House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declared Friday that the police officers who died after they worked to defend the U.S. Capitol from rioters on Jan. 6 are “martyrs of democracy.”
The speaker’s words came after two officers, Gunther Hashida and Kyle DeFreytag, died by suicide last week. Both were on duty when demonstrators overtook the Capitol building on Jan. 6 in an apparent attempt to disrupt Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“This week we learned now it’s up to five officers who defended democracy on Jan. 6 who’ve died,” Pelosi said during her weekly press conference, according to a Yahoo News report. “This week, the Congress honored their service… They are heroes to us,” she added. “I mean, these are martyrs of democracy.”
“The soul of America”
Pelosi’s remarks came after President Joe Biden signed a bill Thursday to award Congressional Gold Medals to officers who protected the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Yahoo News noted.
“America owes you a debt we can never fully repay,” Biden said of the officers, according to a White House transcript. “For anyone out there facing trauma, for anyone still struggling, please know there is help available.”
Biden went on to echo Pelosi’s rhetoric, saying, “The fallen, in my view, are casualties of a struggle, literally, for the soul of America — a struggle that they didn’t start, a struggle we didn’t seek, and a struggle that, by the grace of God, we’ll win.”
An investigative committee
The Democrats’ remarks also came after the launch of Pelosi’s new select House committee to investigate the events that transpired Jan. 6. The original committee was to include 13 lawmakers, including eight Democrats and five Republicans.
Pelosi’s eight nominees included the surprise choice of Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney. Cheney was one of 10 Republican House members who voted to impeach President Donald Trump for his alleged role in the January unrest.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) then gave his five picks to Pelosi. But she promptly vetoed two recommendations, Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jim Banks (R-IN), both of whom are strong Trump supporters.
Subsequently, McCarthy refused to have any part in Pelosi’s committee. Pelosi later added one more Republican, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who also voted to impeach Trump. The clear slant of the group left Republicans reeling, with some even calling it Trump’s Impeachment 3.0.
Indeed, the nod to those officers who served on Jan. 6 was noble, but much of what Pelosi has done following that fateful day has not. And her ongoing attacks on Trump and his supporters long after the former president’s departure from office aren’t doing her any favors.