Members of both parties and Americans across the nation were shocked earlier this month when a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed Capitol Hill in a riot that left five dead, including Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick. Just a week later, House Democrats were joined by 10 Republicans in a successful effort to impeach the president for what they claim was his role in “inciting” the violence.
Apparently looking for someone else to blame for the unrest that unfolded on Jan. 6, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) just warned that if any members of Congress “aided and abetted” the rioters, they may face criminal prosecution.
“If, in fact, it is found that members of Congress are accomplices to this insurrection, if they aided and abetted, there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress in terms of prosecution for that,” the speaker told reporters at a Friday presser, according to the Washington Examiner.
The remarks came following allegations from some in the Democratic caucus that the attack on the Capitol building may have been an “inside job,” with the invaders receiving assistance from Republican lawmakers, among others.
“We need to thoroughly investigate”
Among those making such claims is Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan (D), who alleged that some House members had been giving “suspicious” tours to constituents in the days leading up to the violence, the Examiner reported separately.
“You know, enough to be a group,” Ryan said. “It wasn’t a one-on-one or a small family.”
Rep. Mikie Sherill (D-NJ) has also said she witnessed “members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol” on Jan. 5 in what she characterized as “reconnaissance for the next day,” according to the Examiner.
Notably, NPR reports that “[n]either Ryan nor Sherrill has released any names or provided proof.”
Democrats have also pointed fingers at Capitol Police officers, who California Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D) said may have “taken selfies with these seditionists or even let them in,” as Politico reported. “We need to thoroughly investigate that,” Lofgren added.
When it comes to opening probes into the Capitol riot, Pelosi seems to agree with members of her caucus.
“We have to talk about truth and trust,” the speaker said Friday, according to the Examiner. “In order to serve here with each other, we must trust that people have respect for their oath of office, respect for this institution. We must trust each other, respecting the people who sent us here. We must also have the truth. And when — and that will be looked into,” she added.
“We [are] always prepared to protect and defend from all enemies, foreign, but the Constitution of all this also says, ‘and domestic,’ and now we have to protect ourselves from enemies domestic. How close within? The investigation will — will let us know,” Pelosi said.