. She said the day’s events were an “enormous civics lesson learned as to what a president is capable of,” adding “I think now people are alerted to the fact that there can be rogue presidents.”

Pelosi said the rioters who stormed the Capitol “may have thought that was right,” but added, “They were lied to by the president of the United States.”

She recognized her and Congress’s responsibility to keep the country united, again referencing Lincoln.

“We cannot shirk our responsibility. We have the power and we have the responsibility and we will live up to that to keep our country together,” Pelosi said.

“Let’s hope that we never elect a president who will incite an insurrection on the Congress of the United States,” she added.

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Jan. 6 Capitol attack Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Marjorie Taylor Greene Matt Gaetz Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi

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