During a press conference on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held back tears as she stated that members of Congress may be prosecuted over the violent insurrection that took place at the Capitol on January 6. Pelosi shared that she had launched a “major security review.”
Pelosi became clearly emotional as she announced that she had asked retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré to carry out an “immediate” review of security arrangements in the wake of the violence that shocked the country last week.
Pelosi then went on to warn lawmakers that they could face criminal charges if it is discovered that they in any way aided the pro-Trump mob.
“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,” Pelosi said.
Democratic lawmakers are currently investigating whether members of Congress gave rioters tours of the Capitol in the days before the violence unfolded so they would know the layout, especially regarding where certain members of Congress’ offices were located.
There has been much speculation that Republican members of both Congress and the Capitol Police played a role in organizing the deadly riot.
Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio has stated that an investigation is looking at more than one lawmaker who gave tours to “handfuls” of people at the Capitol the day before the riot.
“Last week, we suffered a devastating attack on the Capitol that threatened the lives of and traumatized members of Congress, staff, and support workers,” Pelosi said.
“To protect our Democracy, we must now subject the security of the US Capitol Complex to rigorous scrutiny.”
Pelosi says that Lieutenant General Russel Honoré will conduct an immediate review of “security, inter-agency interaction and Capitol command and control.”
“The general is a respected leader with experience dealing with the crisis.”
Several federal watchdogs have also launched a review into how the FBI, Pentagon, and other law enforcement agencies responded to the attack.
The Capitol Police have stated that they had prepared for only First Amendment outside the building as lawmakers gathered to certify the election.
The Pentagon has shared that the force turned down an offer of help in the days before the riot.
The investigation will also look at what the FBI knew in the run-up to the riot. An internal bulletin warned that extremists had threatened to start a “war.”
Five people were killed in the deadly riot including one Capitol Police officer, who was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.
“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” Trump told his supporters at the “Stop the Steal” rally just before he urged them to march to the Capitol.
“You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong,” Trump continued riling up the crowd.
Trump supporters then marched to the Capitol. Upon arriving they overwhelmed Capitol Police and were able to storm the building in an attempt to stop Congress from verifying the Electoral College votes and certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
On Wednesday, Trump was impeached by the House for a second time for “incitement of insurrection.”
The final impeachment vote against Trump was 232 to 197, with 10 Republicans joining all 222 Democrats in supporting the single article of impeachment. Trump is the first United States president in history to be impeached twice.