White House pressed on Biden’s unity message amid Trump impeachment
White House press secretary Jen Psaki addresses Trump impeachment as President Biden begins term.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday defended Democrats’ pursuit of impeachment despite President Biden’s repeated calls for uniting a divided nation.
Pelosi said the House of Representatives will be sending over the article of impeachment against former President Trump “soon” because he must be held accountable for the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol that left five people dead. She’s “not worried” about impeachment sowing more division, she said.
“The fact is the President of the United States committed an act of incitement of insurrection,” Pelosi said Thursday at a news conference at the Capitol. “I don’t think it’s very unifying to say, oh, let’s just forget it and move on. That’s not how you unify.”
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During his inaugural address, Biden talked about bringing the country together and for people on other sides of the aisle to listen and give each other a chance to move forward. Impeachment is inherently divisive and Republicans have called on Biden and Democrats to stop the process of putting Trump on trial, especially since he’s no longer in office.
But Pelosi talked of the trauma that members and staff suffered on Jan. 6 when a mob stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s electoral victory. More than just the objects and property that were stolen and destroyed, she said building staff are still dealing with the consequences of the attack.
“I’m more concerned about the damage that they did to our staff, to our colleagues in the Congress, to the custodial staff in the Capitol of the United States,” Pelosi said. “That is damage. That is damage that must be addressed.”
Pelosi said the House has an obligation to uphold the integrity of Congress and failing to follow through on that responsibility would be “harmful to unity.”
“That’s our responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. And that is what we will do. Just because he’s now gone — Thank God — you don’t say to a president: Do whatever you want in the last months of your administration, you’re going to get a get out of jail card free because people think we should make nice and forget that people died here on Jan. 6.”
Pelosi didn’t provide specifics on when the House would send over the article of impeachment to the Senate other than to indicate that it would be in the coming few days. House impeachment managers have been preparing for a trial. “We are ready,” Pelosi said.
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Now that the Senate is back and the Democrats have secured the majority in the upper chamber, she said the trial would come “soon.”
“It will be soon, I don’t think it will be long,” Pelosi said. “But we must do it.”
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