A week ago, another indictment would have looked out of place, with the Democratic Party only days away from controlling all three bars of power in Washington, DC and finally saying goodbye to Trump.
But after the several scary hours on Wednesday made Trump’s own supporters the Capitol one of the least safe places in Washington, DC, and Pelosi and her entire Democratic Council can not forget it.
“I think Nancy is also looking at this and saying, how do you not react – when the president has put your people at risk of injury or death – not in the strongest way?”
The emotional toll will have a lasting effect on Pelosi and her caucus. About two dozen Democrats were locked inside the hall Wednesday, some hectically calling their families in case they needed to say goodbye, as members of an armed mob eventually forced their way in. Many more lawmakers barricaded themselves inside their offices, working with staff to push desks and sofas in front of doors.
“We are a family. Those were the words used on the caucus call over and over again, ”the rep said. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), Who was among those members of the Chamber. She recalled when Pelosi and other Democrats gathered by telephone for the first time since the attack on an emotional election call. “She talked about her staff, how she was so concerned about her staff and the staff of others.”
Pelosi was one of several Democrats on the 3.5-hour call Friday to encourage members and their staff to seek counseling about the trauma they experienced that day. Support staff should also have access to the same psychiatric services, Pelosi said, noting how they are also an integral part of the Capitol core.
“Some of the maintenance people call me ‘Momma,'” Pelosi said during the call, according to several Democrats.
Pelosi has repeatedly urged both lawmakers and staff to seek mental health support after living through the horrific attack on the Capitol, including on yet another long call with her president on Monday.
For Pelosi and many others, the images of Wednesday’s violence are haunted – rebels in tactical gear storm through the Capitol, searching offices, including her own, before turning on police, trying to smash one in a doorway and pulling another from the building and beating him with a flagpole. Hours earlier, Trump had instructed his supporters to march to the Capitol, promising that the election was rigged and he would never give in.
As she controls her choice through the emotional destruction of the attack, Pelosi also has, again becoming the leading voice to accuse a president who has also been one of her biggest antagonists for four years. Contrary to the long ramp to support her accusation in 2019, this time Pelosi embraced the movement within hours.
“One of the things that people do not appreciate about her is that she has a really heartfelt, deep reverence for our Capitol, Democracy and Presidency,” said House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.), a close ally with the Speaker.
The rest of Pelosis caucus has quickly come to the same conclusion as her with very few exceptions. Democrats announced Monday that they will vote Wednesday to accuse Trump after securing enough votes to do so unless Vice President Mike Pence takes unilateral steps before then to declare the president unfit for office.
It’s a remarkable display of caucus unity for Pelosi, who fought her way back to the speaker two years ago after a group of Democratic opponents tried to end her long leadership. And many in her constituency already predicted a tense atmosphere within the next two years, which they saw as inevitable when a large tent party has such a razor-sharp majority.
Instead, almost every House Democrat – including novices sworn in a few days ago – quickly lined up in favor of the indictment.
Even some of the president’s most pro-impeachment Democrats were shocked by the speed of their election and the support of their leader.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) – who was pulled out of the chamber just as rebels violated the Capitol on Wednesday – began talking about the charge almost immediately after she reached a safe place. She was in the same room as Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and a handful of others.
As they sat together for hours, Omar approached House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to tell him she would draft an article accusing Trump of his role, which spurred riots. He urged her to do what she needed, according to several people familiar with the discussions.
Across the Capitol complex, a group of members of the judiciary – Reps. David Cicilline from Rhode Island and Ted Lieu in California – also locked inside an office together when they first came up with the idea of drafting several indictments.
As these Democrats quickly began circulating their drafts, Pelosi was also directly on his phone. Since the attack, she has spoken to almost every member of her election, sending texts and calling late at night – not unlike the Democrats’ first path to prosecution in 2019.
Twenty-four hours after the Capitol attack began, Pelosi took to the podium to issue a decisive warning – Trump was an uplifting threat to the country, and if Pence did not immediately step in to remove him, Democrats would.
Speaking in a building almost empty, but for the staff working to repair the damage, Pelosi described Trump’s role in “the happy desecration of the American Capitol” and the targeting of members of Congress as “horrors that forever will tarnish the history of our nation. “
Two years ago, Pelosi spent months carefully overseeing every step her council meeting took against the accusation of Trump. She listened closely to the moderate novices who helped the Democrats win back Parliament and only promised to move on when a significant group of them – all with national security backgrounds – announced their decision to vote yes.
Democrats across the election rally, including national security-focused members, say the decision to indict was simpler after what they lived up to on Wednesday.
“I really think people were barred from their offices who made decisions like this,” the rep said. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) In an interview about her decision to support accusation. “There is nothing more clarifying than when your life is in danger. “